British Airways is to start dismantling the Boeing 777-200ER substantially damaged in last year's approach crash at London Heathrow.

The aircraft, G-YMMM, has been kept intact while the Air Accidents Investigation Branch pursued its inquiry into the event.

But while AAIB's investigation is continuing, it has given permission for the airframe to be broken up fully. The task, says British Airways in its internal publication, will be completed over the next three weeks.

"During the dismantling work as much of the metal in the aircraft as possible will be sent for recycling," it states, adding that a specialist salvage company will be managing the work.

Investigators believe that ice in the fuel lines, flushed against the heat exchangers of the Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engines, choked the fuel flow and caused a thrust reduction in both powerplants as flight BA038 arrived from Beijing on 17 January 2008.

Although the 777 landed short of the runway and suffered extensive damage, all 136 passengers and 16 crew survived.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news