But US agency refuses to elaborate on reported threat of action over ‘careless and reckless aircraft operation'

The US Federal Aviation Administration is staying tight-lipped over reported comments by one of its officials that the agency is preparing to take action against British Airways for "careless and reckless operation of an aircraft".

BA has told the FAA that it did not receive a "letter of investigation" the agency sent on 2 March requesting information about an incident in which one of its Boeing 747-400s flew on three engines from just after take-off from Los Angeles bound for London on 19 February, but eventually diverted to Manchester after declaring a fuel emergency. The FAA says it had given the airline 20 days to respond, and it finally sent the letter again by fax on 10 March.

The FAA declines to comment on the reported statement that it is preparing to act against BA.

The airline says it is surprised at the FAA's quoted comments because the 747-400 is certificated for flight on three engines.

Meanwhile, BA has confirmed that on 25 February the same aircraft (G-BNLG) that made the three-engined Los Angeles-Manchester flight and had since had the failed No2 engine replaced, again suffered problems with its No 2 engine. This time it was 3.5h into a Singapore-London flight when the crew noticed oil pressure problems in the Rolls-Royce RB211-524H and shut it down. The captain elected to continue to London on the remaining three engines, with 356 passengers. The aircraft landed safely at London Heathrow.

BA says it is continuing its investigation into the circumstances surrounding the 19 February flight, and the UK Civil Aviation Authority says it will wait for the report before deciding whether action is warranted.


Source: Flight International