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Redesign of faulty plane in pipeline.

AIR accident investigators in the US have warned that there is a "high probability" that a fault leading to the crash landing of a British Airways jet at Heathrow will strike other Boeing 777s.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued an urgent safety recommendation calling for a redesign of a Rolls- Royce engine component in the plane, following two engine rollbacks - sudden power losses - last year.

It came as a UK accident report showed how a build-up of ice on the fuel/ oil heat exchanger (FOHE) could have caused the incident at Heathrow airport.

The accident on January 17 last year resulted in one serious injury among the 136 passengers and 16 crew on board. The BA flight from Beijing just cleared a perimeter fence at Heathrow before crash landing short of the runway.

The plane's Midland captain Peter Burkill and co-pilot John Coward were hailed as heroes for their skilful handling of the aircraft.

A second incident involving a Boeing 777 occurred 10 months later when a Delta Air Lines plane experienced a single engine rollback while cruising over Montana en route to Atlanta.

In both cases, a build-up of ice on the FOHE restricted the flow of fuel to the engine, resulting in the engine rollback.

As a result, the NTSB has called for a redesign of the FOHE that would eliminate the potential of ice build-up. Rolls-Royce has said that a new version of the component was already under way.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Mar 13, 2009
Words:244
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