British Airways’ Boeing 777 in Las Vegas will be repaired


A representative of the London-based airline said Wednesday that crews would be dispatched to McCarran and that work would begin “shortly” to repair the aircraft’s hull to make it airworthy.

Noting that “safety is always British Airways’ top priority,” a company spokeswoman said in an email, “The airframe was inspected by a team of highly experienced engineers from Boeing who concluded that the damage was limited and suitable for repair.

“A team from Boeing will carry out the repair work, which will be certified to the same high standards as if the aircraft was brand new,” she said.

She did not give a timetable for repairs or when the plane would be flown, but the work is expected to begin next month.

The company did not elaborate on the repair process or how much it would cost to fix the plane.

While the jet is parked at McCarran, British Airways is paying $375 a day in fees and by the end of 2015, the bill will reach about $31,000.

The jet, a twin-engine Boeing 777-200ER, was scheduled to fly as British Airways Flight 2276 from McCarran to London’s Gatwick International Airport on Sept. 8.

Midway through its takeoff run, before the plane lifted off the ground, the jet’s left engine experienced an uncontained failure that started a fire. Debris spewed out of the engine and onto the runway.

The pilot shut down the engine and aborted the takeoff and while McCarran’s emergency response crews sped to the burning plane, passengers began evacuating on emergency slides.

A preliminary National Transportation Safety Board report in October said the “left engine and pylon, left fuselage structure and inboard left wing … were substantially damaged by the fire.”

Officials reported 14 people suffered minor injuries, most of them a result of a rough ride down the emergency chute. The runway was closed for four hours.

Aviation experts said they expected the plane’s insurers to declare the aircraft a “hull loss,” meaning that it was too damaged for repair and that it would be disassembled for parts.

Wednesday’s email from the company was the first indication that British Airways would instead put a different engine on the plane, repair the hull and fly the plane to a maintenance facility for additional work.


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