London‘s Heathrow Airport was cast into disarray today when a British Airways (BA) 777 landed short of runway 27 and nosedived into the earth before the tarmac. Several landing gear were sheared off while the airframe sustained significant damage.
Amazingly, there were no casualties in the disaster, with only a couple dozen passengers being taken to the hospital for minor injuries and one concussion. The rest of the passengers deplaned from the emergency slides. It is perhaps a testament to the pilot’s aptitude and performance during the emergency that nothing worse happened.
According to the most recent reports, the aircraft appears to have lost power on approach, resulting in the plane gliding silently under only mechanical control onto its belly.
Operations at Heathrow shut down completely following the incident, with a graduated return to operations over the course of the day. Despite the resumption, dozens of flights were canceled, stranding passengers inside of the already cramped terminal and overtaking lounges. I can only imagine how pleasant that was.
Heathrow expects to resume operations tomorrow as the investigation continues.