Boeing 777 in Spotlight After London Crash

Popular passenger jets had piled up 3.5M hours without such an incident
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2008 10:38 AM CST
Boeing 777 in Spotlight After London Crash
Captain Peter Burkill, centre, and his crew Cabin Service Director Sharron Eaton-Mercer, right, and First Senior Officer John Coward, who were flying the British Airways Boeing 777 plane flying from China that landed short of the runway at London's Heathrow Airport, pose together after reading a statement...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – British and American investigators are still piecing together flight data to determine why a Boeing 777's engines suddenly refused to increase power just short of landing, causing the plane to crash-land at London's Heathrow airport on Thursday. The unexplained crash has drawn worldwide puzzlement, as the popular passenger plane previously enjoyed an exemplary, accident-free safety record, USA Today reports.

"It's a mystery from what I see so far," one academic said. Complex computers aboard the aircraft might have malfunctioned, sending the wrong message to engines; the jet's fuel supply could also be to blame. Investigators have not yet ruled out any potential cause of the crash—including human error, despite the much-publicized heroism of pilots in landing it safely. (Read more Heathrow Airport stories.)

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