British Airways 787 Beijing-Heathrow declares emergency

Photo: British Airways Boeing 787-X G-ZBLA at London Heathrow. Photo Credit; Karam Sodhi/ AviationSource
Photo: British Airways Boeing 787-X G-ZBLA at London Heathrow. Photo Credit; Karam Sodhi/ AviationSource
Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read

A British Airways flight from Beijing to London has declared an emergency wjilst approaching the destination.

British Airways flight BA38 from Beijing Daxing (PKX) declared an emergency with squawk code 7700 whilst approaching London Heathrow.

British Airways BA38 Beijing-London

Flight track of BA38 from Beijing to London

Having declared the general emergency whilst approaching the coast, flight BA38 is now on descent below 10,000 feet on approach to London.

Flight track of BA38 from Beijing to London

Update 15:50 UTC

The nature of the emergency is not yet clear. The flight squawked the emergency transponder code 7700 at 15:38 UTC on descent, and continued its approach to the main London airport.

Weather for the flight’s arrival is VFR, with visibility 10 kilometres or more, with light wind. RWY27 is the active runway.

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Flight track of BA38 from Beijing to London

Update 16:00 UTC

Flight BA38 now in its final stages of approach to RWY27 LHR, maintaining squawk code 7700.

With the flight now on the ground, the nature of the issue prompting the emergency declaration is still uncertain.

Issues can typically range from technical problems to medical emergencies, which can require an expedited approach and landing priority.

Flight data for today’s long-haul service from Beijing shows that flight BA38 made a slightly delayed departure out of Daxing PKX. The service departed at 11:41 local time, against a scheduled time of 10:30 local.

The flight then continued normally; climbing to flight level FL400 (40,000 feet) for the westerly long-haul service to London.

Update 16:05 UTC

With the flight now landed and clear LHR, online service Flight Emergency reports that flight crew had shut one engine down, raising the priority to emergency level.

The aircraft operating this afternoon’s service is a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner registered G-ZBKC. This is an 8-year old widebody aircraft belonging to the national carrier British Airways.

The Rolls-Royce engine equipped aircraft was originally delivered to the carrier in October 2015.

Rolls-Royce Trent 1000

Rolls-Royce Trent 1000: This is the launch engine for all models in the Boeing 787 family, and it is the most popular option for the 787-9.

The Trent 1000 engine is a high-bypass turbofan engine that is specifically designed for the 787.

The Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 is a high-bypass turbofan engine specifically designed and optimized for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner family, including the 787-9.

Key Features:

  • Fuel Efficiency: Compared to the aircraft it replaces (Boeing 767), the Trent 1000 boasts 20% improved fuel efficiency. This translates to reduced operating costs for airlines and a smaller environmental footprint.
  • Technology: It builds upon the legacy of previous Trent engine generations, incorporating the latest advancements in materials, components, and design. Its three-shaft architecture enhances its efficiency and supports future “all-electric” aircraft concepts.
  • Quiet Operation: The Trent 1000 is one of the quietest widebody engines currently in service, contributing to a more comfortable passenger experience and reduced noise pollution around airports.
  • Performance: It delivers an impressive thrust range of 62,264 to 81,028 lbf (276.96 to 360.43 kN), enabling the 787 to operate efficiently on various routes, including long-haul flights.

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British Airways flight BA38, a Boeing 787-9 from Beijing, has declared an emergency whilst approaching London Heathrow.
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