January 17th in Aviation History

British Airways Flight 38:

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British Airways Flight 38 was a scheduled passenger flight from Beijing, China to London, UK. On the January 17th, 2008, the flight was operated by a Boeing 777-200ER. There were 152 people on board. On final approach, the 777 crashed just short of the runway. The cause was ice-crystals in the fuel system which caused a loss of effective thrust required during the landing phase. The auto-pilot could not land the aircraft and when the pilots took over, it was too late. The aircraft landed hard on the grass and its nose gear collapsed, it kept rolling down until it came to a rest on the beginning of the runway at the threshold. There were 42 injuries but all occupants survived. This was the first hull loss of any Boeing 777 aircraft. It has otherwise, a near perfect safety record.

 

Airbus A330 enters service:

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On the 17th of January 1994, Airbus’ wide body contender entered service with French carrier, Air Inter. The Airbus A330 is a wide-body twin engine commercial aircraft for medium to long range operations. It can carry up to 335 passengers in a typical two-class configuration. The A330 was Airbus’ first aircraft to be offered in three possible engine combination. The CF-6, The PW4000 and the Trent 700. The A330 has had several variants, including a freighter, a military tanker and a corporate version called the ACJ330. The latest variant is called the A330neo. The iconic Airbus Beluga aircraft is also a derivative of the A330. The largest A330 operator is Turkish Airlines with 68 A330’s currently in service. Overall, the A330 hasn’t been able to find much success, but has remained a competitor to Boeing’s 777 and 767. The A330 has been succeeded by Airbus’ more modern and increasingly popular A350 XWB.

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