Date: January 17, 2008
Time: 1243
Location: London, England
Operator: British Airways
Flight #: 38
Route: Bejing, China - London, England
AC Type: Boeing 777-236ER
Registration: G-YMMM
cn / ln: 30314/342
Aboard: 152   (passengers:136  crew:16)
Fatalities: 0   (passengers:0  crew:0)
Ground: 0
Summary: The aircraft was on approach for landing on Runway 27L at Heathrow Airport when at a height of approximately 600 ft and 2 miles from touch down the aircraft descended rapidly and struck the ground, 1,000 ft. short of the paved runway surface, just inside the airfield boundary fence. An investigation showned that the fuel flow to both engines was restricted; most probably due to ice within the fuel feed system. The ice is likely to have formed from water that occurred naturally in the fuel, and should have been melted by the fuel-oil heat exchanger (FOHE). However, the FOHE did not heat its own inlet face, and investigation showed that, although the flight was within the certified operational envelope at all times, a long period of low fuel flow in an unusually cold environment, followed by a throttle increase, could cause an ice jam at that point. Corrections in design were made so this would not occur again.

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