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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 145109
Last updated: 2 December 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic B744 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 747-436
Owner/operator:British Airways
Registration: G-BNLY
MSN: 27090/959
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 450
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Serious incident
Location:London-Heathrow Airport (LHR/EGLL) -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Tokyo, Japan
Destination airport:London-Heathrow Airport (LHR/EGLL)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Speedbird flight 6 was inbound on a flight from Tokyo to London. The Boeing 747 was on approach to runway 09R at Heathrow. During the approach a British Midlands flight (Flight BD151, calling "Midland One November Zulu") an Airbus A320, was cleared to take off on runway 09R for a short flight to Brussels. Air Traffic Control saw the danger and told BA flight Speedbird 6 to abort it's landing. The Boeing 747 flew over the A320 with an estimated minimum vertical separation of 112 feet (+/- 20 feet).

BA flight Speedbird 6 landed safely after circling Heathrow. No injuries sustained to the 450 persons on board the Boeing 747 and the 96 on board the Airbus A320. Contemporary press reports (see link #4) described the incident as "the closest air miss at Heathrow in 30 years".

The investigation revealed the following causal factors:
(1) The ATC mentor allowed the situation to develop to the point where 'Speedbird Six' could not be safely integrated with the departure of 'Midland One November Zulu'.
(2) When this became apparent, the initial actions of the mentor, on taking control of the RTF, were inappropriate.


2. AAIB:
3. AAIB:
5. CAA:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 12 months
Download report: Final report


Photo of G-BNLY courtesy

Bournemouth - International (EGHH / BOH)
13 May 2020; (c) Howard J Curtis

Graphic: AAIB

Revision history:

17-Apr-2012 13:14 ryan Added
16-Oct-2013 20:52 ryan Updated [Total occupants, Source, Narrative]
08-Jul-2016 11:50 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Other fatalities, Location, Source, Narrative]
08-Jul-2016 11:50 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
08-Jul-2016 11:52 Dr.John Smith Updated [Location]
30-Aug-2019 05:59 squarewheels Updated [Narrative]
30-Aug-2019 06:11 harro Updated [Location, Narrative, Photo, Accident report, ]

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