Accident Boeing 777-236ER G-VIIA,
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Date:Thursday 26 June 2003
Type:Silhouette image of generic B772 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing 777-236ER
Owner/operator:British Airways
Registration: G-VIIA
MSN: 27483/41
Year of manufacture:1997
Engine model:GE90-85B
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 286
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Near Reigate, Surrey -   United Kingdom
Phase: Initial climb
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:London Gatwick Airport (LGW/EGKK)
Destination airport:V.C.Bird International Airport, St. Johns,Antigua (ANU/TAPA)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Over (or near) Reigate, Surrey, during the initial climbout from London Gatwick Airport, bound for V.C.Bird International Airport, St. Johns, Antigua, Boeing 777-236ER G-VIIA of British Airways sustained the following damage on 26-06-2003: Access door detached, cabin windows damaged, minor damage to fuselage and fin. No injuries reported to the 286 persons on board (crew of 14 plus 272 passengers). According to the following excerpt from the official AAIB report into the accident:

"A large access door, measuring 4 x 6 feet and weighing 70 lb, detached from the aircraft shortly after takeoff from Gatwick Airport, causing substantial damage to two cabin windows and minor damage to the fuselage and fin.

Fragments of the door penetrated into the cabin and large parts of it landed close to persons on the ground. It was likely that only one of the thirteen door catches had been fastened and that the door had suffered overload failure due to aerodynamic forces as the aircraft accelerated, allowing it to open and detach. Multiple walk-round inspections of the aircraft by different personnel had failed to detect the open catches.

The inadequate fastening had apparently occurred during a routine maintenance check due to a deviation from standard procedures; a practice that reportedly had been fostered by features of the maintenance system and may have been commonplace. It appeared likely that the human performance factors evident in this event could be affected beneficially by improvements in the operator’s maintenance and inspection systems."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Report number: EW/C2003/06/04
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


1. CAA:
2. CAA:


British Airways Boeing 777-236(ER) G-VIIA at London Heathrow Airport 09-06-2014: British Airways Boeing 777-236(ER) G-VIIA (14390367715)

Revision history:

26-Jul-2016 20:32 Dr.John Smith Added

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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