AAIB reveals cause of on-stand BA 787 nose-gear incident

The incident happened last month on stand while cargo was being loaded onto the Dreamliner

A British Airways Boeing 787 suffered a nose-gear retraction while on the ground at London/Heathrow last month after engineers incorrectly installed locking pins during maintenance work for a deferred defect, a report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch has found.  

Boeing 787
All photos AAIB

The jet, G-ZBJB (c/n 38610), was parked on Stand 583 at the hub and was due to fly a cargo-only flight to Frankfurt.  

The incident occurred whilst engineers were carrying out a Dispatch Deviation Guide (DDG) procedure to clear maintenance messages relating to an existing Acceptable Deferred Defect (ADD) linked with a solenoid valve for the landing gear doors. 


The retraction caused damage to the lower nose, nose landing gear doors and engine cowlings. Door two left also struck the top of the mobile steps and was ripped off as a result. 

The DDG procedure required the cockpit landing gear selection lever to be cycled with hydraulic power applied to the aircraft. To prevent the landing gear from retracting, the procedure required locking pins to be inserted in the nose and main gear downlocks. 

This images show the correct and incorrect installation of NLG downlock pin. AAIB

However, according to the AAIB’s special bulletin, the nose gear pin was inserted into an adjacent hole to the correct location.  

An airworthiness directive had been issued in January last year, which covered the installation of an insert over the hole to prevent incorrect installation. However, this directive had a 36-month compliance requirement associated with it and the flag carrier had yet to implement it on the incident aircraft. 

In a statement to Key.Aero, a British Airways spokesperson, said: “Safety is always our highest priority, and we are working closely with the AAIB on the continuing investigation.”