Incident Boeing 747-236B G-BDXH,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 188078
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Date:Tuesday 21 May 1996
Time:11:18 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic B742 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing 747-236B
Owner/operator:British Airways
Registration: G-BDXH
MSN: 21635/365
Year of manufacture:1979
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 205
Aircraft damage: Minor
Location:Selsey Bill, Sussex, 20 nm SW of London Gatwick Airport -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:London Gatwick Airport (LGW/EGKK)
Destination airport:Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Nigeria (LOS/DNMM)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The aircraft took off at 11:13 hours from Runway 26L at Gatwick, bound for Lagos (Nigeria). The aircraft was cleared on a Bogna 1M Standard Instrument Departure, which involved climbing straight ahead, initially for 4 nautical miles before turning left onto a southerly track, climbing to 5,000 feet altitude.

At the start of the left turn, ATC requested the aircraft to take up a heading of 230 degrees for traffic separation. The flight crew requested a turn onto 240 degrees to avoid weather. The Flight Data Recorder indicated that engine anti-ice on was selected for all four engine sat around this time. The aircraft was then cleared to climb to 6,000 feet altitude.

As the aircraft reached 6,000 feet there was a loud bang as the aircraft was struck by lightning in the region of the No 4 power plant, after which the 'COWL OV HT' (Cowl Overheat) amber caption illuminated on the centre panel. A similar caption also appeared for the No 4 engine on the pilot's overhead panel.The aircraft continued a normal climb and proceeded on the planned route.

Company maintenance control was contacted by radio. Some diagnostic checks were carried out on the system and it was confirmed that the No 4 engine Cowl Anti-Ice system was inoperative. As thunderstorms and icing conditions were forecast further down the route, the commander decided to return to London Gatwick Airport.In consultation with French ATC, a right turn was commenced at FL330, just south of Limoges, at 12:19 hrs.

Some 2,000 kg of fuel was dumped during the return in order to be comfortably below maximum permitted landing weight. While approaching Mayfield VOR during the Gatwick Standard Arrival, the crew became aware that both the No 1 and 2 VHF Navigation receivers were inoperative, and they were thus unable to receive the ILS Localiser signal.

Glidepath indications were normal. A radar monitored visual approach was carried out to Runway 26L, where the aircraft landed uneventfully at 13:38 hours. After landing it was observed that most of the fin tip cap was missing.

The crew filed a company Air Safety Report and transferred across to another aircraft to operate the flight, which finally departed for Lagos at 16:51 hours.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


1. AAIB:
2. CAA:

History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft
24 June 1982 G-BDXH British Airways 0 240 km SE of Jakarta sub


British Airways Boeing 747-236B G-BDXH at London Heathrow on 23 January 1982 BA 747-200 G-BDXN at LHR (16748337441)

Revision history:

13-Jun-2016 12:24 Dr.John Smith Added
01-Jul-2017 14:47 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Location]
27-Jan-2021 19:34 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Accident report]

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