British Airways pilot wrongly activates emergency slide seconds before take-off in ‘£50,000’ blunder at Heathrow

7 February 2024, 09:40

A BA plane at Heathrow (file image)
A BA plane at Heathrow (file image). Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

A British airways pilot mistakenly activated a plane’s emergency slide seconds before take-off in an error that cost the airline £50,000.

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The flight to Romania from Heathrow on Saturday was delayed for several hours, the Sun reports.

Passengers were awaiting take-off, strapped into their seats, when the slide was activated, delaying the plane.They had to wait for several hours until another flight with a different pilot could be found.

Firefighters surrounded Gate 24E where flight BA886 was due to leave for Romania shortly before 10am.

The pilot failed to disarm the plane door when he opened it to pass documents to ground crew. Had he done so, the emergency slide would not have deployed, the Sun reported.

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A source said: “The captain of all people would have known the safety rules around opening doors.

“This is beyond a rookie error. It’s totally baffling to understand.”

The rescheduled flight eventually left at 1.15pm, more than three hours after the advertised time.

A BA spokesperson said: "We apologised to customers and arranged a replacement aircraft to ensure they were able to continue their journey."

The spokesperson added that the aircraft returned to service once an engineer certified it as safe to fly.

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