6 Sep 2008

Air NZ adopts new procedures following Boeing warning

3:32 pm on 6 September 2008

Air New Zealand says new operating procedures for Boeing 777s will be introduced immediately.

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing released the new procedures after an investigation into a British Airways Boeing 777 crash at Heathrow Airport, which found it was probably caused by ice in the jet's fuel system.

Air New Zealand's general manager of airline operations, Captain David Morgan, says the new operational and maintenance requirements will become standard procedure.

The requirements only apply to Boeing 777 aircraft fitted with Rolls Royce Trent 800 engines, of which Air New Zealand owns eight.

One passenger was seriously injured in the British Airways accident in January, when the plane landed 305 metres short of its intended runway.

Boeing recommended all 11 airlines globally that have 777s with the Rolls Royce engines take steps designed to minimize chances of ice buildup.

More than 220 planes are included in the Boeing advisory.

The primary recommendation is for pilots to increase engine thrust periodically when fuel temperatures drop below a certain level to force out any accumulated ice.