Rudder of Crashed BA Boeing 777 G-YMMM Seen at Cotswold Airport

Boeing-777-G-YMMM-tail (Image: Mark Winterbourne, cc-nc-nd-4.0)

On 17 January 2008 the British Airways Boeing 777 registered G-YMMM became the first of its kind to be written-off in a crash. Fortunately nobody was killed in the incident at London’s Heathrow Airport. But since that time several other Boeing 777s, including two tragic Malaysia Airlines jets, have been lost.

Photographer Mark Winterbourne captured this image at Cotswold Airport, Kemble, in 2009. The photograph depicts what is understood to be G-YMMM’s rudder, stacked amid boxes and bins in one of the Gloucestershire airfield’s storage hangars.

Crash of Boeing 777 ‘G-YMMM’

Boeing-777-G-YMMM (Image: Nick Warner, cc-nc-sa-4.0)

G-YMMM, which was using the British Airways call-sign Speedbird 038, was inbound from Beijing to London Heathrow when the accident occurred. When a build-up of ice crystals in the fuel tanks restricted fuel flow the engines, the aircraft failed to generate enough thrust to keep its airspeed high enough. Just 1,000 feet short of the tarmac, the 150-tonne 777 slammed into the grass near the threshold of Runway 27 Left.

Following the incident, the wrecked aircraft was moved outside Heathrow’s BA maintenance hangars for storage. There it remained with British Airways markings removed until scrapping of the near-anonymous hulk commenced in early 2009.

G-YMMM-stored-heathrow (Image: Google Earth)

The flight deck, meanwhile, is understood to have been reused as a 777 aircrew simulator. It’s unknown, however, whether this rudder section, or any other part of G-YMMM, survived recycling.

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