|Jumbo's Nose Dive Highlights Further Heathrow Dangers|
Aircraft instruments "instructed" El Al pilot to land in West London
Aircraft noise became a secondary concern for locals this week when it was reported that a 747 Jumbo took a nose dive over West London on its approach to Heathrow.
The pilot of the El Al jet is said to have ignored autopilot landing instructions when he realised they had veered off course causing the plane to dive to 1,200ft (366m) rather than the normal 2,300ft (701m).
Although Air Accidents Investigation Branch said the incident posed minimal risk, their enquires revealed no fault, either on the aircraft or in the ground equipment, to explain the incident.
Campaigners opposed to the level of air traffic using Heathrow and the suspension of runway alternation say the incident highlights the dangers of more planes using the airport.
HACAN's John Stewart said "The instruments were telling the plane not to land at Heathrow but to land in West London. If the pilot had followed those directions there would have been a major tragedy. Thankfully he took matters into his own hands and averted that tragedy."
Taking into consideration that currently all incoming airplanes leave Heathrow's double stacking system directly above Chiswick, this is a real concern for residents.
This latest incident only adds to the blight of some residents who have been forced to suffer the continuous drone of aircraft noise created by the suspension of Heathrow's runway alternation. One resident, who lives in Grantham Road, said "The noise is continuous. I work from home and have keep all my windows closed all day because of the constant stream of planes overhead."
Council officials have slammed BAA for subjecting local residents to ongoing noise disturbance whilst construction work on the northern runway is carried out however, there is no current end in sight. The Council is encouraging people affected by this work to ring the BAA noise complaints hotline on 0800 344 844 or contact the council directly on 020 8583 5230.
September 29, 2006