The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said the British Airways jet was forced to ditch after it lost power because of an engine fuel-flow blockage. The pilots managed to bring the arriving plane carrying 152 passengers down safely just short of the runway.
Captain Peter Burkill and co-pilot John Coward were hailed as heroes for narrowly averting a catastrophe. Just 34 passengers and 12 cabin crew suffered minor injuries in the January 2008 crash.
The AAIB said it was probable the fuel restriction to both engines was caused by a build-up of ice in the fuel system. The problem, described as unique, occurred after “sticky” ice crystals formed from water dissolved within the fuel.
The AIB has made 18 safety recommendations as a result.