A British Airways flight to nowhere circled in the air for 4 hours after its weather monitoring system collapsed

A British Airways flight to nowhere circled in the air for 4 hours after its weather monitoring system collapsed
  • A British Airways plane went on a "flight to nowhere" after experiencing a problem.

  • After flying in circles for four hours to burn fuel, the plane landed back in Singapore.

  • The delay had a knock-on impact on British Airways, leading to a flight from London to LA being canceled.

An already delayed British Airways plane that took off from Singapore landed back at the same airport five hours later after a technical fault forced it to turn back.

The plane, which was set to fly from Singapore Changi to London Heathrow on Tuesday as flight BA12, flew partway over Malaysia before turning back only about half an hour after takeoff, data from flight-tracking site FlightAware shows.

The aircraft, an Airbus 380, flew in circles over the Singapore Strait before landing. It circled for around four hours to burn excess fuel in preparation for its eventual landing.

An image showing the route of British Airways Flight 12, which was forced to return to Singapore over a technical fault.
British Airways Flight 12 circled Singapore for around four hours before landing back where it started.Flightradar24

Aircraft often jettison fuel during emergencies or when they need to land earlier than expected as landing with a full load of fuel is likely to be dangerous due to weight restrictions on landing.

"Planes are designed to land below certain weights," Business Insider previously reported. "A heavier plane is more likely to hit the ground hard and get damaged."

The plane set off at about 3:10 a.m. local time for a planned 14-hour flight and landed back in the city-state at about 8:30 a.m., per FlightAware data.

Passengers had already had to contend with a delay, as the plane was meant to depart at 11:20 p.m. on Monday night.

A Business Insider employee was on the flight and said passengers were initially told before takeoff that the plane's weather radar had failed and returned from the runway to an aircraft stand to fix the problem.

After around an hour, the problem was fixed, and the plane took off. Roughly 30 minutes into the flight, staff announced that the system had failed again and told passengers the plane would need to dump fuel before returning to Singapore.

"We are sorry for the delay to customers' travel plans after the aircraft returned to Singapore Changi Airport as a precaution following a minor technical fault," a spokesperson for British Airways told Business Insider.

"Our teams are working hard to get our customers where they need to be."

The BI employee on the flight said that passengers were provided with accommodation and food upon returning to Singapore, but they didn't have information on which flight they would be transferred to.

"We currently do not have a revised departure time for your flight," British Airways said in an email to passengers at about 9:15 a.m. local time.

The BI employee said a number of passengers had missed their connecting flights from Heathrow.

According to the British Airways app, the airline's next flight from Singapore to London was due to leave at 11:20 p.m. local time on Tuesday but is now not expected to depart until 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Flight cancellations and delays such as that impacting BA12 can cause a snowball effect on airlines, staff, and passengers, leaving crew members and aircraft in the wrong place and disrupting further flights.

In the case of the Singapore to Heathrow flight, the Airbus A380 used was meant to be flying on from London to Los Angeles on Tuesday. However, that flight had to be canceled, as British Airways did not have any other aircraft available.

Read the original article on Business Insider