A British Airways Boeing 747-400 has had to return to Heathrow after the crew were unable to retract the landing gear .
The 747, registered G-CIVN, was performing flight BA-65 from London Heathrow, EN (UK) to Nairobi (Kenya), was climbing out of Heathrow’s runway 27L when the crew stopped the climb at 6500 feet due to being unable to retract the landing gear. After working the checklists the crew decided to return to Heathrow, climbed the aircraft to FL080 to dump fuel over the British Channel and returned to Heathrow for a safe landing on runway 27L about 100 minutes after departure. Emergency services reported a leak at the right body gear.
Several witnesses on the ground reported they observed the aircraft with all (nose, main, body) gear down while climbing out of Heathrow and entering a holding pattern.
The airline reported the aircraft returned to Heathrow for a normal landing.
The flight could not continue as the landing gear creates a lot of drag when lowered. The flight would not have been able to fly as fast using the same power as planned, they would have also had to fly at a lower level as well. This reduces the efficiency of the flight, and means the flight would have used more fuel than planned for.
A replacement Boeing 747-400 registration G-CIVL is estimated to reach Nairobi with a delay of 6:45 hours.