Rocky new year for CitiExpress Avro RJ100s

British Airways CitiExpress‘ Avro RJ100s have had a rocky transition to the new year. On 29 December, RJ100 G-BXAR (msn E3298) got stuck in the mud at Birmingham while undertaking high power engine runs, sustaining damage to the lower fuselage in the process. The hapless aircraft was further damaged on the following day, when one of the vehicle aiding in her extrication struck her, damaging the elevator. Then on 11 January, RJ100 G-BZAU (msn E3328) was evacuated on the runway at Edinburgh following a suspected engine fire. She had been preparing to depart on flight BA8703 to London City when passengers reported seeing flames shooting out of an engine. As a precaution, the captain shut off the engines and evacuated the passengers. The incident inspired the usual apocalyptic media headlines (“Terrified passengers flee burning plane!”) but no problems were found in a subsequent inspection, and the aircraft was returned to service.

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