BRITISH Airways faces a bill of “millions of pounds” after a ‘complete power outage’ hit its flight training and engineering base – sending water gushing across a hangar.
Videos and photos leaked to The Sun showed the chaos across four days as a bid to switch energy back on set off water cannons in the vast aircraft hubs.
Jets of water cascaded dangerously near jumbo jets awaiting testing and repairs at Heathrow airport.
A total of 14 flight simulators powered down and pilots in training and preparation for the cockpit were forced to abort the building.
Emergency batteries for lights and fire alarms ran out and BA was forced to find generators as scores of engineers were sent home.
Airline bosses wrote to all engineering and maintenance staff amid the chaos in Technical Block A at Heathrow.
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The skilled workforce was told: “TBA is experiencing a complete power outage.
"This has impacted multiple systems including fire detection and suppression.
“Should anyone believe they require access they must first discuss with their Line Manager to determine if access is absolutely necessary.
"If it is agreed access is required, the safe means of access to be used to mitigate the risk of injury or damage to property must then be agreed.
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“High voltage specialist engineers are onsite trying to locate the root cause and contingency plans being developed to support the aircraft maintenance lines.”
The Sun understands that BA lost all power to four hangars, their flight simulators which they also rent out to other carriers at vast expense, and engineering stores, on Sunday.
Attempting to switch the power back on Monday ‘tripped’ bases nearby including the Heathrow hub at Hatton Cross.
Another attempt to power the base led to water cannons being engaged, soaking the hangar in the process.
At least two aircraft were stuck and now face being delayed before returning to service.
Emergency batteries for the lights ran out plunging the area into darkness. Back-ups for the fire alarms also ran out, and the aircon was faulty as the problems continued today.
Yesterday BA thought it had fixed the issue – but the power went down again, leaving a partial wipeout. Computers, phone lines, the flight simulators and heating were all off.
Maintenance staff changed a transformer and electrical components on the roof of the building – but the downpours meant the fix was deemed unsafe.
Late yesterday, three of the four hangars had full power and the clean-up could begin.
The best bet was a full resolution – with the flight simulators back up and running – this afternoon.
A fuse box was also blown and sparked a flood last week as well as immobilising two security gates.
An insider said: "It has been a costly nightmare for BA. Attempts to rectify the problem have been unsuccessful. The longer the problem goes on, the bigger the issue with more knock-on effects. It’s a huge worry."
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BA told The Sun the power supply issue affected part of a maintenance and training base. And two aircraft remained in hangars without power.
British Airways told The Sun: "Our standard contingency measures kicked in after a local power supply issue left an area of one of our maintenance bases temporarily without power."
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