A transatlantic flight as forced to divert to Shannon Airport this afternoon after the crew reported a technical issue that would prevent them from landing at their destination.
British Airways flight BA-274 left Las Vegas in the US at 4.40am Irish time and was due to land at Londonâs Heathrow Airport at 2.55pm.
At around 12.30 pm however, while the flight was still west of Ireland, the flight crew of the Boeing 747-400 jet contacted to advise them of an issue.
The pilots confirmed they had a âslight technical problemâ that would affect their crosswind landing capability at Heathrow and therefore they would be unable to land there.
It is understood the flight crew reported a possible problem with the jetâs rudder which would have impacted their crosswind landing capability in London where the effects of Storm Brendan were still being felt.
The crew opted to divert and land Shannon as a precaution and have the issue investigated.
A replacement aircraft was flown in to take the passengers onto Heathrow. The flight was also carrying company engineers who were flown in to investigate the problem. The flight landed without issue at 1.21pm.
The flight crew did not declare an emergency and confirmed to controllers that they would not require emergency services to be standing by for they as they expected to make a ânormal landing.â
A British Airways spokesperson confirmed: âThe aircraft diverted to Shannon as a precaution after a minor technical issue. We have sent a replacement aircraft to fly our customers back to Heathrow as soon as possible.
âWe have apologised to our customers for the delay to their journey. The safety of our customers and crew is always our priority.â
The incident jet was expected to remain grounded at Shannon until the issue could be resolved.
One in every 15 cars submitted for the National Car Test last year were found to be dangerously defective and unsafe to be driven on public roads.
Figures published by the Road Safety Authority show over 92,000 vehicles examined at a NCT test centre during 2019 were found to be in an unroadworthy condition.
A total of 92,523 cars were classified as âfail dangerousâ.
They represent 6.6% of almost 1.4 million cars tested at 47 NCT centres nationwide last year.
Although the vast majority subsequently obtained a NCT, a total of 2,791 vehicles were still found to be dangerously defective following a re-test.
According to the RSA, tyres in poor condition and problems with brakes are the main reason why cars are deemed dangerous to drive on public roads.
A RSA spokesperson said the large number of cars being classified as âfail dangerousâ was not surprising.
As a result of the implementation of an EU directive on roadworthiness tests on motor vehicles since 2018, all defects are now classified as either minor, major or dangerous.
âMany motorists are still unaware about the change in classification and there is a need to educate car owners that there are some problems which will have their vehicle deemed unsafe to drive on public roads and that they need to take the issue seriously,â the spokesperson said.
A recent survey by the RSA indicated that 40% of all car owners used the NCT as a diagnostic tool for problems with their vehicles which the RSA claims explains the higher failure rate for the initial test.
âPeople need to stop using the NCT to identify problems with their car. They should be getting it serviced regularly by a mechanic as it is a much more detailed examination. The NCT can never be a substitute for a full service,â said the RSA spokesperson.
Neither the RSA nor Applus, the operator of the NCT, collect information on the number of people who still drive away from NCT centres in an unroadworthy vehicle or who arrange to have their car towed away.
The RSA spokesperson said anyone who continued to drive a vehicle after it was deemed dangerously defective was âirresponsibleâ.
Any motorist whose vehicle is classified as âfail dangerousâ is advised that it is unsafe to be used on the road âunder any circumstancesâ.
A sticker stating âfailed dangerousâ in placed on such vehicles by NCT inspectors at the end of a test.
Any motorist detected driving an unroadworthy vehicle is liable for a fine of up to â¬2,000 and five penalty points and/or a three-month jail term.
The RSA said that gardaÃ were automatically notified via the National Vehicle and Driver File of any vehicle that was overdue its NCT by three months.
Such information is also now available to gardaÃ at roadside checkpoints who are equipped with new hand-held devices for checking on the licensing status of drivers and vehicles stopped.
RSA figures show 50% of all cars which underwent a NCT last year passed the full test â up from 49.1% in 2018.
In addition to the âfail dangerousâ vehicles, over 603,000 other cars also failed the test.
The figures indicate that over 41,500 vehicles which did not pass the full test were not submitted for a re-test.
Cars first registered in 2015, 2013, 2011, 2009 and any older vehicles were due for testing last year.
The RSA confirmed recently that it has required Applus to pilot changes to the testing of a vehicleâs suspension.
It follows a â¬31,000 award by Cork Circuit Civil Court against Applus for failing to spot a faulty suspension in a vehicle, which was subsequently involved in a fatal traffic collision.
A post-collision report found the vehicle to be unroadworthy both at the time of its involvement in a fatal crash near Fota, Co Cork in December 2012 and when it passed the NCT seven months earlier.
The driver of the vehicle, a young Cork woman, Amanda OâFlaherty (26) was killed after it veered suddenly into the path of an oncoming vehicle.