DETAILS have emerged of a potentially serious incident that occurred over Richmond's skies two years ago.

In April 2004, a Boeing 747 cargo plane was forced to make an emergency landing at Heathrow after one of its engines failed, a report issued at the latest Heathrow Airport Advisory Committee (HACC) revealed.

The document also disclosed that the jumbo jet's three additional engines failed to give full power, and that at one point the plane's captain radioed Heathrow's air traffic control and said: "We're just not sure we're going to get enough power to land".

After no cause was found for the engine failure, the aircraft was allowed to fly out the next day, said the report.

Richmond upon Thames Council's HACC representative, Councillor Rodney Bennett, said: "The most worrying aspect is that the aircraft flew in this dangerous condition and with nearly full fuel tanks over a large swathe of densely populated London including Richmond.

"Apparently it was not equipped with the necessary charts of navigation equipment normally needed for Heathrow and the captain had to make a visual landing.

"Luckily it was a clear day had there been any significant cloud cover this landing would have been almost impossible to achieve safely.

"This was clearly an occasion where luck was on the right side and a major disaster narrowly avoided.

"Both the aircraft captain, crew and air traffic control behaved properly and in accord with procedures once the emergency had been declared."

Cllr Bennett said he has never seen HACC so concerned and said it will be sending a letter to the Civil Aviation Authority.

A full enquiry into the incident is now under way.