An Emirates A380 superjumbo landed at Brisbane International Airport on Friday evening with a large hole blown into the side of its fuselage in an area close to the left-hand wing known as the root fairing.
Insiders claim the damage may have occurred on takeoff out of Dubai around 13 and a half hours before the aircraft eventually landed in Australia.
The three-year-old A380 took off from Dubai International Airport at 2:30 am on Friday morning but continued on its journey before the pilots allegedly told air traffic control in Brisbane that they had suffered a suspected blown tyre on departure and now required emergency services to meet the plane.
The doubledeck aircraft safely landed in Brisbane but became immobilised on the runway. Emergency services initially discovered a large hole blown into the root fairing, as well as “penetration” on the underside of the fuselage.
In December 2021, an Emirates Boeing 777 with 374 passengers and crew onboard flew low and fast over a densely populated and high-rise area of Dubai before eventually gaining altitude only after it was over the Arabian Gulf.
Initial reports suggested the pilots had attempted to take off with the altitude selector set to zero feet but the Captain claims she spotted this mistake before departure. Accident investigators have backed up the pilot’s account.
Analysts, however, questioned why the aircraft was allowed to continue on its flight to Washington DC rather than returning to Dubai where it could be checked over for damage.
A month later, a second Emirates-operated Boeing 777-300 started to speed down the runway for takeoff without first gaining clearance from air traffic control and just as another plane was crossing the runway.
The aircraft reached 130 ‘knots of indicated airspeed’ before the pilots finally rejected the takeoff. Surprisingly, after taxiing back to a holding point on the airfield, the flight was cleared to depart just 30 minutes later without further incident.
The A380 involved in the latest accident remains on the ground in Brisbane and the return flight to Dubai has been delayed. The roughly three-year-old aircraft (A6-EVK) is painted in a special ‘Museum of the Future’ livery which celebrates a new ring-shaped building on the famous Sheikh Zayed Road in the centre of Dubai.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.