What on earth happened?
According to initial reports published by the author, Emirates was doing route maintenance of one it’s flagship A380 aircraft when the front wheel completely collapsed. This caused the forward section to get crushed as it hit the ground.
The aircraft, tail number A6-EOP, was undergoing repairs when the incident occurred, causing extensive damage to the front of the aircraft and structural problems to the fuselage. Just by looking at the photos published online, you can see that the aircraft won’t be flying for a significant amount of time.
It is believed that the forward wheel was retracted during maintenance and that the hydraulic jack that normally supports the aircraft was not deployed at the time. If this is, in fact, a human error then that maintenance worker responsible will be feeling very sheepish indeed.
“The aircraft (Built-in 2015) was severely damaged in a maintenance mishap in a hangar. The nose fell off the jack, then crashed on the ground. No injuries were reported. “ – Aviation-Safety.net report.
What will happen from here?
To even to begin assessing the damage, the aircraft will need to be lifted off its nose, the forward wheel arch broken open and essential components completely replaced.
It is likely that this repair job will cost Emirates well over a million dollars.
But it is an absolute miracle that not only was no one underneath the aircraft but that no one was on board when the incident happened. Emirates has been quick to announce no injuries have occurred at their maintenance hangar at Dubai International Airport.
Emirates currently operates a fleet of 112 A380-800s and won’t be wanting in a replacement aircraft (although they could easily hire the Hi Fly A380 if needed as a replacement service), but the loss of such an expensive aircraft would be a blow to the middle eastern carrier’s plans.
However, Emirates has made alternative arrangements to slowly incorporate other aircraft types into their fleet, with the Boeing 777X on order (150 to be exact), 40 Airbus A330-900neos and 30 of the very popular Airbus A350-900s. They have also canceled the remaining options they had on the A380, in part when Airbus canceled production of the type.
What do you think about this incident? Let us know in the comments below.