Breaking: Emirates 777 Crash Lands At Dubai Airport

Filed Under: Emirates

News is just breaking of an Emirates 777 that crash landed at Dubai Airport today. The flight, EK521, was operating from Thiruvananthapuram, India, to Dubai, and crash landed at around 12:45PM local time (less than an hour ago).

Here’s a picture of the plane after it crash landed:

Here’s video footage of the plane on fire.

So far Emirates has only confirmed that an “incident” has occurred, though hasn’t publicly said anything else. They have changed their social media profile logos to gray, as airlines often do following tragedies.

Gulf News is reporting that supposedly all passengers have been “escorted to safety,” though I wouldn’t necessarily assume that to be fact until the airline and airport authorities confirm that as well.

If nothing else, I suspect this plane won’t be flying anytime soon, and that this will have a significant impact on operations at Dubai Airport over the coming days, given that a runway will presumably stay closed as the investigation occurs, and as the plane and debris are removed.

Here’s to hoping everyone onboard is okay.

  1. My favourite Airline, My favourite aircraft, crashes on my Birthday… What a present. Sending well wishes to all involved

  2. Following NOTAMs are published:
    A1155/16 NOTAMN
    Q) OMAE/QFALC/IV/NBO/A/000/999/2515N05522E005
    A) OMDB B) 1608031000 C) 1608031200
    E) AD CLSD.

    A1154/16 NOTAMN
    Q) OMAE/QMRLC/IV/NBO/A/000/999/2515N05522E005
    A) OMDB B) 1608091100 C) 1608101400
    D) DLY BTN 1100-1400
    E) RWY 12R/30L CLSD.

    So to sum up: airport closed for 2 hrs, and RWY 12R/31L closed for 4 hrs (but I suspect that one might be replaced with a NOTAM extending the closed time.

    Hope everybody is OK.

  3. Why was my post about the published NOTAMs related to the airport and runway closure deleted? NOTAM is indicating 2 hrs closure of AD and 4 hrs closure of the one runway the indicent occured.

    Hope everybody is OK.

  4. Does sound a lot like OZ 214 … in other words inexperienced pilots operating heavy aircraft. I’ll reserve judgement on this until more facts are known, but foreign governments are going to have to figure out the processes by which somebody can come to pilot an aircraft with 300+ people on board with so little experience. I know not everybody has the USAF as a government sponsored aeronautical training plan, but these guys driving 777s and even 380s would have a hard time getting a job flying mainline aircraft at all in the US. Experience matters!

  5. “If nothing else, I suspect this plane won’t be flying anytime soon”

    Well – it appears to be missing the roof of the plane in the twitter picture above – so i think that is a safe statement…

  6. @ O:
    you probably included a link in your post. Comments containing liks usually only post after being reviewed. It will probably (re-)appear later on…

  7. Looks like the landing gear was either not down, or has been ripped off. A belly landing would tally quite well with supposedly no casualties and the damage we can see on the pictures.

  8. Didn’t Emirates have an emergency landing a week or so ago with smoke in a 777?

    Cause for concern with them about maintenance issues?

  9. @Apu

    You have some inside information? I doubt that the airline being 7th safest in the world has poor maintenace

  10. @Richard Anderson: some pretty bold and wild assumptions by you there? You say “I’ll reserve judgement on this until more facts are known” but then you go on to make some pretty big judgements! How do you know that there wasn’t a landing gear issue or some other major issue? How do you know that the pilots were not experienced? Maybe in this case, these pilots did a fantastic job and in fact saved 300 lives through their experience and expertise. I could be wrong, but I could also be right, and I will reserve judgement for now due to the lack of information. Emirates is one of the top 5 airlines in the world and attracts some of the best pilots from around the world. The US airlines don’t make the top 50 in the world. Don’t be so quick to judge, and in fact, don’t be arrogant by intimating that if you are not a “US” pilot, you are not up to scratch to fly a 777 or A380. The US is no longer at the top anymore, get over it.

  11. Unfortunately one fatality has now been confirmed – a firefighter is dead after responding to the accident. His identity has not yet been released.

    Of the passengers, about a dozen were treated for smoke inhalation at hospital and released. One passenger has been admitted as inpatient for further treatment.

  12. @ John:
    I may be wrong, but to me it seems as if someone tried to make a (pretty tasteless) “joke” by faking to be Richard Anderson (former Delta CEO)…

  13. At first I was thinking it might’ve been pilot error but then thinking more into it, even if the plan had crash landed because the landing gear failed or someone forgot to deploy the landing gear, how did the roof catch fire, I mean even if it was due to Fuel the fuel tanks ( wings and central ) are well insulated and won’t they catch fire first?

  14. @John

    What you wrote is far from reality and just PR fluff. Not many pilots are joining EK because they are so overworked. MX is done at the cheapest facility. Regulators protect pilots (union and non-union) by monitoring airlines, ie., make sure they are not working beyond limits.

    All these are rumored for quite some time. Nothing new, but passengers like EK product and service.

  15. You can have safe flying or luxurious flying, but not both.

    From another forum, this is the kind of thing that happens when pilots from other cultures are afraid to “hand fly any approach, even in perfect weather.”

    They are trained to avoid hand flying at all costs, and if Autopilot cannot be used they routinely insist on a go around (where US/Britsh carriers routinely hand fly the aircraft to an ultra smooth landing) .

    Carriers in the UAE and other parts of the world recruit their pilots with a generous yearly, tax free, compensation via contract. In a simulator check, if the pilots are asked to hand fly, there are numerous reports that they refuse, demand the instructor shuts off the simulstor, and walk off the traning. Then, the pilots get called back in, with the airline pleading with them to complete the test with a “new instructor”.

    Once they do get hired, Emirates & FlyDubai use data logger deviced to try to catch their pilots making mistakes. A pilot gets large pay deductions (a months salary maybe!) without any recourse, if they turn off automation and make ‘any deviation’. They are fined on trivial items that happen when hand flying an approach: being at 1960 or 2040 feet for a few seconds longer than an autopilot that gets you to exactly 2000.00 feet, etc.

    A pilot that we became friends with affirmed his frustration with the above process. He started his onboarding/training at South African Airways with a group of 300 pilots. The simulator trainings were going great, and they were told the next day would be hand flying testing. Suddenly, the next day, there were only 20 pilots remaining in the program.

  16. @Tim,
    Just because that’s the case in South African doesn’t really mean that’s the case everywhere else in the world apart from the US/UK.

  17. @Chandan

    My post should have been clearer–the takeaway is those automation dependent pilots applying for SAA never got hired. They were afraid of hand flying, and went on to get jobs somewhere else (many in the UAE where hand flying became optional if the pilots balked on the exam).

    From his first hand report, it sounded like SAA was much safer than the UAE carriers. He was allowed to hand fly at will, and did so on at least 1/4 of his flights. He took me on a ride-along in the cockpit, and I jokingly asked to see the MEL log. He told me that in two years of flying he had seen at most 2-3 MEL items per YEAR with SAA. I couldn’t believe him and he had a couple others back him up. He said safety and maintenance was taken more seriously here than anywhere he had heard of.

    Compare that to North American carriers, who like to stretch out MEL items for close to as many cycles legally, and get them to their preferred maintenance stations, allowed before reparing them. I don’t have a 737 MEL list, but I believe you can run without fuel gauges (look up Air Canada Gimli Glider to see how THAT worked out for them), without a functional APU (also some other crashes have occurred as a result), without one of the hydraulic systems, without one of two Cabin Air handlers, etc.

    Also, here is another good indicator of safety: In the US you need 1500 minimum flying hours in order to even become a copilot (and that’s for a regional carrier). The major airlines typically won’t hire without 3000-5000 hours. BUT if you move to the UAE or China, you can get that job with 500 hours of flying.

    Incredible that people paying $8k on a first class ticket might get a copilot with only 500 hours (12 x 40hr weeks) of flying, with much of that time on single engine cessnas.

    Of course the UAE carriers are still better than the Chines. In China, the copilots are apprentices. They are hired without flight experience,cannot understand or speak English, and are simply in the seats to assist the pilots with their workload, emptying their ashtrays, etc.

  18. Glad that all pax/crew escaped unhurt though there was a loss of life outside the aircraft. Looking at the plane it could have been worse.

    Hats off to the crew of EK521 for evacuating 282 pax in 90secs that too with only the left side of the aircrafts exits being open since the right side engine was detached on landing and exits probably blocked.

    Amazing stuff!Emirates no wonder the worlds largest airline and now proving efficient and best in disaster management as well.

  19. Without casting blame prematurely….was it not on this forum several weeks ago that the
    Discussions were about the perception of EK Pilots being pushed to the limit in hours flown ???
    Glad to see that the cabin crew delivered on their superior performance in this emergency.

  20. Is it me or have there been a larger number of incidents like this involving the 777 than other modern aircraft, considering how few of them are in use?

  21. @tim,
    I think you are mistaken here,
    The Gimli Glider didn’t crash because there was a mistake with the fuel gauge, rather it crashed due to a conversion mistake (pounds to kgs)

  22. Oh I am on the same road where someone else lost his life. Does that mean I am going to.

    Moreover all the passengers despite pondering on their belongings made it alive. Unfortunate for the Hero fire fighter who lost his life trying to contain the fire.

    It is a real shame people want to blame someone, after all does it help anyone.

    Loose tongue & a loser Indian Politician Shashi Tharoor also had a very funny opinion of his own

  23. I’m appalled at some of the ignorant comments about this crash. I entirely concur with the respondent who said that none of us is remotely aware of the cause at this early juncture, in which case let those clearly stupid/opportunist creatures stop their ‘assertions’. Wait until the experts come up with FACTS.

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