Whoa: Emirates A380 Lands With Huge Hole In Fuselage

Whoa: Emirates A380 Lands With Huge Hole In Fuselage

36

Goodness gracious — The Aviation Herald reports on something that looks scarier than it presumably was (or else I image the plane wouldn’t have flown for so long).

Emirates A380 lands in Brisbane with damage

This incident occurred on the Friday, July 1, 2022, Emirates flight EK430 from Dubai (DXB) to Brisbane (BNE). The 7,442-mile flight was operated by a roughly three year old Airbus A380 with the registration code A6-EVK.

The plane departed from runway 30L at Dubai Airport, and the 13hr34min flight was mostly uneventful, at least as far as we know. The plane initially climbed to 31,000 feet, and as it burned off more fuel, it eventually climbed to 39,000 feet. On approach to Brisbane, the crew advised air traffic controllers that they thought a tire had been blown on takeoff, so they requested emergency services to be on standby.

The plane landed on runway 19R at Brisbane Airport, and was towed to the apron. It was then determined that there was a huge hole in the left side of the fuselage, just underneath the passenger windows and behind the wing. Seriously, that’s a massive hole — just compare it to the size of the cabin windows for scale.

Major damage to an Emirates A380

There was also a missing bolt and cap on the nose gear, though an investigation needs to be performed before we know to what extent these two things are linked.

Emirates A380 with missing bolt and cap on nose gear

As you’d expect, the return flight to Dubai was canceled, and the plane is still on the ground in Brisbane. Fortunately no one was injured, and passengers (and probably even the crew) had no clue what the plane looked like from the outside until they were safely on the ground.

What happened to this Emirates A380?!

It seems fairly certain that something happened either during takeoff or just after takeoff, that may have ultimately lead to this. As mentioned above, even the pilots allegedly suspected that a tire had been blown on takeoff. That’s not to say the hole was in the fuselage for the entire flight, though it might have been.

One commenter at The Aviation Herald writes the following (I haven’t been able to verify if this is true, but I think it’s still worth passing on, as it sounds believable):

I was on this flight sitting approx 10 rows in front of the hole on left side window. Around 30-45 mins after takeoff we heard a loud bang, I turned to my wife and said that whatever it was it would be stressing the pilots. Definitely didn’t sound like normal turbulence. The rest of the flight was fine, no funny noises that I could hear. Before we landed they told us we had to land on a different runway and get an engineer to inspect the plane for a suspected landing gear problem. Landing felt really smooth. Then with the engine powered down we had to be towed. So surprised to see a hole in the side now!! Thankful it wasn’t any worse.

On the surface, the thought of flying 13+ hours with a large hole in the fuselage sounds terrifying. For that matter, you’d think it would have caused a huge amount of noise if it were there for most of the flight, but there are no reports of that.

We’ll have to wait for a full investigation before we can determine who was at fault, if the pilots followed procedures correctly, etc.

I’d have to imagine that if the pilots thought there was a hole in the fuselage they would have diverted immediately. Meanwhile if they just thought that a tire had blown on takeoff, then there’s not much benefit to returning to Dubai, since a ton of fuel would have had to be dumped, and a blown tire doesn’t pose any risk during the flight.

At the end of the day this is a just a testament to how well planes are built — the fact that the world’s biggest jet can land with a huge hole in the fuselage without anything serious happening is pretty amazing.

Bottom line

An Emirates Airbus A380 landed in Brisbane with a huge hole in the fuselage. As of now details of how this happened are quite limited, but I’m sure an investigation will reveal more details into what the root cause was, if pilots followed procedures, etc. Thank goodness this didn’t have a different ending.

What do you make of this Emirates A380 incident?

Conversations (36)
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  1. Glenn Brink Guest

    it’s very possible that that bolt from nose landing gear could have torn into fuselage causing that whole in side !

  2. John Rolfe Guest

    There was little doubt an event took place shortly after take off. It was significant and should have forced return simply out of an abundance of caution. Continuing on that much of a long haul was simply irresponsible. Don't forget, we're dealing with the unknown and another 12 hours to destination.

  3. wasim Guest

    joe,
    joe who?
    .....'smiles'....
    'inhales.........'
    joe mama

  4. Adel Mussa Guest

    i think it looks scary and a serious, could have been worse, i m not sure pilots did the right thing, they should have returned to DXB immediately when they heard the loud bang to investigate.

  5. Michael Guest

    Mindblowing with the technology we have today that there is no way for the pilot to figure out if it is a blown wheel or something else - like here.

  6. San Guest

    I can confirm that the passenger comment you have shared is accurate. The noise was indeed loud and unusual. We were only told on arriving in BNE that there was problem with the landing gear and there was no danger. No other communication during the flight about this issue that I am aware of.

  7. Fábio Conceição Guest

    The title of this post is completely wrong! That’s not the fuselage but a fairing! Fuselage is a primary structure and a Fairing is a secondary structure and its main function is to reduce drag!

  8. Brianair Guest

    Does Emirates have faulty training or maintenance practices or something? Seems like this kind of incident has happened with them quite a few times in recent memory.

  9. Ken Guest

    The hole is NOT in the fuselage, so no initial danger. It’s a hole in a fairing. There wouldn’t be any initial danger either, if the whole fairing would fall off, as long as the actual fuselage is intact.
    So dear journalist, if you don’t know what is what, then fact check, before turning a “feather into a chicken”. You are scaring other people, who doesn’t know how an aircraft is build.
    Yes,...

    The hole is NOT in the fuselage, so no initial danger. It’s a hole in a fairing. There wouldn’t be any initial danger either, if the whole fairing would fall off, as long as the actual fuselage is intact.
    So dear journalist, if you don’t know what is what, then fact check, before turning a “feather into a chicken”. You are scaring other people, who doesn’t know how an aircraft is build.
    Yes, we don’t know what it looks like behind the hole, but initially it’s “just” the fairing, not the fuselage

    1. Skdxb Member

      This is a very sensible comment and really well appreciated.
      Thanks a lot Ken!

    2. Chris Guest

      Disagree with your analysis and criticisms Ken. A hole in the fairing is/could be a big deal. Disappointed in the crew for not being more diligent before proceeding on course. But what do I know..49 years flying and 35 years at the airlines.

    3. Bols59 New Member

      Dear Ken,
      There was a HOLE in the AIRPLANE. Get it? It wasn't designed to have that hole. It wasn't SAFE to fly with that hole. So please, I for one am umimpressed by your attempt to out-alpha somebody who is reporting on this incident.
      This isn't a sandbox; either get along and learn how to behave in a civilised forum, or go away and keep score somewhere else.

  10. Michael Guest

    Sounds like the initial” bang wasn’t taken too seriously. Would have hoped an airport diversion and emergency fuel. dump might have helped

    1. Adel Mussa Guest

      i thought this was the right thing to do

  11. flying100 Member

    Plane is already flying https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/a6-evk

  12. Milo Panaligan Guest

    It seems the nose landing gear bolt cause the damaged during takeoff and landing gears doors were open,the aircraft is tilted during takeoff and it enters the wheelwell,

  13. ConcordeBoy Diamond

    "and a blown tire doesn’t pose any risk during the flight."

    Wait, what??

    You realize that several aircraft have been brought down by such, most notably Mexicana 940.

    Could sorta say Concorde as well.

    1. John Guest

      @ConcordeBaby

      Breathe.....relax....no need to get huffy and puffy with fellow contributors every time.
      We have a word for attention-seeking girls like you who feel the need to always rush in with something 'smart' to say (in the vain hope of impressing the adults in the room) - you are a 'sloot'.

  14. Carl Martin Guest

    Missing NLG bolts, blown main body gear tyre causing tertiary structure damage only seen after landing but directly besides the central fuel tank. The volume of nitrogen under around 220 psi pressure exploding at 30 minutes into the flight at a stage of the aircraft being fully pressurised at 31,000 feet. Not knowing if any other tyres were damaged during the exploding tyre, I find astounding this was not a diversion back to Dubai to...

    Missing NLG bolts, blown main body gear tyre causing tertiary structure damage only seen after landing but directly besides the central fuel tank. The volume of nitrogen under around 220 psi pressure exploding at 30 minutes into the flight at a stage of the aircraft being fully pressurised at 31,000 feet. Not knowing if any other tyres were damaged during the exploding tyre, I find astounding this was not a diversion back to Dubai to check airworthiness condition of this A380-800.
    Crew would have ECAM data and known this was a blown tyre for 13 hour of the 13:45 hr flight, cruising at 560 MPH / -57 degrees, with possibilities of turbulent air, not understanding any damage extent. What messages were made to Emirates flight/technical operations and results given (probably monitor fuel quantity, cabin pressure and vibration.) Was ATC advised to perform a runway FOD sweep to protect other departing aircraft as it transpires a large NLG bolts missing - was this found?
    So many assumptions of the aircraft condition by crew / Emirates ops (if they were made aware) without full understanding of the damage. This was reckless by the crew/operator.
    Will look closely into this and the Directors General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) conclusion’s.

    1. Douglas Guest

      Wrong. There is no benefit to quickly landing with a blown tyre. It would be detrimental to land so heavy rather than continue to burn off all the fuel enroute (14hrs) and land at standard weights.

      You can only dump a portion of the excess fuel, so they’d be landing well over max landing weight on a possible damaged gear. Bad idea.

      Any further damage, beyond a tyre, requiring immediate return would have...

      Wrong. There is no benefit to quickly landing with a blown tyre. It would be detrimental to land so heavy rather than continue to burn off all the fuel enroute (14hrs) and land at standard weights.

      You can only dump a portion of the excess fuel, so they’d be landing well over max landing weight on a possible damaged gear. Bad idea.

      Any further damage, beyond a tyre, requiring immediate return would have flagged up.

      If you don’t know anything, best not to comment with these misplaced allegations. Let me guess, cabin crew? Flight sim enthusiast?

  15. Phil Guest

    Please correct the spelling errors. It devalues the article.

    Also no mention of the similar Quantas hole a few years ago...

    1. SpellingNazi Guest

      Haha, I see what you did there….

  16. Emily Guest

    The hole is not on the fuselage but on one of the fairing panels adjoining the fuselage to the wing. This is why there was no further calamity, such as a catastrophic depressurisation.

    Interestingly, in my childhood I recall being on a BA flight from the UK to JFK where the fuselage contained a microscopic hole leading to the continuous but small loss in cabin air. A passenger located this hole due to a whistling...

    The hole is not on the fuselage but on one of the fairing panels adjoining the fuselage to the wing. This is why there was no further calamity, such as a catastrophic depressurisation.

    Interestingly, in my childhood I recall being on a BA flight from the UK to JFK where the fuselage contained a microscopic hole leading to the continuous but small loss in cabin air. A passenger located this hole due to a whistling noise near their seat. We landed safely in JFK but it was surprising that such a problem was not detected earlier. BA acknowledged that this could have resulted in a major calamity.

  17. Mark Radell Guest

    It's hard to believe that I didn't hear a lot of turbulent noise from the hole in the woods there for the whole flight. While obviously it didn't cause any significant structural issues to the aircraft it's still a very scary experience and because of the other problems in the airline has been having with this type of aircraft recently it looks like it could be a major issue for the type!

  18. Doug DeNunzio Guest

    Let’s see if the plane can be returned to service in a couple of days after this whole thing happened with the plane.

  19. Mark Ozanne Guest

    Possible main tire explosion. The question is why? FOD? Overheated tire?

  20. Susan Guest

    No clue what this was, but hopefully, they’ll release further info. I got an almost identical announcement on a JNB-LHR BA flight after cockpit crew called “senior cabin crew” to the cockpit shortly before landing in early June, though in that case, they blamed it on hydraulics. Cabin crew spent a lot of extra time making sure things were properly secured before our fortunately uneventful landing (there was a little more piece of mind provided...

    No clue what this was, but hopefully, they’ll release further info. I got an almost identical announcement on a JNB-LHR BA flight after cockpit crew called “senior cabin crew” to the cockpit shortly before landing in early June, though in that case, they blamed it on hydraulics. Cabin crew spent a lot of extra time making sure things were properly secured before our fortunately uneventful landing (there was a little more piece of mind provided by new shoulder strap in Club Suite in the event of a potential issue), but we did have to detour for engineering inspection, followed by a tow to the gate after landing. They never did tell us exactly what the problem was and I never got a good look at the plane, but there’s probably an event report somewhere.

  21. Ibrahim Gad Guest

    It could be a little rock passing through atmosphere headng to earth and, randomly hit that part of the fuselage, although i see an outward tear on the hole. May be. A legendary A380. Thanks to God for safe arrival of all.

  22. DENDAVE New Member

    Do you mean burned off more fuel, not turned off?

    Interesting that the photo makes it look like something came out of the plane (the way the metal appears to be bent) vs. struck it from the outside.

  23. Ed Kagingin Guest

    The damage is not actually on the fuselage, luckily it is on the wing-to-body fairing assembly, otherwise there would be a sudden loss of cabin pressure felt by the passengers and warning indication to the cockpit crew

  24. Robert Guest

    The direction of the damage doesn't make sense. The metal looks torn from back to front, wouldn't the air at cruising speed have pushed the turn pieces backward?

    The nose gear issue seems equally or more concerning, clearly a maintenance error...

    1. Todd Guest

      My guess is it's an optical illusion. I believe what looks to be metal bent forward is some kind of material under the aluminum skin.

      I don't see how light aluminum skin would still be bent forward after a flight.

  25. H-T Member

    Boy, am i glad i dont fly this airline

    1. Niko Guest

      Always that one mf who flies Spirit/Ryanair with these comments xD

  26. Matt Guest

    It looks like this hole is just in an aerodynamic fairing part of the airplane. Not the actual fuselage.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Matt Guest

It looks like this hole is just in an aerodynamic fairing part of the airplane. Not the actual fuselage.

6
Ken Guest

The hole is NOT in the fuselage, so no initial danger. It’s a hole in a fairing. There wouldn’t be any initial danger either, if the whole fairing would fall off, as long as the actual fuselage is intact. So dear journalist, if you don’t know what is what, then fact check, before turning a “feather into a chicken”. You are scaring other people, who doesn’t know how an aircraft is build. Yes, we don’t know what it looks like behind the hole, but initially it’s “just” the fairing, not the fuselage

5
Ed Kagingin Guest

The damage is not actually on the fuselage, luckily it is on the wing-to-body fairing assembly, otherwise there would be a sudden loss of cabin pressure felt by the passengers and warning indication to the cockpit crew

4
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