Oops: Emirates A380 Upper Deck Slide Deploys At Manchester Airport

Oops: Emirates A380 Upper Deck Slide Deploys At Manchester Airport

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Unfortunately some Dubai-bound Emirates passengers will have a bit of a delay reaching their destination today…

Emirates A380 upper deck slide deploys at gate

This incident involves Emirates flight EK22, which was scheduled to fly from Manchester (MAN) to Dubai (DXB) at 8:50AM today (Monday, December 19, 2022). The flight was supposed to be operated by a roughly six year old Airbus A380 with the registration code A6-EUN. The plane had just arrived on a redeye from Dubai shortly before 7AM, and was supposed to return to Dubai just under two hours later.

Unfortunately while on the ground, the emergency slide connected to the forward left upper deck door deployed. This happened in spite of the jet bridge being pulled up to this door.

https://twitter.com/JS_Spotting/status/1604790160851345408

Emirates has apologized to passengers for the incident, and claims the flight has been “delayed due to a technical issue.” Emirates will be sending a replacement aircraft to Manchester, which is expected to depart Manchester at 6AM on December 20.

Passengers have been delayed by roughly 21 hours

This A380 will likely be taken out of service for a bit. Not only does it take some time to once again package the slide, but I imagine the plane also has to be inspected for damage. With the jet bridge having been pulled up to the plane, it’s not clear if anything further may have happened beyond that.

What could cause the emergency slide to be deployed?

Slides are on planes for good reason, as they’re intended to make it easy to evacuate in the event of an emergency. In order for an aircraft type to get certified, aircraft manufacturers have to prove that planes can be evacuated within a certain amount of time (for the A380 it has to be within 90 seconds, though I question if that’s actually possible outside of a controlled test).

Suffice it to say that evacuating through an emergency exit on the A380 upper deck would be one of the more dramatic ways to get off a plane.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TitxtXsuUNk

In this case it seems pretty clear that the slide being deployed was an error, given that the plane was at the gate, so there was no emergency slide required.

While I’m sure an investigation will be done, I imagine the most likely scenario is that this was human error. When you fly, odds are that you’ve heard the crew announce “flight attendants, arm doors for departure and cross check,” and “flight attendants, disarm doors for arrival and cross check.”

These announcements involve arming and disarming of doors. When a plane arrives at a gate, all doors are supposed to be disarmed (meaning that a slide won’t deploy if a door is opened). There’s even cross checking, so that at least two flight attendants check each door. Furthermore, there’s also a visual indicator when a door is armed, which should be a further clue.

Even though there are several systems in place to prevent this, sometimes there will still be errors, which seems to be what happened here. Of course it’s also possible that there was some sort of a glitch with disarming the door.

Regardless, I imagine someone will be in big trouble here. Fixing these slides costs tens of thousands of dollars, and that doesn’t even account for the cost of delaying this flight significantly.

Bottom line

An Emirates Airbus A380’s upper deck emergency slide deployed while at the gate at Manchester Airport. That’s despite the fact that a jet bridge was pulled up to this same door. As you’d expect, the flight to Dubai ended up being postponed, and passengers were rebooked roughly 21 hours later.

Odds are that there was some sort of human error involved here, though we’ll have to wait for the results of an investigation to know what really happened.

What do you make of this Emirates A380 incident?

Conversations (13)
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  1. Mary K Guest

    An inadvertent slide deployment can be dangerous especially if it inflates, to those on the jet bridge or surrounding area. Even inside the cabin should it fall inside and deploy. Hopefully that did not happen in this incident.

  2. uldguy Diamond

    It could be human error but I would not discount a malfunction of the disarm mechanism. I saw this first hand on a 747 with my carrier. The door was clearly disarmed, but when opened it quickly became apparent that the slide was still armed. Fortunately the FA at the door saw the slide coming out of the container and stopped the door opening so it did not fully deploy.

  3. bruh Guest

    I am curious. Where was this photo taken? Looks like it was taken at BOS Terminal E.

  4. Dominic Guest

    WHeeEEEeeeeEEEE!!!

  5. Duck Ling Guest

    I am curious to know what the door opening procedure is for Cabin Crew at EK.

    Airlines generally have one of two different procedures:
    1) Crew disarm doors. Cross check. Jetty is attached. Ground staff indicate all is good for crew to open the door. Crew open door.
    2) Crew disarm doors. Cross check. Jetty is attached. Ground staff indicate all is good for door opening. Crew indicate to ground staff they are...

    I am curious to know what the door opening procedure is for Cabin Crew at EK.

    Airlines generally have one of two different procedures:
    1) Crew disarm doors. Cross check. Jetty is attached. Ground staff indicate all is good for crew to open the door. Crew open door.
    2) Crew disarm doors. Cross check. Jetty is attached. Ground staff indicate all is good for door opening. Crew indicate to ground staff they are also ready (usually a thumbs up in the door window). And then the GROUND STAFF crack the door open from the outside.

    The advantage of option '2' is that aircraft doors have a safety mechanism where if it is still in the 'armed' mode and the door is opened from the outside the slide is automatically disarmed. A caterer or ground staff member could be seriously injured or even killed by a slide deploying into a confined space.

    I am assuming by this Emirates incident that crew open the door using option '1' where the crew open the door from the inside.

    1. JB Guest

      In the videos that I've seen of Emirates, they typically do option 1, with the cabin crew opening the doors from the inside.

  6. Rania Guest

    Is such "error" eligiable for European 261 compensation ?
    Beyond that, does 261 still even counts after Brexit ?

    1. Duck Ling Guest

      Yes, EU261 still applies in the UK and yes, this would be an example of where passengers could claim.

  7. Brian G. Member

    For clarification, they're not going to wait for this particular slide to be repackaged. They're going to fly in spare sidle from their parts warehouse and install that. The slide will be shipped to a specialist company for repackaging and placed in EK's parts inventory.

  8. BuiltInYorkshire Guest

    Looking at the angle of the slides from the top deck on that video, it looks like you're going to hit the ground with a fair bit of force?

  9. YoungFlyer New Member

    It would be fun for kids to slide down the slide to get off a flight though, or is it just me?

    1. P B Guest

      It’s just you.
      Emergency slides are scary. Users should jump out onto the slide but many just flop from their standing position, landing on their bum and breaking a bone.
      It’s not fun.

    2. fifi Guest

      As a former FA it is fun, but it does burn the heels of your shoes, and we wore overalls to protect ourselves. So - fun or some ouch burns on skin for those wearing shorts, ladies in pantyhose etc.?

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Brian G. Member

For clarification, they're not going to wait for this particular slide to be repackaged. They're going to fly in spare sidle from their parts warehouse and install that. The slide will be shipped to a specialist company for repackaging and placed in EK's parts inventory.

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Duck Ling Guest

I am curious to know what the door opening procedure is for Cabin Crew at EK. Airlines generally have one of two different procedures: 1) Crew disarm doors. Cross check. Jetty is attached. Ground staff indicate all is good for crew to open the door. Crew open door. 2) Crew disarm doors. Cross check. Jetty is attached. Ground staff indicate all is good for door opening. Crew indicate to ground staff they are also ready (usually a thumbs up in the door window). And then the GROUND STAFF crack the door open from the outside. The advantage of option '2' is that aircraft doors have a safety mechanism where if it is still in the 'armed' mode and the door is opened from the outside the slide is automatically disarmed. A caterer or ground staff member could be seriously injured or even killed by a slide deploying into a confined space. I am assuming by this Emirates incident that crew open the door using option '1' where the crew open the door from the inside.

2
YoungFlyer New Member

It would be fun for kids to slide down the slide to get off a flight though, or is it just me?

2
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