Emirates’ (Probably) Terrifying Boeing 777 Flight To Washington

Emirates’ (Probably) Terrifying Boeing 777 Flight To Washington

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Aviation is incredibly safe, and for every disaster there are many catastrophes that are narrowly avoided. It would appear that an Emirates Boeing 777 departing Dubai about a week ago nearly had a major incident after takeoff. Let me share what I’ve been able to piece together so far.

What happened to this Emirates plane on takeoff?

The flight in question is Emirates EK231 from Dubai (DXB) to Washington Dulles (IAD), which was scheduled to depart at 2:25AM on Monday, December 20, 2021. The flight was operated by one of Emirates’ newest Boeing 777-300ERs, with the registration code A6-EQI.

Here’s what I’ve been able to piece together, and I’m trying to explain this as simply as possible, so the average person can understand it (and if I get anything wrong pilots are more than welcome to correct me, but please do so in language everyone can understand):

  • The crew operating the previous flight with the aircraft had set the altitude to zero in the flight director system (which controls the autopilot); the crew on this flight was supposed to (but didn’t) set the altitude to 4,000 feet, which is a standard altitude to first climb to after departure
  • During the departure, the pilot flying the aircraft decided to “follow” what the flight director was showing, which was an altitude of zero feet
  • While the plane would typically rotate at a much lower speed, the plane was still on the ground at 216 knots, and even overran the standard runway area, and only took off in the runway safety area
  • The plane was already flying over houses at an altitude of 75 feet, going a minimum of 234 knots
  • The plane barely gained altitude, and was at an altitude of just 175 feet when it was flying at a speed of 262 knots
  • As a point of comparison, ordinarily the plane would be at well under 200 knots at that altitude, and would be climbing much faster
  • While it would be standard to return to the airport to assess damage when something like this happens (given the potential for overspeed with the flaps, plus the potential damage if the aircraft did unknowingly hit something), the pilots made the decision to continue to Washington
  • It’s my understanding that the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is now investigating this incident, and that at least the two pilots at the controls have been suspended, or possibly even fired

The thing that stands out here the most is the complete lack of control that the crew had over the plane. The crew was managing the computers rather than flying the aircraft. What would posses a crew to overrun the standard portion of a runway while going over 200 knots, when there was nothing wrong with the plane? And on top of that there were four pilots, so how did none of them catch on to this error?

For those curious, below is some data from Flightradar24 for the flight in question vs. a more “standard” flight on the same route. Note that while the data on Flightradar24 isn’t always accurate, it’s my understanding that these numbers match what’s believed to have happened, and what’s being investigated. You’ll want to look at the right two columns, with the left column being the altitude, and the right column being the speed.

Here’s the data for the flight in question:

Then here’s the data for the same flight several days earlier:

As you can tell, that data is vastly different. This sounds concerning — a Boeing 777 (presumably) full of passengers and fuel was barely climbing after takeoff, but rather just kept gaining speed, to the point that it was lower than many high rises in Dubai.

This incident happened on an Emirates Boeing 777

Emirates has sent a memo to pilots

While Emirates hasn’t yet officially commented on this incident, the airline did send out the following alert to pilots on Monday, essentially referencing the incident:

CREWS ARE REMINDED THAT THERE ARE NO FCOM NORMAL PROCEDURE REQUIREMENTS TO CHANGE THE MCP AFTER LANDING OR SHUTDOWN. THERE HAVE BEEN TIMES WHEN THE MCP “ALTITUDE WINDOW” HAS BEEN SET TO THE AIRPORT ELEVATION WHICH MAY CAUSE ISSUES ON THE SUBSEQUENT DEPARTURE. CREWS SHALL NOT SET AIRPORT ELEVATION ON THE MCP AFTER LANDING OR SHUT DOWN.

In other words, Emirates is telling pilots not to set the altitude to zero on approach, for fear of the next crew not changing that.

I wonder what it was like on the plane

I’d be curious to hear from a passenger onboard, because I wonder if passengers had any clue what was going on:

  • On the one hand, perhaps passengers didn’t really know what was going on, since it was dark outside, and most people aren’t really avgeeks and paying attention to every aircraft movement
  • On the other hand, perhaps passengers totally knew what was going on, given that the plane was going at a very high speed while still on the runway, and then barely climbed after takeoff

While I feel safe flying with Emirates, in general I’m not surprised to see things like this happen once in a while:

  • Emirates pilots deal with a lot of fatigue, given that they often operate ultra long haul flights departing in the middle of the night; no matter how hard you try, this has to take a toll on you
  • In general Emirates hires 777 pilots with less experience than you’d find at some other airlines; that’s largely because it’s Emirates’ smallest plane, and Emirates isn’t going to consistently have a couple of people with 10,000+ flights hours at the controls (as you’d find on American and United, for example)
  • Then there’s coronavirus, which in general has caused a lot of pilots to become a bit rusty, since many have only recently been brought to work after being furloughed
I wonder what this incident was like for passengers

Bottom line

While I’m sure more information will emerge soon, it’s my understanding that an Emirates Boeing 777 had a pretty frightening departure out of Dubai about a week ago. Specifically, the altitude for after takeoff was set to ground level rather than 4,000 feet, and as a result the plane didn’t climb very high, but rather just sped up.

As a result, the plane overran the standard portion of the runway, and then flew at a very low altitude while going very fast. I imagine this must have been frightening for everyone onboard, and those on the ground who were awake (or who were woken up by the noise of such a low aircraft).

Since the FAA is allegedly investigating the incident, hopefully we end up learning more. If anyone has more details on the incident, please chime in!

(Tip of the hat to God Save The Points)

Conversations (223)
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  1. John Voxx Guest

    I have been only flying Emirates for two factors. A) rich airline, unlimited free fuel, brand new aircrafts B) White western pilots - meaning well trained qualified and safe. This flight in question was flying with point B totally compromised meaning they need to have Arab pilots who performed this kind of dangerous stunt. Why is no one mentioning the names of those pilots in question?

  2. Capt Daftvader Guest

    Emerates are trying to fool everybody.
    Smoke and mirrors.
    The altitude selected in the autopilot window has absolutely no effect on a manually flown departure.
    ALL departures are flown manually with the lowest altitude for autopilot selection being 250 ft agl. Thus such a selection has no effect.
    On departure the manually handling pilot to uses his artificial horizon to rotate the nose at around round three degrees at second to...

    Emerates are trying to fool everybody.
    Smoke and mirrors.
    The altitude selected in the autopilot window has absolutely no effect on a manually flown departure.
    ALL departures are flown manually with the lowest altitude for autopilot selection being 250 ft agl. Thus such a selection has no effect.
    On departure the manually handling pilot to uses his artificial horizon to rotate the nose at around round three degrees at second to a nose up of about 11-12 degree and then monitors a safe climb out speed.
    Nothing to do with the autopilot or any flight directors.........
    The crew took off with NO take off flap selected.......poor SOP and CRM.
    All Emerates actions are a cover up.
    Shame on you.......

  3. Bob Guest

    Safety is won by years of hard work and a just safety culture.

    Emirates management clearly don't understand just the safety culture.

    Just safety is in essence, encouraging an open honest attitude to incidents.

    Punishing genuine mistakes and publishing ill thought out edicts is worthy of a feudal thiefdom.

    If Emirates want to improve safety, it will require a bit of a change of management mindset.

    You can't rely on luck all the time.

  4. Auke Guest

    I used to be captain with Emirates on the B777 some years ago. Whatever happend after takeoff does not really justify the late rotation. At the "rotate" call the plane should be rotated and there is no reason not to because you do not follow the FD yet. Maybe another issue occurred? Let's not get ahead of ourselves but wait for the official inquiry. Emirates does have a solid flight safety department that does not shy away from the truth.

    1. Rachel Guest

      As a scared passenger, I would love to hear your thoughts about what airlines a captain feels safe on. Much appreciated.

    2. Wilfried Lechner Guest

      I am intending to fly to Cape Town end of February with Emirates! I am suffering very much of a flight fright n now these terrifying incidents! On top of it in January 2022 another near miss on the runway of two 777‘s!!! My goodness! What airline is safe! Perhaps I should rather stay in Austria! Bless U all

  5. Sam Guest

    Yes, a professional 777 Captain would comment. I just did. The only time you don't comment is when it is your airline. Oh, and he is quite correct in what he said. This was either very bad training or incompetence.

  6. Riaz Guest

    I had flown on Emirates from IAD to DXB and Back for more than 7 Years and had always felt safe. Unfortunately, the Captain, 1st Offices and the two other Pilots on Deck totally disregarded flight procedures and should be fired immediately. Even a 5th Grader on Deck would have noticed a large ZERO on the panel. There were 345 people on Board and all would have perished for the Captain and his 1st Officer's...

    I had flown on Emirates from IAD to DXB and Back for more than 7 Years and had always felt safe. Unfortunately, the Captain, 1st Offices and the two other Pilots on Deck totally disregarded flight procedures and should be fired immediately. Even a 5th Grader on Deck would have noticed a large ZERO on the panel. There were 345 people on Board and all would have perished for the Captain and his 1st Officer's blatant violation of Pre Flight Check list. The Captain did not return to DXB knowing that he had overshoot the runway and sustained some damage to the aircraft. This is another reason the pilots should be fired.
    Now, I will have to look for alternative Airlines to fly to Middle East and South Asia.
    Thank You for listening to an average passenger.

  7. Thomas Kappler Guest

    I was on this flight with my wife and son and we noticed that the takeoff was long and not gaining altitude and somewhat erratic . I was in the window seat and for a brief time I thought this was it, then we appeared to level out and all was good. I really thought we just had strong takeoff head winds combined with a heavy aircraft. Otherwise the flight was fine.

  8. Abdulrazak Alhashemi Guest

    My dear Pilots setting in either seat are responsible for every thing .Disregarding what happened last flight. Setting your departure altitude is mandatory and very important flying speeds and power settings are to be carefully reviewed and spoken in loud . Computers and automation is a big help to pilots but not every thing there's some thing called *Airman ship* very basic knowledge for pilots if they are pilots indeed . I have seen many...

    My dear Pilots setting in either seat are responsible for every thing .Disregarding what happened last flight. Setting your departure altitude is mandatory and very important flying speeds and power settings are to be carefully reviewed and spoken in loud . Computers and automation is a big help to pilots but not every thing there's some thing called *Airman ship* very basic knowledge for pilots if they are pilots indeed . I have seen many pilots with limited knowledge and training skills in the beginning and poor training in basics . Most accidents are pilots error with good machines.
    Simulator training must be supervised with professional pilots to produce better pilots .

  9. Red Baron Guest

    The memo sent out by Emirates does not suggest that the crew involved in the incident was inexperienced. Instead, this usually happens when some desk jockey or management pilot f*cks up as usual, but they have to find someone else to blame. In this case, the previous crew. So it's actually their fault that the MCP was 0, not the next crew's for not checking it. Just saying.

  10. Maggie Meister Guest

    My sons and husbands were on this flight. My one son felt something was not right as he looked out the window and saw the close proximity of the buildings and also heard grinding that frightened him. We are all experienced flyers so for him to sense something wrong was correct. He mentioned it to his father who said I think we are okay as the plane began to ascend. This is quite frightening and...

    My sons and husbands were on this flight. My one son felt something was not right as he looked out the window and saw the close proximity of the buildings and also heard grinding that frightened him. We are all experienced flyers so for him to sense something wrong was correct. He mentioned it to his father who said I think we are okay as the plane began to ascend. This is quite frightening and I am so grateful that all was okay. However, the fact that the plane did not turn around to have the plane checked is gross misconduct. I am getting more and more disillusioned with Emirates.

    1. Emirates777 Guest

      Perhaps there was actually something wrong with the elevator if he heard grinding? Surely they would’ve returned then if that were the case.

  11. Bhavika S Guest

    My husband was on the flight, and he and the guy across the aisle from him were terrified during takeoff. My husband thought the engine was damaged, although he said everything felt normal after takeoff.

    1. Maggie Meister Guest

      My son also said that he looked at the guy across the aisle and he looked terrified. Wonder if these were the same two.

  12. Connrad Guest

    It looks to me, that the flight in question is taking off to the west - the comparison flight takes off to the east.
    Ground and buildings are different on both sides - so you can not compare those two flights.
    Only flights in the same direction can be compared.

  13. Niko Guest

    I used to be employed by EK as flight deck until recently.
    When the pandemic begun they made hundreds of experienced crew redundant, the criteria were: senior pilots, hence more expensive, or pilots who at some point used the medical insurance. This included pilots who had the misfortune to be investigated for cancer.
    The result is quite inexperienced crews, working high hours, under huge pressure to never call sick as the threat of...

    I used to be employed by EK as flight deck until recently.
    When the pandemic begun they made hundreds of experienced crew redundant, the criteria were: senior pilots, hence more expensive, or pilots who at some point used the medical insurance. This included pilots who had the misfortune to be investigated for cancer.
    The result is quite inexperienced crews, working high hours, under huge pressure to never call sick as the threat of a warning letter is a possibility!
    Not a good mix for safety……
    This is accurate, I was there and have documents to prove it.
    If any interested journalists out there, my email is [email protected]
    A lot safer airlines out there, avoid.

  14. CFM Guest

    The aircraft is usually hand flown on takeoff, so this is quite unusual. The flight director doesn't control the autopilot, rather gives cues to the crew from the settings that have been entered for the specific departure procedure flown. It looks like the flying pilot could have over-relied on the flight director, but this is also unusual because speeds are called out and Vr, rotation speed, is when the flying pilot applies back pressure to...

    The aircraft is usually hand flown on takeoff, so this is quite unusual. The flight director doesn't control the autopilot, rather gives cues to the crew from the settings that have been entered for the specific departure procedure flown. It looks like the flying pilot could have over-relied on the flight director, but this is also unusual because speeds are called out and Vr, rotation speed, is when the flying pilot applies back pressure to lift the nose and takes off. I would be surprised if two B777-rated pilots would have both missed that call. I think it's better to wait for a formal report before extracting conclusions... Emirates has a good safety record and mostly employs foreign crews.

  15. Peter Guest

    Not the first time an issue has happened during takeoff for Emirates. EK407, A340-541 dep YMML at 2225 local time on 20 Mar 2009. The report follows if anyone is interested. Hopefully lessons will be learned from the investigation and applied by all carriers to continue to make aviation safer for those in the air and on the ground.

    https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2009/aair/ao-2009-012.aspx

    1. RB Guest

      I'd say a professional pilot speaking against unprofessional behaviors is genuine.

  16. Rako Guest

    On Boeing 777

    First Crew after landing
    1.set mcp Altitude to zero
    2.set the FD to OFF

    Next crew for takeoff
    1.set FD to ON
    2.set MCP altitude as per ATC clearance (4000)

    The FD will have erroneous commands after take off, as it will always try to target an Altitude of Zero. And it takes a few seconds to realise what is going on , to be able to apply...

    On Boeing 777

    First Crew after landing
    1.set mcp Altitude to zero
    2.set the FD to OFF

    Next crew for takeoff
    1.set FD to ON
    2.set MCP altitude as per ATC clearance (4000)

    The FD will have erroneous commands after take off, as it will always try to target an Altitude of Zero. And it takes a few seconds to realise what is going on , to be able to apply the appropriate corrected actions.

    It is a design flaw that needs a workaround by pilots on Boeings , like many other flaws on Boeing variants.
    Again, this is expected when a manufacturer self certify.
    Enough said…

  17. Old flyer Guest

    The incident is still under investigation, but as an experienced Captain in a major airline with very similar equipment, I can see some “standards” of modern aviation:
    -In the old times, experience, a lot, was required to fly the big iron. This has been lost since the big commercial aviation expansion of the late 80’s. Kids out of flight school, go straight to large airliners. A big lack of airmanship and more computer dependent...

    The incident is still under investigation, but as an experienced Captain in a major airline with very similar equipment, I can see some “standards” of modern aviation:
    -In the old times, experience, a lot, was required to fly the big iron. This has been lost since the big commercial aviation expansion of the late 80’s. Kids out of flight school, go straight to large airliners. A big lack of airmanship and more computer dependent flight crews, doesn’t account for all imprevisible problems that might be encountered.
    -Price wars had airlines competing for lower prices instead of better service. Low cost airlines are the worst, but more and more airlines bet on that too. Low salaries and as little rest between flights as legally? approved, aren’t good for crews and flight safety.
    -Over standardization to overcome the lack of experience, makes pilots rely blindly on procedures, thus making them prone to the “startling effect” caused by an unexpected issue. If this crew had an engine failure on take-off, practiced in all simulator sessions, probably they’d had performed seamlessly. Having a little pilot induced problem like this, easily handled by hand flying the airplane, forgetting or turning off the flight director until making it perform as required, wouldn’t have been even noticed at all.
    I’m about to retire of a 47 year career, 39 flying big jets. I feel I’m part of an old generation of aviators domed to disappear. Most of my first officers of the last 25 years, made it to a major airline with no more than 200 hours total flight time, straight out of flight school. When I was hired, I was the youngest and least experienced of my class of 10. I had 6000+ hours, most as the only pilot at the controls in all kind of operations around the world. Never flew an airplane with autopilot or weather radar before joining the airline.

    1. Old_aviator Guest

      In order to fly for a commercial airline, on the USyou need an ATP, which requires 1500 hrs. If your FOs only had 200 hrs, I presume that you are talking about decades ago, before the crash in Buffalo, NY. Many pilots today do not have or forgotten stick and rudder skills and seem to be dependant on control laws

  18. Boris Guest

    @Phil There is no evidence this incident had anything to do with hiring based on equity.

  19. Ninad Guest

    A professional pilot wouldn’t comment on flight crew actions which are under investigation. Bad days come unannounced and can hit anyone any time. I have seen more videos and articles that talk of how American pilots are “better”. Fact is that USA has seen its share of unbelievable pilot errors. Point is, even after investigation, ridiculing and generalising are really sad statements by pilots. It shows cocky attitude and that’s the most dangerous kind of a pilot.

  20. John W Guest

    Yes, you'd better believe a pro pilot would comment on this disgraceful incident, regardless of whether an investigation is underway, has concluded, or isn't happening at all.

    FLY THE D**N PLANE, idiots!

  21. Underdog Guest

    Flying commercial aircraft for over 42 years and a Captain on the triple 7, I would add that a Captain would comment on possible issues, it’s an opinion and factual info. completely outside the event in question.

  22. John Bent Guest

    Basics basics. And one of many being seen during pandemic emergence.
    Let’s hope that recovery training ex pandemic is able to rebuild the competency standards pre-covid.

  23. Gerald Jones Guest

    As a Private Pilot in the US, this entirely reads like the crew is not following their checklists. I am sure checking this setting is part of the checklist, or SHOULD BE.

    Complacency is a killer in aviation. This entire incident sounds like the crew was cutting corners and not following standard procedures...including actually running the checklist and not just skimming it.

  24. Richard Guest

    Wow, I too was on this flight and reading this really shocked me! I am a very frequent flyer with Emirates and not at all a nervous flyer. At 2:30AM, you're not really wide awake since most of us on this flight also came via a connection. I DID notice that we just didn't seemed to be gaining altitude like normal. It did "freak me out" a bit, but I kept thinking, well, its because...

    Wow, I too was on this flight and reading this really shocked me! I am a very frequent flyer with Emirates and not at all a nervous flyer. At 2:30AM, you're not really wide awake since most of us on this flight also came via a connection. I DID notice that we just didn't seemed to be gaining altitude like normal. It did "freak me out" a bit, but I kept thinking, well, its because it's so heavy with fuel for the 14 hour flight. I know the Dubai USA flights are always heavy at take off. Reading this article is really frightening that this could have been so much worse. I didn't mentioned this to any of the flight attendants. Once we gained altitude, I went to sleep. None of the flight attendants ever said a word to me (I was in First) about this, and I didn't really think to ask in the latter half of the flight

    1. Bert Guest

      Same here.
      I would have known something was badly amiss, even fully laden, with that climb out.
      They used 14,400 ft of runway.
      Im glad you're hear to tell the story!

  25. Jonathan Shariat Guest

    As a UI designer, I always wonder if these "user errors" are just confusing interfaces. Would love to hear some pilotes perspectives on this in general. Like, why isn't it clear what number is set? Why isn't it easy to take over from the computer? Why aren't there logic checks that an altitude of 0 makes sense at take off, etc.

    1. Calum Guest

      I'm also a UI designer, and I've worked a little in the aviation industry over the years. The answer is one you'll be very familiar with: "it depends" :) There's a ton of human factors research goes into flight deck UIs these days, much of it driven by the cause of previous accidents. Sometimes too much automation has caused a plane to crash, sometimes not enough. Sometimes a pilot has accidentally overridden the computer when...

      I'm also a UI designer, and I've worked a little in the aviation industry over the years. The answer is one you'll be very familiar with: "it depends" :) There's a ton of human factors research goes into flight deck UIs these days, much of it driven by the cause of previous accidents. Sometimes too much automation has caused a plane to crash, sometimes not enough. Sometimes a pilot has accidentally overridden the computer when they didn't mean to, sometimes they haven't when they thought they had.

      Some manufacturers (e.g. Boeing) also tend towards having flight systems that help the pilots fly the plane, while others (e.g. Airbus) tend towards systems that fly the plane with the pilots' help.

      The UIs and (increasingly) AI can always be improved but they'll never be perfect, just as pre-flight checklists can always be improved but they're no use if they're not followed (which, judging by some other comments, may have been an issue here).

  26. Ann Guest

    Wow! So it was not me jetlagged or being paranoid from my long connection flight ! I was on that flight..was forwarded this news writup by my family..

    I really thought we were having some technical issues as twice i felt the aircraft decent sharply after takeoff and the second one really made me sit up and wonder if something was really wrong or im just assuming the worst..

    Glad to reach in one piece

  27. Kim Guest

    To MarkD:

    I’m always reading up and updating my knowledge about decent carriers. Who would you fly with?

    1. Captain Robinson Guest

      Similar to our body politics, bad information leads to bad decisions. Some airlines are rated by “on-time performance” others on “average age” of their airplanes. Neither statistic is predictive of a safe airline. While you absorb these kinds of distractions the real story is in the unquantifiable quality of the people who fly and “support” the airplanes. The most basic parameter is the training of the Pilots, Engineers, Mechanics, Dispatch Professionals and Management. Going above...

      Similar to our body politics, bad information leads to bad decisions. Some airlines are rated by “on-time performance” others on “average age” of their airplanes. Neither statistic is predictive of a safe airline. While you absorb these kinds of distractions the real story is in the unquantifiable quality of the people who fly and “support” the airplanes. The most basic parameter is the training of the Pilots, Engineers, Mechanics, Dispatch Professionals and Management. Going above the minimum training is expensive, and the effectiveness of training is often difficult to discern. We don’t see our flaws in aviation until a measurable event occurs and sometimes not even then. See the FAA Working Group Study I mention in my previous post. Choosing a favorite airline is an arbitrary guess.
      Fly Safe

  28. Captain Robinson Guest

    Advice from an old Jet Pilot and Test Pilot; when things get confusing go back to basics …fly your airplane first! Shut off the automation and hand fly. We are seeing, in modern times a rash of automation-type errors by the pilots. No doubt that automation has contributed to aircraft safety, but we must ask ourselves; to what extent automation has caused incidents and accidents. Aircraft automation is like cartoon character “Linus” and his blanket....

    Advice from an old Jet Pilot and Test Pilot; when things get confusing go back to basics …fly your airplane first! Shut off the automation and hand fly. We are seeing, in modern times a rash of automation-type errors by the pilots. No doubt that automation has contributed to aircraft safety, but we must ask ourselves; to what extent automation has caused incidents and accidents. Aircraft automation is like cartoon character “Linus” and his blanket. The blanket isn’t needed but it makes Linus feel more secure.
    Our pilots today are managing the automation far more than flying the airplane. Forgotten, is the baseline of jet flying. I see repeatedly the abandonment of the principle of “Pitch-Means Altitude and Throttles-Means-Speed. The investigation may find a glitch in the avionics on Flight EK231 or bad inputs from the Pilots, either way we’ve seen a number of accidents over the last 30 years involving flight deck automation.
    Google: FAA Flight Deck Automation Working Group 279 page report which take a serious look at this problem.
    Fly Safe

    1. Ninad Guest

      I think the most important thing to do is continue to fly the plane mentally even when automation is switched on during flight. It’s easily forgotten. I personally keep flying the ac even with automaton on so that my mind is with the ac should something go wrong.

  29. Kenneth W Dominy Guest

    I am a retired airline pilot, and have never flown a B777. However, I have seen this new mindset develop in other late model aircraft. The crews are encouraged to use the autopilot/flight director at every opportunity, sometimes even mandating it be used. I have personally had first officers attempt to fly the plane with the autopilot on a visual approach from downwind leg through base and onto short final before disconnecting and landing the...

    I am a retired airline pilot, and have never flown a B777. However, I have seen this new mindset develop in other late model aircraft. The crews are encouraged to use the autopilot/flight director at every opportunity, sometimes even mandating it be used. I have personally had first officers attempt to fly the plane with the autopilot on a visual approach from downwind leg through base and onto short final before disconnecting and landing the plane manually. Basic flight skills are being eroded through lack of practice (if some even had the skill to begin with.) Aircraft manufacturers want to sell airplanes to every airline, and are developing and pushing technology to allow them to be crewed by semi-skilled pilots. Airlines want to save money on training and maximize fuel efficiency and would love to eliminate the second pilot if they could. There is no substitute for well trained, skilled and practiced pilots who can recognize and quickly correct a deteriorating situation.

  30. jetjock64 Guest

    It was always thus on "Third World" airlines, also including some "Second World" airlines (example: Russian especially). I don't fly them either.

    1. Pepoin Guest

      If you call Dubai a third world country you obviously don't know what you are talking about. As a Dutchman with a few trips to Dubai under the belt this country should be seen as a very modern rich oil state.

    2. Kdoel Guest

      UAE is a country that just celebrated their 50th anniversary. It's modern in many ways, still "third world" in many others.

      I've witnessed a lot of "fast and loose" in their real estate, local policing, and government services infrastructure.

      It wouldn't surprise me if Emirates Airlines turn out to have invested an outsized amount in the visible, user-facing parts while neglecting important foundational back-end parts, their pilots. This would fit a general pattern with this...

      UAE is a country that just celebrated their 50th anniversary. It's modern in many ways, still "third world" in many others.

      I've witnessed a lot of "fast and loose" in their real estate, local policing, and government services infrastructure.

      It wouldn't surprise me if Emirates Airlines turn out to have invested an outsized amount in the visible, user-facing parts while neglecting important foundational back-end parts, their pilots. This would fit a general pattern with this country.

  31. srobak Guest

    this is why there are checklists and 2 people go over them. this should have never happened.

  32. oran Guest

    my understanding is that the "..." behind the controls hand flown the aircraft but, instead of recognizing the issue, followed flight directors guidance [i.e maintained 0 altitude].

  33. Kelley Guest

    My husband is a pilot - he learned to fly courtesy of the US Army during Vietnam, so he does have quite a lot of experience. He has stated more than once that most pilots trained in "the old days" and mostly still, in the US, Canada and other "Western" nations learn to fly the plane first, then operate the computers. It seems that in other parts of the world, they operate the computers, but...

    My husband is a pilot - he learned to fly courtesy of the US Army during Vietnam, so he does have quite a lot of experience. He has stated more than once that most pilots trained in "the old days" and mostly still, in the US, Canada and other "Western" nations learn to fly the plane first, then operate the computers. It seems that in other parts of the world, they operate the computers, but then when something goes wrong, they don't know how to handle it (fly the plane). We avoid flying on those airlines.

  34. PB Guest

    Exhausted before the flight commenced. They had the usual travel to the airport, check in, weather and flight brief, then skimmed the checklist and missed the altitude setting. But engaging the autopilot on rotations? That's just nuts!

  35. Nad Guest

    I’m sure the woke crowd will say I’m racist, I don’t care. The color of you skin does not matter but the culture you were raised in affects your attitude in life. Your attitude in life effects your attitude on the flight deck. Don’t believe me do a little research before you buy your next ticket.

    1. Pepoin Guest

      If I remember correctly Emirates has only one real crash on their slate and it didn't kill any passengers. They have 250+ planes and exist from 1985. Pretty decent safety record if you ask me.

    2. Nat Guest

      Most of Emirates' pilots are born and raised in the west, so this point is kind of moot (and racist).

    3. Chad Guest

      Most EK pilots are euro/US/Aus--I actually can't recall seeing an Arab pilot on the flight deck.

  36. RM Guest

    Being retired after spending 23 years in flight test and delivery at a major aircraft manufacturer, it was evident that a number of foreign airline pilots do not receive the same level of training the western nation pilots get. We used to call them “MCP warriors”, Mode Control Panel warriors. In other words, pushing buttons on the mode control panel in auto flight. They would fly the aircraft in auto flight mode, and were not very proficient in manual flight.

    1. Ben Guest

      "foreign airline pilots do not receive the same level of training the western nation pilots get."

      -You are incorrectly assuming ME airline= ME pilots. A majority of EK's pilots are British, Australian or "Western nations" as you put it, and need 10k+ flying hours just to apply. U.S or European carriers would take them in a heartbeat
      Its was a close call and an investigation is required for sure, but they have had just...

      "foreign airline pilots do not receive the same level of training the western nation pilots get."

      -You are incorrectly assuming ME airline= ME pilots. A majority of EK's pilots are British, Australian or "Western nations" as you put it, and need 10k+ flying hours just to apply. U.S or European carriers would take them in a heartbeat
      Its was a close call and an investigation is required for sure, but they have had just 1 hull loss in over 30 years in thousands of cycles. EK is alright in my books.

  37. Mark Henderson Guest

    Recurrent training needs to be changed world wide. We must stop testing on maneuvers that have almost no validity just because we have always done it that way since aviation started.
    We must take the time to teach judgement and recognition. It cannot be learned during testing.
    Learning judgement in real life is usually disastrous.

  38. LH Guest

    Well everything the US Captain said is accurate and would not be known by just anyone.

    The clearance in a PDC will include something like “climb on tower assigned heading maintain 4000 expect 360 in 10” etc…. When entering your clearance you spin the Altitude window to 4000. The altitude window is front and center. It just can’t be missed.

    Additionally, even if you miss it most Autopilot system forbid use of the...

    Well everything the US Captain said is accurate and would not be known by just anyone.

    The clearance in a PDC will include something like “climb on tower assigned heading maintain 4000 expect 360 in 10” etc…. When entering your clearance you spin the Altitude window to 4000. The altitude window is front and center. It just can’t be missed.

    Additionally, even if you miss it most Autopilot system forbid use of the autopilot below 700 feet on takeoff. Plane must be hand flown to 700. This cannot happen.

    I don’t care what the pilot who flew before me left the altitude preselect window set on. In fact I think the Garmin 3000 in my M2 blanks out and does not leave the previous pilots setting. Some Airlines may still have a mechanic setting.

  39. Al Hyde Guest

    I set the MCP altitude to zero for 32 years after every landing because you know and everyone knows that’s not the next assigned correct altitude! No adult supervision is the order of the day. The message to flight crews from management just set the stage for the next incorrect altitude capture. Sad

  40. Paladin Guest

    No damn excuse, FOLLOW THE CHECK LIST!

  41. Sananda Allsgood Guest

    The comment made by Mark D is referring to descent rather than take-off. There had to be some distraction on the flight deck that caused the captain AND first officer to not be aware of their surroundings! There is no excuse that I can think of that would explain this event except neglect. As Mark said, unless the VNAV was engaged, the auto pilot wouldn't work properly but you wouldn't engage it on the ground...

    The comment made by Mark D is referring to descent rather than take-off. There had to be some distraction on the flight deck that caused the captain AND first officer to not be aware of their surroundings! There is no excuse that I can think of that would explain this event except neglect. As Mark said, unless the VNAV was engaged, the auto pilot wouldn't work properly but you wouldn't engage it on the ground anyway. At least I wouldn't! I hope people understand the incident was NOT due to the aircraft, but human error.

  42. Andrew Guest

    With zero set in the MCP altitude window and the plane on the ground the Flight Management Automation will command ALT for altitude capture. The outbound crew set 4000 in the MCP window without recycling the flight directors. This would leave the FMA in ALT mode instead of TOGA for takeoff. They should have turned the flight directors off and then back on again after setting 4000 in the MCP altitude window.

  43. Capt. J. Sheikh, (Retired) Guest

    I am not surprised at all. It is not the first time that has happened with Emirates. They had the same issue at Miami International Airport few years ago. There is systemic lack of discipline, adherence to SOP, and lack of airline flying experience amongst Emirates’ pilots.
    Their pilots couldn’t even execute a go-around few years ago in VMC and ended up crashing the B-777. I am not surprised at all.

    1. Captain Robinson Guest

      Captain Shelkn
      Thank you for your service, and flying many passengers over the years safely to their destinations. I am not defending Emirates but it’s much too easy to blame Emirates, and much more difficult to analyze, and see the (system wide) deleterious effects of automation on crew. Emirates didn’t crash in this case, but there are many other aircraft meeting their fates for the same reasons. All airlines have experienced incidents due to...

      Captain Shelkn
      Thank you for your service, and flying many passengers over the years safely to their destinations. I am not defending Emirates but it’s much too easy to blame Emirates, and much more difficult to analyze, and see the (system wide) deleterious effects of automation on crew. Emirates didn’t crash in this case, but there are many other aircraft meeting their fates for the same reasons. All airlines have experienced incidents due to the misinterpretation of data. This one was reported. However, Incidents like this are much more common than we like to believe. “ Houston we have a problem”.
      Fly Safe

  44. Bill Guest

    Setting the altitude is on the checklist and is almost second nature for any instrument pilot, even low time pilots.

  45. Tim LoDolce Guest

    This is obvious total incompetence...period. More non FAA-rated pilots flying by autopilot instead of knowing flight basics. Where did these "pilots" receive their training? Do not fly on non US piloted airlines.

  46. Robin Green Guest

    I wonder if the ground prox was "yelling" at them

  47. Mike Z Guest

    To LA, why not comment on this no matter whether it's under investigation or not!? We may learn something. Mark sounds like he knows what he is talking about. We all try analyze these types of incidents and as pilots we are always learning...............

  48. Peter S. Guest

    Unfortunately I have to side with Mark D on this. Notwithstanding the ongoing investigation, I can attest to the fact that many airlines discourage handflying the result being that when those skills are required they are not available.

  49. Stefano Palmeri Guest

    You will NOT get the full story as Emirates/Dubai Government (it's the same) will hide and cover it up.
    It is many years since they lost a B773 on landing at DXB which crashed and burnt in apparent windshear, and nowhere will you find the names or nationalities of the flightcrew that morning or their fate since the incident.

    1. Stevepatfred Guest

      It’s literally on Wikipedia.

  50. Ray Sundar Guest

    I guess its all due too much AI and not much MI(Manual Intelligence). That much for the over importance we give to AI.
    All that AI is doing is only shrinking MI in general.

  51. EL Guest

    Would a professional flight crew member comment??? You can’t be serious.

    1. Kevin Curran Guest

      Of course a professional flight crew member would comment.

      Professionals are deeply offended by others in their field NOT following established procedures, including checklists. It is often said that knowledge in aviation is written in blood. As in people lost their lives to acquire that knowledge.

  52. Cot blue sky Guest

    New way of flying. Use as much as possible the autopilot because it is safer than pilot.
    Computers make it better than human airbus said
    They don't make mistake, error is human and computer are made and or programed by human so..
    For sure A/P increases safety, but he is doing what is programed in the FMC, so in case pilots didn't make it correctly, we have no more safety As pilots...

    New way of flying. Use as much as possible the autopilot because it is safer than pilot.
    Computers make it better than human airbus said
    They don't make mistake, error is human and computer are made and or programed by human so..
    For sure A/P increases safety, but he is doing what is programed in the FMC, so in case pilots didn't make it correctly, we have no more safety As pilots we are well payed to take over in casecsoemthing goes wrong but we must know what,how,and able to.
    which is not the case today.
    For costs reductions, training is reduced to the minimum, instructors are also of low experience, companies like to hire these kind of pilots for lower salary,
    Aviation is based on experience, you need time to get it,
    When sitted on the right seat you can look to the left for help, when sitted on the left hand seat, there nobody to look at the left.
    Companies have fired a lot of experienced pilots due to covid , costs réductions, etc, and now they don't find experienced pilots.
    If they pay pilots with peanuts they will get monkeys.
    Companies to be avoided.

  53. Bob Guest

    @LA

    It’s not rocket science that something was wrong here and if had been a technical/flight control malfunction, why fly 15 hrs with that?

    The crew has messed up, for sure. Items on the checklist overseen. Fatigue, poor training or ignorance? No, idea. The only conclusion so far is that it was a close call. And with pilots trained in a computer world instead of learning to fly with their butts things like these...

    @LA

    It’s not rocket science that something was wrong here and if had been a technical/flight control malfunction, why fly 15 hrs with that?

    The crew has messed up, for sure. Items on the checklist overseen. Fatigue, poor training or ignorance? No, idea. The only conclusion so far is that it was a close call. And with pilots trained in a computer world instead of learning to fly with their butts things like these will happen again. And more likely on “heavy only” airlines as you never get the hand flying experience as you get on shorthaul.

    And yes, I’ve been a commercial pilot, for 35+ years.

  54. Ted m Guest

    This crew were sitting on their hands and just letting the plane do its “thing”.
    Normal procedure is for copilot to establish the v1, rotate V2 speeds and calls them on take off, not just sit there after V1 and not call rotate, V2 .
    The captain than responds , positive rate ( climb) and calls for the wheels to be retracted etc etc.
    These fools did nothing!
    .

    1. Robin Green Guest

      computer engaged....brain disengaged

  55. Samuel Arnold Guest

    Why are the FAA investigating an incident which didn't happen in the US? Doesn't the FAA jurisdiction end at the US border?
    Also, shouldn't the pilots flying be responsible to check they enter the correct info into the FMC prior to departure, rather than relying on the previous crew having done that?
    #Qualified Commercial Pilot from New Zealand.

    1. Kim Cooper Guest

      Because the damn thing flew in US airspace.

  56. Stevepatfred Guest

    Although the incident is still under investigation there’s a couple of things that are 100% inaccurate. And I’m surprised many pilots have commented and not brought up these red flags. First off, the rotation is manual, at VR the aircraft is manually pitched to around 15 degrees. The only logical reason for a speed on the runway above Vr is windshear. The TO TO mode of the flight director targets runway track at lift off...

    Although the incident is still under investigation there’s a couple of things that are 100% inaccurate. And I’m surprised many pilots have commented and not brought up these red flags. First off, the rotation is manual, at VR the aircraft is manually pitched to around 15 degrees. The only logical reason for a speed on the runway above Vr is windshear. The TO TO mode of the flight director targets runway track at lift off and v2 + 15-25kts. The thrust is constant so it pitches for speed. The altitude capture mode, in the 767 at least, is inhibited until 800’ AGL. So an alt capture scenario as presented is impossible. On top of that, and again I reference the 767 as it’s my current type (I assume the 777 is similar), when the AP is engaged at 200’ from the TO TO mode the default pitch and roll modes change to HDG HOLD and V/S. Again causing the autopilot to fly away from the ground. The article has so many inaccuracies that it’s unfair to jump to conclusions and blame pilots. Emirates has a high standard of training, far far higher than the USA. I speak from experience.

    1. Daniel Guest

      What is the experience from which “you speak?”
      Clearly, they weren’t flying the plane from the beginning, the let the autopilot do it and in such case all described is possible.

    2. Stevepatfred Guest

      Minimum autopilot engagement height is 200AGL, and the modes would not allow a fly down scenario as described. So the article is wrong. I’ve flown all over the world and the US is so far the least standardized and most irrelevant training I’ve had. Just a personal observation. Cockpit discipline, SOP, radio phraseology is all very very poor.

    3. Steve get a clue Guest

      Stop.. at least the Americans know how to do “pilot shit” when they’re supposed to and FLY the plane. A 777 cockpit in the USA with 4 pilots has a minimum of 40000 hours between the pilots. Emirates might offer better training but it obviously is ROBOTIC and isn’t working.

    4. BS Guest

      I can see the scenario where the autopilot was engaged on the ground instead of the autothrottles. On the ground the flight director sits at 8 degrees if I remember correctly. There is no other explanation of why they rotated near 200 kts.

    5. Gladimdone Guest

      You are 100% correct Steve. The 777 is no different. I was also thinking Dubai to DC us a long flight for a 777-er vs a 777-lr. Weight and Balance?

  57. Jay Hill Guest

    Im by no means a pilot but wouldnt your training kick in at some point when your 3/4 of the way down the runway. You visually see what point you are on the runway and what speed you are at. 8 eyes in the cockpit and this happens.

  58. j Mcfly Guest

    Hi I’m a professional airline pilot in the 737 in Australia. It’s very odd that the Altitude window on the MCP was totally missed however what makes this even more strange was the aircraft wasn’t rotated at VR to its normal body attitude of 12.5 to 15 degrees nose up. No body was flying the aircraft it seems. Regardless of what the flight directors command, a pilot with good manual flying skills will better recognise...

    Hi I’m a professional airline pilot in the 737 in Australia. It’s very odd that the Altitude window on the MCP was totally missed however what makes this even more strange was the aircraft wasn’t rotated at VR to its normal body attitude of 12.5 to 15 degrees nose up. No body was flying the aircraft it seems. Regardless of what the flight directors command, a pilot with good manual flying skills will better recognise the impending situation and fly the aircraft into a safe state. Manual flying is encouraged in Australia. This one is very strange. The flap over speed warning would have been going in the back ground as well. Why did they continue the flight to the destination? What’s the culture like at EK? Very close to being a disaster. Pilots fly the aircraft either through manual manipulation or automation either way the aircraft doesn’t fly the pilots!

  59. Laurie Guest

    Phil, either you are an American or that was an unfortunate slip - did you mean equality not skill? I don’t think they hire based on how many shares you have! Also I take issue with the implication that this is down to gender or race - there were 3 or 4 crew (I suspect 4 based on the route) so ALL of them failed to spot basic omissions, so this was also a breakdown...

    Phil, either you are an American or that was an unfortunate slip - did you mean equality not skill? I don’t think they hire based on how many shares you have! Also I take issue with the implication that this is down to gender or race - there were 3 or 4 crew (I suspect 4 based on the route) so ALL of them failed to spot basic omissions, so this was also a breakdown in crew resource management (aka talking to your mates)… and above all a failure of training and management.

  60. J Westoby Guest

    As the incident is under investigation it is not prudent or professional to speculate as to cause. Much more information is required for that. Questions to be asked though are, was the aircraft late on arrival leading to haste being a possible factor? Haste causing checklists and or briefings to be rushed or curtailed? It seems fairly obvious the MCP wasn’t briefed as the altitude window wasn’t set to initial climb altitude. Was training or...

    As the incident is under investigation it is not prudent or professional to speculate as to cause. Much more information is required for that. Questions to be asked though are, was the aircraft late on arrival leading to haste being a possible factor? Haste causing checklists and or briefings to be rushed or curtailed? It seems fairly obvious the MCP wasn’t briefed as the altitude window wasn’t set to initial climb altitude. Was training or recurrency line testing being conducted possibly leading to excessive chatter in the cockpit in what should have been a ‘sterile cockpit’ environment? Why did four pilots not note the lack of vertical climb which resulted in excessive speed especially for an aircraft loaded for a long hall flight? Shades of Asiana 214 which also had four pilots in the cockpit! These questions plus many others will be answered in the investigation speculation should be kept to a minimum until then. However, things aren’t right the old adage always applies, ‘fly the plane’!!

  61. john sherm Guest

    As a former single-seat carrier pilot, who transitioned to aerobatic sailplanes, I remember so well, the comment of my "glider" instructor who was a retired EASTERN Airline Captain....NO MATTER WHAT...FLY THE AIRPLANE.

  62. Flying Chucky Guest

    Mark D:
    A/P cannot be activated below 500 ft, per FAA regulations, which most countries/airlines follow (see 135.93 in the Federal Aviation Regulations). That is hard-coded into my A/P in a general aviation aircraft, and I assume similarly so in the 777. As the author noted, the pilot was *following the flight director*, not flying with autopilot engaged.

    (For those of you who don't know the difference, "Flight Director" is what tells the pilot...

    Mark D:
    A/P cannot be activated below 500 ft, per FAA regulations, which most countries/airlines follow (see 135.93 in the Federal Aviation Regulations). That is hard-coded into my A/P in a general aviation aircraft, and I assume similarly so in the 777. As the author noted, the pilot was *following the flight director*, not flying with autopilot engaged.

    (For those of you who don't know the difference, "Flight Director" is what tells the pilot to do, i.e., bank this way, pitch this way, achieve this airspeed, etc. — it's like an autopilot that talks to the pilot, but does not actually directly command the plane.)

    This is arguably way worse: the pilot was blindly following the flight director without questioning the result, and indicates a total lack of situational awareness, and poor judgment. Fatigue, cockpit distractions, and/or very poor training seem more likely to blame here than simple "poor judgment." If you're going to use the Flight Director to conduct a takeoff, you must (absolutely must!) have checklists for configuration. In this case, the checklists either weren't followed, or are inadequate. Based on the notice published by the airline, it seems that latter is more likely.

    1. Dan77W Guest

      Actually on the 777 autopilot can be engaged at or above 200 AGL as allowed by the operators OpsSpec and Regulatory Authority. You’ll find many regulations FAA and otherwise at the 121 (or equivalent foreign level) have many exceptions and exemptions (look at exemption 3585 for example). At my US operator minimum engagement on TO is 200 RA. Either way you just cited part 135 which has absolutely no bearing on airline flying, part 121,...

      Actually on the 777 autopilot can be engaged at or above 200 AGL as allowed by the operators OpsSpec and Regulatory Authority. You’ll find many regulations FAA and otherwise at the 121 (or equivalent foreign level) have many exceptions and exemptions (look at exemption 3585 for example). At my US operator minimum engagement on TO is 200 RA. Either way you just cited part 135 which has absolutely no bearing on airline flying, part 121, 117 and (most importantly) the carriers’ op spec does)!

  63. Captain D Guest

    Captain D

    Plenty of western carriers have non equitably crashed planes for no good reason killing thousands of passengers needlessly so get off your high horse, Phil. Save your Tucker Carlson love affair for when the two of you are alone.

    1. Dillyboi Guest

      Hence the shift over the last 3 decades towards a more non punitive safety and training environment, keeping SOP practical and simple (the KISS principle), tightening up on rest requirements and the free ability without consequence of calling fatigued when fatigued which has drastically cut down on close calls….. none of which was present at Emirates at least when I was there.

  64. Humberto Montes Guest

    I don't fly the B777, I fly the B744 and because it is a Boeing aircraft they share the same electronic philosophy. So, when an aircraft is parked at the gate, it gets powered off especially for those long haul flights, everything gets turned off and then reset or restarted again, the INSs, the autothrottles, etc. When this happens even if you put any altitude in the altitude window, it will be reset automatically by...

    I don't fly the B777, I fly the B744 and because it is a Boeing aircraft they share the same electronic philosophy. So, when an aircraft is parked at the gate, it gets powered off especially for those long haul flights, everything gets turned off and then reset or restarted again, the INSs, the autothrottles, etc. When this happens even if you put any altitude in the altitude window, it will be reset automatically by the system to 10000 feet, that's the default value. Assuming that it doesn't change for several reasons, still as part of your set up and briefing for a departure, you MUST show as part of the basic departure and control set up, a Speed, Heading and initial Altitude. So these pilots apparently didn't do that. Now as for the actual take off, if your speed is going through 150 knots on a B777, there is s problem here, even fully loaded those speeds are not even close to been a good value for the V1 speed. Never mind the VR speed. Even for us on a B747 fully loaded hardly if ever you will see 150+ knots indicated airspeed before V1.
    Lastly, to immediately engage the autopilot soon after take off only happens under four conditions;
    1) Company SOPs dictate that you do that - however, there is a minimum altitude to engage the autopilot.
    2) Extremely busy environment and you really need your hands free for other tasks.
    3) There is a check airman onboard and you "better perform your best".
    4) You suck as a pilot, and the autopilot is your best friend - considering that you did programmed the FMSs correctly and by engaging the autopilot you hope that no one onboard will discover your weaknesses.
    Now, as for the other crewmembers seating in the cockpit, they all suck.
    In conclusion, no one really knows what transpired in that flight and one could only guess. My opinion along with many others here in this forum, is that a pilot is there to fly the airplane, and not the other way around. If you are there to just program a computer and engage the autopilot after take off you are not a pilot, you are a systems monitor and when the proverbial sh.t hits the fan, usually this is the result.

  65. R. Diceman Guest

    A proper pre-flight setup may have addressed this issue since the Emirates pilots know their Standard Instrument Departures (SID’s). If not then they should have set the altitude in the Mode Control Panel (MCP) after having received their departure clearance. Either way checklists we’re not followed and checklists are written in blood.

    I just retired from a major carrier, have flown the 777 and there are many eyes in that cockpit that should have...

    A proper pre-flight setup may have addressed this issue since the Emirates pilots know their Standard Instrument Departures (SID’s). If not then they should have set the altitude in the Mode Control Panel (MCP) after having received their departure clearance. Either way checklists we’re not followed and checklists are written in blood.

    I just retired from a major carrier, have flown the 777 and there are many eyes in that cockpit that should have been verifying these actions. Lack of protocol and possibly the “senior pilot syndrome “ attributed to this incident. Look up the Asiana Airline crash in San Francisco.

  66. sushil bhatia Guest

    I would say the sad story being repeated, time and again. The knee jerk reaction is fire the pilots.
    WHO should not been the concern,.
    HOW, WHY should be.
    We seem to be cutting corners when it comes to aviation. We have been through very rough patch, we know. Why we make it worse by compromising on quality?

  67. Dominic Canty-Forrest Guest

    I am an ATR Training Captain and have been flying now for some thirty years plus.
    I can only assume from the initial report that during the departure set up on the 777 there is no confirmation between the crew as to V1 Vr V2 etc for a given WAT , even if this is not the case how was the obvious in IAS not noticed to be well in excess of normal ops.

    I am an ATR Training Captain and have been flying now for some thirty years plus.
    I can only assume from the initial report that during the departure set up on the 777 there is no confirmation between the crew as to V1 Vr V2 etc for a given WAT , even if this is not the case how was the obvious in IAS not noticed to be well in excess of normal ops.
    It is my belief that a portion of blame would fall on the onerous use of FDM, although the tool itself if used as intended is of great value, company’s appear to use this as a big stick to chastise crew for the most minor detours from SOPs.
    The result is that crews no longer wish to hand fly and loose their flying skills and rely more heavily on the systems of the aircraft to keep them out of trouble.
    This is in my opinion a retrograde step in aviation.
    Designers will tell you that the aircraft are now more reliable and fuel efficient plus tge systems make them easier to fly and less complex.
    I disagree as to the less complex. And therefore when something goes wrong, A the crew don’t know it’s gone wrong, B when they realise it has gone wrong the crew don’t know why and C because of their lack of basic flying skills, the crew don’t know how to deal with it.

    1. Dan77W Guest

      On the contrary at EK there are extensive almost ridiculously exhausting cross checkis of the performance data and it’s entry into the FMS.

  68. Javed Khan Guest

    I haven't flown 777s but normally on take off when you engage TOGA which is a command for the auto throttles to move for take off thrust, the flight director will indicate a nose up on rotation to the correct pitch in relation to your speed regardless of what is selected in the altitude window, only when the pilot engages the autopilot after safely getting airborne and landing gears retracted the altitude selected and armed...

    I haven't flown 777s but normally on take off when you engage TOGA which is a command for the auto throttles to move for take off thrust, the flight director will indicate a nose up on rotation to the correct pitch in relation to your speed regardless of what is selected in the altitude window, only when the pilot engages the autopilot after safely getting airborne and landing gears retracted the altitude selected and armed will command the autopilot to climb or descend so there could be a malfunction of the flight director

  69. Adnan AlShaili Guest

    So the pilots thought no one will pick up on this and they continued flying to destination. Those cheap pilots should be fired. The last thing I want to see on news is an air disaster with fatalities during Christmas times. Allah bless all souls.

    1. Dan77W Guest

      Very backwards way of thinking and is indeed indicative of the safety culture at many non western carriers. Unless it’s severe negligence nothing is gained from a punitive safety culture.

  70. Kerry Gold

    How many checklist items were skipped/ignored to allow this to happen? What is especially terrifying is that this happened with 4 pilots in the cockpit? Of course we cannot infer a general statement about an airline’s safety culture from one incident, and we need more detailed information, but if this outline is remotely true it seems extremely worrying that multiple pilots in the cockpit failed to correct or intervene in this chain of errors….

    1. Know the facts Guest

      The article is wrong and very speculative, 4000 was set and no checklist items were missed....

    2. Derek Lee Guest

      I haven't seen anyone on this forum bring up the possible failure being that the trim wasn't set correctly and that the flying pilot might have been trying to pull back on the yoke at VR but couldn't get the aircraft to lift off the ground. Not setting the proper trim setting has caused multiple aircraft issues over the years even in airliner and corporate jets. Exact trim setting before take off is crucial. I...

      I haven't seen anyone on this forum bring up the possible failure being that the trim wasn't set correctly and that the flying pilot might have been trying to pull back on the yoke at VR but couldn't get the aircraft to lift off the ground. Not setting the proper trim setting has caused multiple aircraft issues over the years even in airliner and corporate jets. Exact trim setting before take off is crucial. I have flown as a captain in many different jets but mostly in the 747 and A321 for over thirty years. It would be difficult to get airborne in any large aircraft if the trim isn't set correctly for the current CG. This might not be the case in this situation but I thought it could be another possible scenario of improper trim setting causing this issue. Just my opinion.

    3. Bert Guest

      My thoughts exactly. It would explain failure to rotate And lack of climb!
      There's been an incident before in MEL
      An incorrect Temp/TOW/CG mis-entered and the CG trim becomes erroneous.
      Plausible for sure.

  71. Stu Pryke Guest

    There isa deliberate move by Airline Corporate to dumb down the quality of its pilots.experience now counts for nothing since this a phase of risk discovery to find what levels of hull loss, matched with cheaper crews, an airline can suffer before it hits the bottom line.(Air Asia..Ethiopian…etc)the rapid promotions of junior pilots as senior positions reach retirement or resignation is now a common theme..and appears to mirror the Merchant Marine of the early 80’s..Asean...

    There isa deliberate move by Airline Corporate to dumb down the quality of its pilots.experience now counts for nothing since this a phase of risk discovery to find what levels of hull loss, matched with cheaper crews, an airline can suffer before it hits the bottom line.(Air Asia..Ethiopian…etc)the rapid promotions of junior pilots as senior positions reach retirement or resignation is now a common theme..and appears to mirror the Merchant Marine of the early 80’s..Asean and Eastern block officers etc..so few Airlines have the leadership to step up and support maintaining experienced crew..sadly, EK isn’t one of them.

  72. Hale Irwin Guest

    It appears from many accidents over the past Decade that many pilots don't understand the basic laws of flight. Knowledge young Navy/Marine Student pilots had ingrained into their brain-housing group at basic flight in the 60’s.

  73. Rich Guest

    The altitude not set prior to takeoff had nothing to do with the initial part of the this incident.
    When reaching Vr (takeoff speed), the pilot should have pitched the airplane up to 15 degrees. Within a few seconds, the flight directors will “catch up” and will also be very close to 15 degrees.
    The flight directors would not point the 777 down until VNAV (vertical navigation) was engaged, which occurs at 1000...

    The altitude not set prior to takeoff had nothing to do with the initial part of the this incident.
    When reaching Vr (takeoff speed), the pilot should have pitched the airplane up to 15 degrees. Within a few seconds, the flight directors will “catch up” and will also be very close to 15 degrees.
    The flight directors would not point the 777 down until VNAV (vertical navigation) was engaged, which occurs at 1000 feet above the airport elevation (62 feet in Dubai)
    While we don’t know for sure yet, I feel this pilot didn’t even have the Flight Director on (which is against Emirates policy). I can’t understand how the other 3 pilots apparently said nothing)
    Seems like Emirates did me a favor by making me part for the 1800 Airbus pilots fired in 2020.

    1. Know the facts Guest

      Maybe you should do a bit of homework into a 777 before you reply with Airbus specific knowledge.

      4000 was set, FD's were on and VNAV engages much lower in a 777. Unfortunately the pilot flying messed up somehow and the rest caught it. Both augmenting pilots were not fired, as you should know, they would have been gone too if they didn't do the right thing

      Think before replying

    2. Dan77W Guest

      Hey how bout not being so condescending with each post. If you know exactly what happened please lay it out for us. All of these people are of course speculating BECAUSE they don’t have facts. If you have the facts don’t keep them a secret, lay out what you know and what you suspect happened (if anything)!

    3. Bert Guest

      Could an incorrect Stab trim setting have played a part in this?
      An incorrect TOW/Temp/CG setting in the FMS Takeoff Ref page?
      Makes no sense the PF did not rotate on the callout, despite altitude being set to Zero.
      Final report will be some read!

  74. Jose Guest

    I would look into the crew logbooks and check how many hours have they worked and under what conditions in the last year. This type of error can only be attributed to fatigue.

  75. Wazza Guest

    It is highly improbable that the aircraft was still on the ground at 219 knots. I can't imagine a single four pilot crew who would have failed to rotate that late.

    If a pilot flying (the pilot who is actually manipulating the controls at a given point) hasn't rotated within two or three knots if Vr (the given rotate speed calculated for a particular takeoff) they would have every other pilot in the flight deck...

    It is highly improbable that the aircraft was still on the ground at 219 knots. I can't imagine a single four pilot crew who would have failed to rotate that late.

    If a pilot flying (the pilot who is actually manipulating the controls at a given point) hasn't rotated within two or three knots if Vr (the given rotate speed calculated for a particular takeoff) they would have every other pilot in the flight deck providing verbal reminders to rotate. If the PF still hadn't rotated by about Vr+10 knots you can be guaranteed that the other pilot in the other control seat will have taken control and rotated.

    This article is interesting and full of information but it is entirely speculative seemingly based entirely on information gleaned from third party flight tracking parties.

  76. Wazza Guest

    Mark D,
    Dude, please remove your toxic infallibility from the modern flight deck. It's attitudes like yours that lead to incidents like these anyway. (Are we allowed to bring up the VERY recent United Airlines 2864 in a B777 from Hong Kong that missed Lantau Island by a few hundred feet or is it only non-US carriers that are dangerous?)

    I don't like Emirates either but it has nothing to do with their safety record.

    1. Dan77W Guest

      What did he say that was so toxic?

  77. Crosscourt Guest

    What a seriously stupid comment from this person Mark D... don't fly these types if carriers. You're talking about one of the most prominent airlines in the world. A typically blinkered American comment. Probably never heard of Emirates.

    1. Ricardo Cross Guest

      Um.....I will take to the word of a current 777 Captain over an armchair pilot any day.

    2. Dillyboi Guest

      That’s an incredibly arrogant thing to say to a current 777 skipper who is just trying to help all of us here figuring this out. As someone who flew for EK in “the tractor” many of the criticisms and suspicions voiced on here have more than a modicum of validity. This all is leaving us scratching our heads. It’s not all glamour at Emirates! However much on here is equally hysterical BS. The reality is...

      That’s an incredibly arrogant thing to say to a current 777 skipper who is just trying to help all of us here figuring this out. As someone who flew for EK in “the tractor” many of the criticisms and suspicions voiced on here have more than a modicum of validity. This all is leaving us scratching our heads. It’s not all glamour at Emirates! However much on here is equally hysterical BS. The reality is nuanced. I would have the upmost confidence stepping on an EK airplane before “the purge”, now not so much.

  78. Brizone Gold

    Well, it sounds like the inbound pair of pilots got fired, as did the two on the flight deck of this one. I hope this ends up being covered at some point by https://twitter.com/MenTourPilot. He covered a similar incident - but with a major tail strike - on an Air India flight to Dubai from Tiruchirapalli in 2018 where they *also* didn't turn around. Checklists are a thing, for a reason...

    1. Brizone Gold

      Ack, meant to put that second link in there. Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kA6m1U0QUA. Sorry.

  79. Rick Monahan Guest

    I have flown in and out of the Dubia airport, more times than anywhere I've been.

    On take offs, I time it, because I was told it shouldn't take a minute to get off the ground. Most airplanes averaged 45 seconds. Some as low as 30 seconds.
    I got concerned when it took over a minute to get off the ground!

    That was in the Emirate's A380 Jumbo-jet. I think the "A"...

    I have flown in and out of the Dubia airport, more times than anywhere I've been.

    On take offs, I time it, because I was told it shouldn't take a minute to get off the ground. Most airplanes averaged 45 seconds. Some as low as 30 seconds.
    I got concerned when it took over a minute to get off the ground!

    That was in the Emirate's A380 Jumbo-jet. I think the "A" means "Airbus".
    Other than that, it was a good flight. I fly to Thailand (6 Hours) in the A380 and had flown to eastern Australia (13 hours) in the A380.

    Observing the Emirate's pilots, they appear to be European or American. The pilots always did fine for us. And so did the stewardesses. I was an American contractor up in the Himalayas.
    We got there via a charter airplane.

    One time our 737 airplane was running out of fuel, so we had to land in Pakistan. That was because we had 3 take-offs with no landings.

  80. 77W Guest

    This “incident” never happened. SOPs would’ve caught the MCP selection, most pilots fly past 10,000’; and someone would’ve spoken up long before the end of the runway (not to mention the fact that by the time you accelerate to 200kts, you’d probably be going through the fence or just about to).

  81. Bill Guest

    You will only encounter that issue with the autopilot engaged. It’s never engaged for takeoffs.

  82. Antonio, retired A330/340/350 Capt. Guest

    Always read your FMA.

  83. Recently retired commercial aviator Guest

    Negligence and incompetence by BOTH operating pilots. That's the only explanation which fits the situation and clearly Emirates Flt Ops Mgt know it - hence the memo. Let us hope the FAA investigators are more competent at their jobs.

  84. Eddie Guest

    Very simple. Do not fly Emirates. Seems there pilots are negligent. Not trained properly. They the souls in danger.

  85. Daniel Guest

    The question is: was the pilot flying Emirati or not? Some of their pilots are quite junior compared to their international colleagues.

    1. George Guest

      I have zero confidence in the rigor of training that Emirati pilots are getting. I’ve been “inside” the UAE’s government, and the free passes Emiratis get in life just so an employer can brag about their Emiratization statistics is staggering. All the more concerning since it’s apparent that Emirates is pushing for more Emirati pilots.

  86. Fred M Guest

    EK has been here before: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emirates_Flight_407.
    That said, I have flown numerous EK legs on 777 and 380 and never once had cause for concern.

  87. Alghamdi abdullah Guest

    Dear sir
    A B777 can’t do auto take off , so it should be flown manually for takeoff
    Minimum altitude to engage the auto pilot is 200 feet AGL as per boing handbook no change yet.
    Considering wrong inputs to the FMC the crew maybe entered figures that is lot lower than the actual weight which will result in a lower acceleration and longer runway distance.
    A lower altitude (000) selector...

    Dear sir
    A B777 can’t do auto take off , so it should be flown manually for takeoff
    Minimum altitude to engage the auto pilot is 200 feet AGL as per boing handbook no change yet.
    Considering wrong inputs to the FMC the crew maybe entered figures that is lot lower than the actual weight which will result in a lower acceleration and longer runway distance.
    A lower altitude (000) selector is not effective if VNAV IS ENGAGED with correct fmc info.
    Temperature inversion is normal phenomenon in the gulf coast .
    Departure time is a big factor for the crew fatigue
    We will wait and see what happens actually.

    Regards

  88. Alex Guest

    Was being piloted by a Female Captain.
    Emirates has a whole lot of pilots who can’t walk the talk. Just keep talking instead of flying.
    Focus on everything but flying the plane. Lucky she didn’t kill everyone.

    1. GreenScot Guest

      What is the relevance of the pilot’s gender here? The article does not assert it is a male so your comment is not a correction. Is there a source of your intel as to the pilot’s gender and really what are you trying to say by stating this?

    2. Aliza Guest

      I flew on this flight and I can confirm the captain was a female but that does NOT mean it was the captains fault. There were three other pilots in the cockpit and they were males. If four people were still not enough to take off a 777, then I think it’s time Emirates needs to re-train their pilots

    3. Dan77W Guest

      Actually quite the opposite in the eyes of the airline and regulator it is ALWAYS the Captains fault!

  89. Kevin B Guest

    In my airplane (an Embraer corporate jet) and all other planes I've flown, the SOP on takeoff is to have the flight director vertical mode in Takeoff mode, which pitches up to a specific nose-up attitude. You wouldn't even switch to another vertical climb mode until clear of obstacles.

    Curious how this works in the larger transport category Boeings.

  90. Aliza Guest

    I was on that flight and I can tell you that it was really scary during takeoff, and most of us thought this was it for us. During the rest of the flight It seemed as if they still didn’t have anything under control. Most scary experience of my life.

    1. Leigh Guest

      Curious...what does this mean: "During the rest of the flight It seemed as if they still didn’t have anything under control."? What other incidents happened inflight?

    2. Aliza Guest

      I felt as if there was a problem with the engine. I’m not sure if it was just me overthinking it after what happened during takeoff, but the pilot kept putting the engine to full throttle for some reason.

    3. Leigh Guest

      Commercial jets regularly increase power periodically during flight. As they burn-off fuel it lowers the weight of the aircraft, allowing them to be able to climb to a higher and more fuel-efficient altitudes. The same would be especially true for a long-haul flight loaded with lots of fuel, such as DXB-IAD, where they would have had multiple step climbs during the journey (and when they briefly increase power to get to the next higher altitude)....

      Commercial jets regularly increase power periodically during flight. As they burn-off fuel it lowers the weight of the aircraft, allowing them to be able to climb to a higher and more fuel-efficient altitudes. The same would be especially true for a long-haul flight loaded with lots of fuel, such as DXB-IAD, where they would have had multiple step climbs during the journey (and when they briefly increase power to get to the next higher altitude).

      Sorry it was stressful!!! Enjoy your trip!

    4. Aliza Guest

      Thanks for the information! But is it normal for the pilot to also put the engine on idle two minutes after putting it on full throttle and continuing this every half hour or so during the entire flight.

    5. Dan77W Guest

      Aliza,

      Lots of what you experience, feel, hear and smell on any flight that might seem unusual are routine and easily explained. I seem to recall from my experience on the 777 what you describe somewhat matching an operational bulletin to prevent fan blade icing on the GE90 engines in cruise.

  91. Nina Guest

    I see that pilots who answer a hiring post are required MORE for hours put in than what qualifications they have. ... Should look into this.

  92. Charles D Linenfelser Guest

    AS a former commuter pilot with a large company based in Texas. I find what happened hard to understand. The take off should be hand flown by the flying pilot until at a safe altitude before engaging autopilot. It appears to me that a host of mistakes were made by not returning to the departing airport to have the plane inspected for potential damage due to exceeding airspeed limits of a variety of surfaces. By...

    AS a former commuter pilot with a large company based in Texas. I find what happened hard to understand. The take off should be hand flown by the flying pilot until at a safe altitude before engaging autopilot. It appears to me that a host of mistakes were made by not returning to the departing airport to have the plane inspected for potential damage due to exceeding airspeed limits of a variety of surfaces. By continuing the flight they exposed everyone on the plane to potential dangers for hours.

  93. George Romey Guest

    From what I've seen on planes today NO ONE (other than older dudes like me that are Aviation Geeks) ever look out the window. In fact, most people as soon as they sit down shut the window shades. The a/c could have been skimming the tops of trees with no one the wiser.

    1. D3kingg Guest

      @George Romey

      I’m a window nazi. The shade stays up for taxi and takeoff until we reach 10,000 FT. Then it remains down for the duration of the flight until final approach.

      While the plane is taxiing I’ll turn my head 360 for plane spotting a heavy aircraft. No one else cares. Another one is seat assignments even most frequent fliers don’t care.

  94. Sunil Guest

    Plain lucky Airline. Third almost fatal incident. Other two are the Dubai Landing fire and The wrong speeds and tail strike at Sydney

    1. Dan77W Guest

      You forgot the Joburg incident and I believe you were referring to the Melbourne incident. BTW the Dubai “landing fire” was not a fire, it was a crash.

    2. Rob Britton Guest

      And you’re missing the two CFIT (controlled flight into terrain) at Moscow and New York Kennedy. They’ve built a global brand atop operational inconsistency sometimes bordering — as in this close call — astonishing incompetence.

    3. Dillyboi Guest

      I was leaving out those 2 cause there was no bent metal involved…. But yes, over reliance on automation, loss of SA probably due to unfamiliarity and in the JFK case an over complicated “recommended” (ie at EK you better do it) procedure for this particular VOR approach that is more appropriately an IMC let down procedure (as opposed to the RNP) best flown clicking the automatics off and follow the lights once you get below the ceiling.

  95. Phil Guest

    This sort of safety event will become more common as airlines hire based on equity, not skill.

    1. Leigh Guest

      Hogwash political statement and not factual, Archie Bunker...

      ...show us the facts...oh, that's right, you don't have any facts.

      Emirates being a UAE carrier, they would be the least likely airline to use for such a silly statement as well.

    2. Steve Diamond

      Sad but true Phil. And Lelgh Emirates loves showing off their all-female crew and has routinely promoted it. Emirates is great with marketing always has been so it does not surprise me if they think of marketing first over safety. It is a shame that standardized tests for anything now is considered racist or sexist. Standardized tests are perfect for eliminating discrimination you either have the skills and knowledge or you dont period regardless or race or gender.

    3. Geedee Guest

      I wouldnt get too smug about this sort of event and the supposed makeup of the flight crew. This "event" type is not unique to any carriers flying the 777.

    4. Leigh Guest

      Steve, sincerely appreciate your comments. I'm not from the region...so I'm open for feedback. Take care.

    5. Rich Guest

      He speaks the truth. I am one of the 90% of foreign Airbus pilots Emirates “fired” in 2020.
      They fired a TON of very experienced pilots who didn’t have the slightest mark on their flight record.

  96. Poldo Guest

    Things like this are to happen when airlines in the Middle East fly well above the maximum flight time limitations, factorizing hours which creates long term fatigue and when you report this, you either will be called to the office, fired or told that it is “legal”. Comparing some friends hours in these airlines, we have EASA FTL of 900h per year, while they do fly almost 2x as much. They divide the hours and...

    Things like this are to happen when airlines in the Middle East fly well above the maximum flight time limitations, factorizing hours which creates long term fatigue and when you report this, you either will be called to the office, fired or told that it is “legal”. Comparing some friends hours in these airlines, we have EASA FTL of 900h per year, while they do fly almost 2x as much. They divide the hours and time spent in the bunk resting is not counted towards FTL which is absolutely Terry ring.Therefore you need less pilots to fly same amount of hours other airlines fly in EU or US.

  97. Jack Simpson Guest

    I agree with Eric!
    Also Arab countries especially push Arab pilots and crew to lead positions even if they are not competent enough from my experience. This is dangerous.

  98. shoeguy Guest

    Emirates pilots deal with a lot of fatigue due to late night/middle of the night departures? Emirates 777 pilots are less experienced???? I'm not defending EK on this, but are you seriously kidding here? Unless you have specific knowledge, which you don't, and are just speculating while looking out of your window, you should not be making such statements.

    1. Dan77W Guest

      Well you have the “old hands” and you have 25 yr old local cadets with under 1000 hrs piloting that shiney widebody, very very well trained however lacking exposure. So experience levels could very well be a concern. So could fatigue. Or it could be neither.

  99. STUART Guest

    EK had a similar event to this many years ago in Melbourne when the pilot incorrectly loaded in the aircraft take off weight into their computer. The aircraft on lift off struggled to take off and took out a small radio tower. This incident was put down to pilot fatigue.

  100. Luis Guest

    Seems like competitive market who makes a Burning hole first next year, EK or QR... Sadly ME3 have a poor safety culture, illegal flight time limits anywhere else in the world. No just culture and poor SOPs. Fly a safe airline instead of the good service! Oh and offcourse pound sponsors of omat, simply flying etc

  101. Sia Guest

    I was one of the cabin crew on this flight.. it was so frightening.

    1. Aliza Guest

      Maybe you might remember me, but I was also on that flight. We were flying as a family. And we were really terrified

    2. LA Guest

      Would a professional flight crew member really comment on this, knowing that an investigation is underway??

      I think we have some stow-aways on this conversations thread....

    3. Dillyboi Guest

      No Emirates Cabin Crew, especially from that flight would be foolish enough to comment on here. Even with a VPN you have to be careful, PR is everything to EK and Dubai and all crew members would be under a certain amount of “soft” surveillance, even cabin crew. Posting on pages such as this with that claim would immediately invite further attention.

  102. Jesper Guest

    @Ben

    https://avherald.com/h?article=4f24b2d7&opt=0

    Some more details.

    1. Jan Guest

      Thanks Jesper.
      According to the article the aircraft went back straight away.
      When I look at flightaware/flightradar24 the flight from IAD to DXB left at 13:45 in 21Dec (instead of its STD at 10:30 on 20Dec).
      So was it cancelled on 20Dec and delayed to 21Dec? Or am I interpreting the websites data incorrectly?

  103. Wahyu Widjayanto Guest

    Before departure, the pilots forgot to set altitute to 4.000 feet ? And rather left it to zero ? Isn't that item mentioned in the check list ? I don't think that they forgot to read it.

    1. C. Weston Guest

      You nailed it. Not completing the checklist on EVERY flight is grounds for termination

    2. Know the facts Guest

      4000 was set in the window, misinformation in the article

  104. John Guest

    All these juicy acronyms and numbers...........it's only a matter of time before @Sean M appears and bombards us with a powerful flurry of.....even more acronyms! You have been warned!!

  105. Akshay Guest

    Most airlines set missed approach not field elevation ..that’s absurd ..would be a pain to go around with field elevation ..

    1. Know the facts Guest

      Emirates does that too, they are referring to the settings after landing. How you leave the aircraft behind for the next crew

  106. Jan Guest

    Interesting that A6-EQI did not immediately return to DXB for some structural checks. After all, it was way too fast when considering that the flaps were most likely down.

    According to flight radar, it did arrive at IAD with a 25-minute delay at 08:35 in 20Dec. The flight from IAD to DXB left at 13:45 in 21Dec (instead of its STD at 10:30 on 20Dec).
    So was it cancelled on 20Dec and delayed to...

    Interesting that A6-EQI did not immediately return to DXB for some structural checks. After all, it was way too fast when considering that the flaps were most likely down.

    According to flight radar, it did arrive at IAD with a 25-minute delay at 08:35 in 20Dec. The flight from IAD to DXB left at 13:45 in 21Dec (instead of its STD at 10:30 on 20Dec).
    So was it cancelled on 20Dec and delayed to 21Dec? Or am I interpreting the Flightradar24 data incorrectly?
    And if it was delayed by >1 day: did the same pilots fly it back.

    Anyway, A6-EQI did have two days of rest (22Dec until 24Dec) at DXB and currently is flying to Geneva.

  107. Aaron Guest

    It's interesting that all 4 pilots were fired. I assume the other 2 pilots were relief pilots, and thus, not involved with the take off. Do the relief pilots normally sit in the flight deck during takeoff and landing?

    1. Julian Guest

      I thought he meant the pilots of the inbound and the outbound, since the former changed the settings and the latter didn't catch the change.

    2. Leigh Guest

      No. All 4 have responsibility for the outbound segment DXB-IAD, due to the length of the flight. The relief pilots fly the middle of the portion of the flight on a staggered schedule. They get a new crew if 4 pilots for the return IAD-DXB.

    3. Know the facts Guest

      The relief pilots were not fired

    4. M.S.Reddy Guest

      YES..
      TECHNICALLY TILL 10000 FEET

  108. Frederik Guest

    Does not surprise me at all. Both UAE and Qatar (ME3) are not following EASA/FAA flight time rules thus pilots can fly twice as much as anywhere else in the world, being extremely tired all the time at work. They both enforce strict autopilot use so at 200ft autopilot on, if that one doesn't do what it is supposed to they are very low to the ground! Flydubai +EK are 1 one crash each. Qatar...

    Does not surprise me at all. Both UAE and Qatar (ME3) are not following EASA/FAA flight time rules thus pilots can fly twice as much as anywhere else in the world, being extremely tired all the time at work. They both enforce strict autopilot use so at 200ft autopilot on, if that one doesn't do what it is supposed to they are very low to the ground! Flydubai +EK are 1 one crash each. Qatar landed next to the runway last month but got away with some damage. You prefer a better service over a lower safety in these airlines. Ryanair has a better safety record than these guys !

    1. Know the facts Guest

      You clearly don't know the facts. There is no such thing as strict autopilot use at Emirates. Pilots can handfly upto and from 20.000'

    2. Dillyboi Guest

      I flew there for half a decade, not once did I see anyone hand-fly up to 10,000 ft which was the limit, I don’t know where you got 20,000 ft. Max use of automation was the mantra, handflying was discouraged. However a long haul heavily laden 777 at 2am in busy airspace is not really the time to be handflying.

    3. Dan77W Guest

      Maximum use of automation, that’s what was expected when I flew there.

    4. Know the facts Guest

      Again, that's a long time ago

    5. Know the facts Guest

      That shows you've been gone for more then 4 years as that's when the automation policy changed...

      Also DXB at 2am is not busy....at all

  109. Botolo Guest

    I would be interested to know which airlines have pilots with the highest number of flying hours.

    1. C. Weston Guest

      Usually come from Military. Miss those Eastern Airlines pilots. The best pilot group in the history of aviation.

    2. Leigh Guest

      Pan American might disagree with that comparison to Eastern.

      Also, the larger % pilots no longer come from the military...that was in the old days.

    3. Dillyboi Guest

      Actually military flyers coming to the major airlines actually have far LESS hours, especially fighter guys/gals compared to their civilian counterparts, as the training and experience make those hours more valuable.

  110. Chris Gold

    I'm not sure what their autopilot engagement height is, but Boeing VNAV logic wouldn't pitch the aircraft down in a climb phase -- at most with conflicting altitude from the flight management computer and the altitude "window" it would level off.

  111. pstm91 Diamond

    Don't pilots run down a printed check list? Is that not part of it?

    1. Chris Gold

      It's usually on there more then once...

    2. Edward Guest

      Some of the details here are wrong, but the outcome is a pretty accurate. The crew did not forget to set 4000ft in the MCP ALT window, but apparently the crew prior had set 00000 when shuttung down. This lead the F/D to engage in ALT instead of TO/GA when switched on.

      Previously EK had a procedure called "Takeoff review" where the FMA modes were called out verbally before departure. This could have picked up...

      Some of the details here are wrong, but the outcome is a pretty accurate. The crew did not forget to set 4000ft in the MCP ALT window, but apparently the crew prior had set 00000 when shuttung down. This lead the F/D to engage in ALT instead of TO/GA when switched on.

      Previously EK had a procedure called "Takeoff review" where the FMA modes were called out verbally before departure. This could have picked up this error. Regardless, the PF blindly followed the F/D where she instead should have been pitching up towards 15 degrees. Never a good idea.

      I don't know about any structural damage. Whoever provided the information was probably thinking of the "Flap load relief" feature. That should have commanded the flaps to be raised at this overspeed condition, exactly to avoid structural damage.

      Finally, the pilots are not fired (yet?). These are the finest pilots EK has, as they did not have any sick days. If they had sick days they would have been made redundant during the mass layoffs last year.

    3. Stunhguod Guest

      I see what you did there… well played, sir!

  112. Tango Alpha Papa Guest

    The pilot did not set the SID departure altitude into the MCP window as is normally the procedure. After takeoff, she continued to fly the Flight Director down, which was referencing the 0 altitude that was in the MCP window. She nearly crashed the aircraft into the ground. Speed was 262kts at 175 feet. She then continued on to DC with possible structural damage to the A/C. They are lucky they didn’t crash it into one of the many buildings in Diera.

  113. David Diamond

    I remember many months ago there was a (credible?) comment about one of the ME3 airlines being extremely safe, and another one that should be avoided. The author never specified which one, but it seems clear now. To have 4 pilots not only miss this, but decide they should just fly to the destination anyways, and Emirates sending out a memo about this occurring MULTIPLE times when it should really occur 0 times.

    I'm going...

    I remember many months ago there was a (credible?) comment about one of the ME3 airlines being extremely safe, and another one that should be avoided. The author never specified which one, but it seems clear now. To have 4 pilots not only miss this, but decide they should just fly to the destination anyways, and Emirates sending out a memo about this occurring MULTIPLE times when it should really occur 0 times.

    I'm going to take a hard pass on Emirates from now on, especially when that wood-and-gold Middle Eastern oil fortune aesthetic does nothing for me anyways.

    1. David Diamond

      So this is the article: https://onemileatatime.com/airline-safety-records/ It refers to maintenance apparently, but I'm still skeptical of Emirates now.

    2. Jan Guest

      …but in general, the safety record of Emirates is quite good, isn’t it? No major accidents so far. They lost two planes (due to pilot errors). (?)

      How can that be explained?
      Is it because they are only flying bigger aircraft that are generally more safe on long routes (and also have less takeoffs and landings)?

      Would be interesting to compare daily takeoffs of Emirates to let’s say United or Delta or Swiss or Air France.

    3. Aviatrix Guest

      Emirates crashed a 77W at Dubai a few years back with a fatality (one of the firemen), due to an internal know issue (but not communicated by Boeing) with the aircraft on go-around. The pilots didn’t notice the thrust levers were back and pitched for the go-around. Stalled onto the runway.

    4. Dillyboi Guest

      Any normal pilot worth his or her salt that close to the ground would have firewalled those thrust levers forward faster than any auto throttle ever could. And what pilot that’s their hands off the thrust levers below 1000 ft? Yet another instance of over dependence on automation. Yes let’s just click the TOGA buttons, place both hands on the yoke and follow the flight director!

  114. Robert D Guest

    Am I missing something? On the chart you provided, I am not seeing where the altitude went down.

  115. - J Guest

    The “damage” would mostly like have been oversped flaps. Although I doubt they were actually damaged. Maintenance write up.

    1. Know the facts Guest

      Nope, Flaps are protected against overspeed, I'll save you the long technical explanation

  116. Jeff Guest

    Flightaware track data is not accurate at that altitude. and should not be relied upon or referenced. This is what FDR data is for. I don't work for Emirates but almost no Boeing operators (except Southwest, for some strange reason) set field elevation in the MCP on approach. Most airlines set missed approach altitude, typically 3000-4000 feet agl.

    1. - J Guest

      There’s a habit from the crew (non FCOM) to set 00000 in after shutdown. Not SOP but it happens. Some crews leave that in until after clearance received and then reset MCP. Again, not SOP.

    2. Alan Guest

      He referenced Flightradar24, not FlightAware but the networks are very similar. These days the providers are all ingesting high quality ADS-B data the airplanes including surface level (taxi) coverage for DXB. They are obviously missing many reports with those 10+ second gaps but the data that is there is self-reported by the jet’s transponder using 1090 ES and error checked.

      I agree that the missed approach altitude, or at least minimums, would be the value...

      He referenced Flightradar24, not FlightAware but the networks are very similar. These days the providers are all ingesting high quality ADS-B data the airplanes including surface level (taxi) coverage for DXB. They are obviously missing many reports with those 10+ second gaps but the data that is there is self-reported by the jet’s transponder using 1090 ES and error checked.

      I agree that the missed approach altitude, or at least minimums, would be the value set by any sane pilot. But the pull quote from Emirates states that the pilots should not set field elevation “after landing or shutdown” alluding to a different issue after landing.

    3. S Member

      This was my first thought too, wouldn't the altitude on approach be set to a missed approach altitude and not 0?

    4. SKP Guest

      Again some armchair investigators reading altitude from flightradar24 would be ADSB brodcasted altitude. ADSB transmits the databus altitude WHICH IS WITH REFERENCE TO 1013.2.

      While the pilots would be useing PFD altitude (would be with reference to QNH).

      Please don't jump the gun, let professionals with all the relevant data, specific aircraft, company procedure/policy finish their job.

  117. Jared Guest

    This is not an isolated incident in Emirates. Two prior incidents were caused by pilots “forgetting” to enter the correct altitude at departure. However, no damage to the aircraft was reported in these incidents.

    1. Mark D Guest

      I’m a captain at a U.S. major airline with a lot of time in 777s. Something this doesn’t mention is the that even if ground level was set into the mode control panel, the aircraft wouldn’t have descended if it was being hand flown. That means that the flying pilot here selected the autopilot on immediately after takeoff. This is unusual at Western carriers as we like to hand fly. To me this indicates a...

      I’m a captain at a U.S. major airline with a lot of time in 777s. Something this doesn’t mention is the that even if ground level was set into the mode control panel, the aircraft wouldn’t have descended if it was being hand flown. That means that the flying pilot here selected the autopilot on immediately after takeoff. This is unusual at Western carriers as we like to hand fly. To me this indicates a lack of experience or confidence or both. Also, this is something that SHOULD have been caught by at least two separate checklists, which they obviously didn’t do. Lastly, if they didn’t have a higher altitude in the altitude window, VNAV (vertical navigation) couldn’t have been armed which is a standard SOP during cockpit setup.
      So, these pilots were ill trained and negligent. Don’t fly on these types of carriers. I don’t.

    2. Know the facts Guest

      The altitude was set to 4000. Don't know where this misinformation came from and thus nonsense conclusions.

      Yes major fuckup by operating crew never the less

    3. James dyn Guest

      Im not gonna comment on your theory as an official investigation still going however you are advising not to fly on these carriers just because a humain error occurred with a rate of 0.0001% ? With zero fatalities ? Pathetic , shall i remind you Flight 965 , 587?
      Blaming a whole regions for humain error is like calling all muslims terrorists , sounds too familiar coming from an American !

    4. Alberto Chichizola Guest

      You are right Mark

  118. Eric Guest

    Emirates' message to its pilots is a complete cop-out, it should be irrelevant what is in the MCP window when the next crew takes acceptance of the aircraft because they should always set it to an appropriate altitude for their departure. It's a checklist item on the 777's electronic checklist to ensure that the MCP is set correctly prior to departure.

    1. Metanoia Guest

      Not a 777 pilot... not an ATP either, but I can't even imagine not setting the first altitude restriction on the MCP when getting the clearance or briefing the departure. Did they not brief the departure? Probably the same departure out of DXB every time so they just forgot...

    2. John Doe Guest

      It’s the quality of pilots they have left, they fired all the experienced senior pilots and kept the inexperienced cheaper pilots.
      Some of them are really bad but have the right nationality. Everybody who worked there knows that.

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Mark D Guest

I’m a captain at a U.S. major airline with a lot of time in 777s. Something this doesn’t mention is the that even if ground level was set into the mode control panel, the aircraft wouldn’t have descended if it was being hand flown. That means that the flying pilot here selected the autopilot on immediately after takeoff. This is unusual at Western carriers as we like to hand fly. To me this indicates a lack of experience or confidence or both. Also, this is something that SHOULD have been caught by at least two separate checklists, which they obviously didn’t do. Lastly, if they didn’t have a higher altitude in the altitude window, VNAV (vertical navigation) couldn’t have been armed which is a standard SOP during cockpit setup. So, these pilots were ill trained and negligent. Don’t fly on these types of carriers. I don’t.

4
Al Hyde Guest

I set the MCP altitude to zero for 32 years after every landing because you know and everyone knows that’s not the next assigned correct altitude! No adult supervision is the order of the day. The message to flight crews from management just set the stage for the next incorrect altitude capture. Sad

2
LA Guest

Would a professional flight crew member really comment on this, knowing that an investigation is underway?? I think we have some stow-aways on this conversations thread....

2
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