Inital Reports from Emirates Crash Last Month

Roughly a month ago, an Emirates flight landing in Dubai on it's return leg from India, crashed on the runway during a landing attempt. Everyone on board was able to evacuate before the plane was engulfed in flames, only one firefighter was killed during the incident. That crash was speculated to have a gear problem that caused the crash... it appears that may not have been completely true.



Let me preface this by saying that this initial report is by no means conclusive, and the full investigation with true cause will come out many months from now. With that said, we now have the intial report from the investigation, and some of the reports on the first day of the accident look to overly favor the pilot. Historically aircraft accidents in majority of cases are caused by pilot error and the intial reports on Emirates flight 521 looks to have been caused by an error in the pilots actions.

What appears to have happened is that the 777-300 landed very long, almost 1000ft further down the runway than it should have. The cause for this may have been a number of factors from wind, to improper glide slope, but for whatever reason this occured, the aircraft touched down too far down the runway. Once the aircraft touched down the pilot decided to go around and try the landing again, this happens from time to time when an error happens during landing. 

Typically the process is to reapply full power to the engines, pull the nose up and lift off the runway. The pilot is then able to circle around and attempt the landing again. In the case of EK521 the pilot appears to have completed the go around sequence in an incorrect order. This may have been due to confusion or nerves or something else. 

On the Emirates flight the pilot appears to have lifted the nose in the air and immediately retracted the gear before applying power to the engines again. Jet engines do not go immediately to full thrust, there is time to spool up and hit full thrust. Due to the pilot lifting the aircraft and retracting the gear before adding engine power, the aircraft began to slow down significantly as soon as the plane was pulled into the air. Without adding power right away, the aircraft would not have had enough speed to stay in the air. The landing gear was not locked down to take the drop back onto the runway, and so the aircraft dropped back onto the belly of the plane and susequently crashed. 

This is the intial report at the moment and may change. We'll have to see what the final report says when it comes out.