I’m really beginning to wonder about the safety of Emirates after another Boeing 777 incident that could have resulted in the catastrophic loss of hundreds of lives.
A Second “Near Disaster” Incident On Emirates EK524
This isn’t clickbait. Here’s what we know about the incident, as reported by the Aviation Herald:
- The incident took place on January 9, 2022.
- EK524 from Dubai (DXB) to Hyderabad (HYD), operated by a Boeing 777-300 (registration A6-EQA, with capacity for up to 427 passengers) hurtled down runway 30R at Dubai International Airport even though it had not been granted clearance to take off.
- At the same time, another Emirates 777-300 (registration A6-EBY), preparing to take off for Bangalore (BLR) on EK568, was taxiing for departure and was cleared by air traffic control to cross runway 30R.
- The crew of EK524 was ordered to abort takeoff; it had already traveled 2,600 feet down the runway and reached speeds of 130 knots.
- Pilots were successful in bringing the aircraft to a sudden stop and pulled off the active runway behind EK568
The Aviation Herald reports that two independent sources confirmed the incident.
Just weeks after revelations of pilot error that could have led to the crash of a 777-300ER when pilots failed to immediately the notice plane’s nose was pitching down, comes a fresh incident of alleged pilot error.
> Read More: Emirates 777 Nearly Crashed Due To Pilot Error
I’m not a safety expert. Nor am I a pilot. But as a consumer and someone who has closely watched this industry for nearly 20 years, these recent event should be very unsettling to Emirates. While Emirates has stoically declined to comment thus far, these incidents demand a response and suggest that immediate reform is needed within the organization.
Emirates faces more scrutiny after revelations of a second near-miss incident that could have resulted in catastrophic loss. It’s time for Emirates to be transparent about these incidents and take concrete steps to ensure they are never repeated.
image: Anna Zvereva (of A6-EQA, one of the aircraft involved in this incident)
Matthew, that would be hurtled, not hurdled. In point 2. A bit dramatic though.
I don’t think he is being dramatic at all at 130 knots that 777-300ER was only around 30 knots shy of Vr/V2. The only reason why they were able to safely stop the aircraft is do to long length of DXB’s runways and probably do to the flight only going to HYD. Imagine if this sam 777-300ER were heading to LAX or DFW would they still have been able to safely stop the aircraft before reaching the intersection where the runway and taxiway intersect?
Luckily ATC was paying attention and called out abort if they hadn’t how fast would the 777-300 that was taking off without clearance have been going by the time they saw another 777 crossing the runway? And would they have had time if not for ATC to safely stop before hitting the taxiing 777 which was cleared to cross the runway?
None of these accidents are good in anyway, but it’s unfortunate that these have to happen to a state owned airline. If this were happen in Europe or the US, they’d be forced to respond and there would be a major investigation but since it’s in the UAE, they don’t necessarily need an investigation. I love the UAE but I’m glad I flew AF when I went.
I said it before. The issue is Crew Resource Management. FOs are probably treated like dirt. Oh and let’s not forget the rest rules or lack thereof. Most people don’t realize just how incredible the training is in the USA compared to most the rest of the world. Is Emirates safe … yes. It is as safe as even a Regional airline in the US… heck no! I bet the FO was afraid to speak up. What a shame.
I told a friend about the dangers of working for Emirates and she blocked me on Facebook.
FO’s are treated like kings in EK, so please get to know what a mistreated FO is then come to judge EK. Ek is the best in aviation you like it or not, and to be part of this team, mistake is not allowed unfortunately which creates a bit of stress for the crew, but you regarding treatment EK is amazing, talking of experience.
What about the other two middle east airlines? What does the grapevine say about the safety culture in those two?
I can’t speak for Etihad as they have such a small sample size in comparison to Emirates. EK as such will be much more exposed. But Qatar, perhaps closer (but still not as big) has had its share of close calls. Google the 2015 incident at Ft. Lauderdale when a 777 clipped the runway lights and barely made it off the ground in time. All because they miscalculated and decided not to use the full runway (opting for an intersection further down).
Again, all them have the same issue I imagine. Huge diversity in cultures in the cockpit and not enough continuous training of CRM to counter the different personalities.
Fort Lauderdale? I think you mean Miami-Dade. I departed KMIA shortly after the incident was discovered and it was the talk of the town (airport) when we arrived at our aircraft.
I did mean Miami, lol. Sorry.
A few years ago I switched to Etihad when I was flying in or through the region. Last year they were rated as the second safest airline while Emirates was 10th. New Zealand were rated the safest. These incidents will drop Emirates even further next year.
@ Dr. Saya. If you read the post Matthew did a few weeks ago regarding these safety ratings you might realize that they are weak at best. Especially read the comments from the commercial pilots that I think better highlight the absurdity of the factors weighed.
Qatar Airways has the best safety & security training. They always respect minimum rest, legality ,etc.
These are clearly issues of CRM that hark back to the same scenarios that haunted Korean in the late 90’s. If anyone recalls that period the end result was after the Guam crash of a 747-300 Korean executives finally saw the light after countless incidents. They brought in Delta to help train and develop their system of CRM so as to avoid the recurring theme that Captains were GOD and the F/O should never push doubt of their Captain’s actions.
I am going to bet we are looking at the same thing with EK right now. To complicate it further it’s not consistent and easy to identify with their crews across the board. The huge diversity of nationalities and cultures in the cockpit at EK make it far more complex. But no doubt, EK needs to find a way to bring crews together as a cohesive team or they are headed for a catastrophic accident. Sadly, it often takes loss of life to facilitate change, much like at Korean (which has been exemplary since).
And not Korean Air obviously, but Asiana’s crash at SFO had very similar problems IIRC. The co-pilots were too scared to challenge the captain that they were too low on the approach.
I fear an EK crash too.
Having flown for one of the big three for over 12 years these recent events are no surprise to me . During the pandemic these airlines immediately panicked and made thousands of pilots redundant . A few months later the company I worked for realised suddenly they were extremely short of crew . Business was picking up , repatriation flights and cargo was busy . It didn’t stop there , normal routes were being added back quickly and crew levels were well below what was needed. 23 hour flight duty periods were implemented. Flight time limitation directives were taken from EASA and then altered to suit the company . They changed the way pilots were logging hours to meet their monthly and yearly max . This allowed the company to roster flight after flight and the pilot would not meet the limit for the month . It didn’t matter what they would roster whether it would be constant consecutive nights , constant east /west transitions . They were not even any minimum days off anymore just so called minimum rest between a duty. Some months you were lucky if u even had 7 ‘days off. Even then your phone would be ringing asking if you could do another duty.
Everything that would be illegal Europe /USA was all legal in the Middle East. This has resulted in long term fatigue in pilots and it’s coming to light now as we all knew it would as pilots are making very basic errors . This is not a CRM problem . This is due to a perfect storm of issues from the pandemic. The knee jerk reaction of firing as many as they could get away with . Pay cuts introduced which you either accepted or were fired . Stress from being unable to see family for over a year . Emails that were always threatening you with disciplinary action if u didn’t comply . Flying to destinations where you were locked up for days on end and eating out of boxes that were placed outside your room. Relentless flying which left you constantly dazed for days on end not being able to sleep properly . This is down to the behaviour and mind set of the Middle East airlines who have zero respect for their employees . This is why I left recently when I had the chance . The writing was already on the wall sadly 🙁 Good luck to those who remain and fly safe.
This seemingly lenghty comment well is worth reading since it is exactly what I heard from fellow pilots at Emirates AND Qatar Airways !!
These shameful airlines are pretending to follow EASA rules but twisting the way they count flight time ending in having exhausted pilots !
It’s hard to say without a lot more information what the root cause of this event was. It’s tempting to look at a string of events and conclude they must be related.
They might not be of course. But the takeoff event was such a massive fundamental failure of airmanship that this event can’t help but spark some serious questions. As well it should. When you have the number of events that Emirates has had it should be sounding major alarm bells.
If Emirates isn’t right now doing some very deep soul searching and looking to implement major change they are just begging for a fatal accident. Major incidents just don’t happen with this frequency. So they really need to identify the root causes and fix them no matter how painful it may be.
Because if they don’t do what they need to do the alternative is almost guaranteed to be a lot worse.
A detailed safety audit and investigation is a must for to take corrective measures.
Folks, you need to reread this.
It’s an ATC issue, one cleared to cross and one cleared for take off.
Lots of trash talk about the crews and ignorant posts from people who’ve been led by media sensationalism and don’t know the company or industry.
He wasn’t cleared for takeoff…
No I think you misread the article, the article clearly stated he did NOT have clearance to takeoff and it was ATC that spotted the captain’s mistake.
Fair point, my mistake.
I stand by my other comments. Media hype and sensationalist click bait that scares unnecessarily.
I’m a pilot. If I started a takeoff roll without clearance, it would be classified as a major incident, and I’d have to undergo significant retraining.
It is not sensationalist at all to say this was a near disaster. If two fully-loaded 777s impacted on the ground, it could have easily been the largest death count of any aviation crash in history. And if he was already at 130 knots, impacted was a real possibility.
With your cavalier attitude, it’s a damned good thing you have no management role or flight role at an airline.
@Matt Would you be hesitant to book on EK? I’m flying KUL-IAH this summer as they offered great J fare. These incidents are concerning. Not sure if it’s training for 777 pilots (my booking is A380 for both legs) or company wide issue.
@Tom. While I am certainly not Matthew, I can say that while I have concerns I still have a booking on EK in two weeks. I would like to see EK address its pilot culture and training a bit more, and hopefully these incidents and the new media attention will motivate more action, but we have not reached the point of planes falling out of the sky. Or panic cancellations. I am sticking to A380’s at this point however as, practically speaking (maybe I am being naive), these are the more senior pilots. Besides, no way am I losing my redemption F seat, lol.
Pilots are necessarily more senior just because they are flying a380s. When Pilots get a job at EK they could go down the route of 777 or a380, it is not a seniority thing. Also, a380 pilots have been grounded for two years doing no flying, it is the 777 pilots who have worked throughout covid so despite recent events it could be argued a380 pilots are in an even worse position.
Having said all that, I have a number of F flights coming up and I actively avoid the 777 where I can!
@Stuart Fair point and I agree I’d like to see Emirates address these incidents. For now, I’ll keep my booking given it’s in July and I’d like to think whatever “rust” pilots are experiencing they’d have sufficient training and hours in the cockpit by summer to fly me safely across the world.
I am not surprised, it is just an accident waiting to happen.
I was employed by Emirates for a few years as a pilot.
Appalling management, made hundreds of experienced pilots redundant due to sickness or just too senior and expensive.
Very toxic environment and not really good for safety.
Avoid! A lot safer airlines out there!
Any journalist interested my email is: