A giant Emirates Airbus A380 probably flew around 13 hours with a gaping hole in its fuselage. According to consistent media reports, the Airbus A380-800 took off from Dubai on Friday and then landed as scheduled in Brisbane, Australia.
A large hole was found in the cover and main landing gear box, into which it retracts after launch. Luckily, the big hole is just below the pressure-resistant passenger cabin. As a result, there was no drop in cabin pressure when the oxygen masks were activated.
Industry forums are now debating whether the pilots of Flight EK-430 could have known about the large hole in the landing gear cover. The industry service aviationherald.com points out that the pilots before landing in Australia informed the tower about a flat tire, probably at takeoff.
Emergency services should be on standby, but everything went smoothly. The airline also said that the damage occurred at the start or shortly thereafter, according to the industry service.
The cause of the gaping hole is speculated to be one or more blown tires or a large now-missing nose gear pin that may have come loose on takeoff and caused the damage.
When it took off from Dubai, the Airbus A380-800 with the registration A6-EVK was filled up with a good 315,000 liters of kerosene for the long-haul flight and allegedly weighed 575 tons. According to an anonymous blog post by the industry service aviationherald, the pilots received a low tire pressure display after an hour of flight, but no further warning.
Therefore there was no reason for a flight reversal to Dubai. That would have resulted in the costly dumping of thousands of liters of kerosene in the air to reduce landing weight. A passenger reports in the blog about a loud bang about 30 to 45 minutes after take-off. No comment was available from Emirates at short notice.
In the history of aviation there have always been incidents with larger holes in the fuselage of aircraft. The decisive factor is whether there is a drop in pressure in the passenger cabin, as happened in 2008 when an oxygen tank in the cargo hold of a Qantas Airways 747-400 jumbo jet exploded, tearing a hole two by three meters in the fuselage. Here, too, the landing was smooth and there were no injuries.
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