Yet another take-off incident for Emirates at its Dubai hub. A report has emerged of how two of the airlines’ Boeing 777 aircraft were involved in a runway incident at Dubai International Airport (DXB) on January 9, 2022.
According to the report in the Aviation Herald, one Boeing 777-300, registration A6-EQA, was accelerating down Runway 30R, operating as flight EK524 to Hyderabad, India, when air traffic controllers told the crew to abort the take-off.
The crew were told to reject the take-off because another Emirates Boeing 777-300, registration A6-EBY, was crossing the runway.
The aircraft with registration A6-EBY had been cleared to cross the runway ahead of its departure from Dubai as flight EK568 to Bangalore, India. The report states that it was entering the runway just as the other aircraft began its take-off roll.
The Aviation Herald said it had received information from sources that EK524 had not received take-off clearance. The report, citing ADS-B data from the aircraft’s transponders, said EK524 reached a speed of 100 knots about 790 meters down the runway, at about 1700 meters short of the taxiway where the other aircraft was crossing.
The report said Emirates confirmed that EK524 was instructed by tower to abort take-off on January 9, 2022 and that a rejected take-off was carried out successfully. There was no damage to the aircraft and no injuries to anyone on board. After aborting the take-off, the aircraft taxied back to the runway holding point and departed for Hyderabad about 30 minutes later.
An investigation has been opened into the incident. As with all aviation accidents, there are likely to be a range of factors at play, and it will be months before the final accident report is released.
Taking off without clearance is a serious matter. In Tenerife in 1977, 583 people were killed when two Boeing 747s collided on the runway in thick fog in what remains aviation’s deadliest accident. The captain of a KLM Boeing started the take-off roll without receiving take-off clearance and crashed into a Pan-Am aircraft which had just arrived. Communication rules and phraseology around take-off clearances were altered as a result of that tragic accident.
This latest take-off incident is the second concerning event for the UAE airline in under a month. Investigators are also probing why an Emirates Boeing 777 failed to climb out properly on take-off from DXB on December 20, 2021. While the full circumstances of that incident are yet to be published, it has generated much discussion among pilots and aviation safety experts on crew cooperation and over-reliance on automation.
Emirates had all of its 133 B777 aircraft and almost 60 of its Airbus A380 aircraft in active service at the end of 2021.