France’s Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité de l’aviation civile, BEA) has confirmed that it is investigating a recent incident involving an Emirates Airbus A380 at Nice Cote d’Azur Airport (NCE).
“During the approach to Nice airport, when switching to CONF 1, the crew heard an abnormal noise and felt slight vibrations,” BEA said, adding that the flight crew continued the approach into NCE. “On the ground, the upper part of the slat n°2 on the right wing was found to be severely damaged.”
The Emirates Airbus A380, registered as A6-EOM, landed at NCE on August 18, 2023, flying in on flight EK77 from Dubai International Airport (DXB). Its return journey to DXB on flight EK78 was then canceled. In an email to AeroTime at the time. an NCE spokesperson clarified that this was due to “technical reasons”.
Meanwhile, an Emirates spokesperson said that engineers on the ground discovered damage to a slat in the right wing. “The aircraft will remain on the ground to undergo further assessments,” they continued in the email to AeroTime on August 22, 2023.
“Safety is our highest priority and will not be compromised,” they concluded.
Eventually, the double-decker left NCE, arriving at DXB on flight EK2564 on August 22, 2023. Considering the unusual flight number, it was presumably a ferry flight to bring back the aircraft to the airline’s main base.
At the time of writing. A6-EOM remains on the ground at DXB.
Preliminary reports by Aviation Safety Network alleged that the aircraft impacted a drone upon approach. However, the BEA has not detailed the nature of the damage to the A380’s slat. The French investigators classified the damage as “substantial”, adding that there were no injuries onboard the aircraft.