Emirates Airbus A380 allegedly collides with drone upon landing at Nice

An Emirates Airbus A380 was reportedly damaged by a drone upon landing at Nice Airport NCE
Dirk Daniel Mann / Shutterstock.com

An Emirates Airbus A380 allegedly struck a drone upon landing at Nice Cote d’Azur Airport (NCE).

According to an Aviation Safety Network report, the Airbus A380, registered as A6-EOM, struck “a large drone” while landing at NCE on August 18, 2023. The double-decker sustained damage to a section of the leading-edge slats, which the airline had to replace at the airport on August 20, 2023, the report added.

The aircraft stayed put since landing at the French airport, with flightradar24.com showing that Emirates flight EK78 from NCE to Dubai International Airport (DXB) was canceled on August 18, 2023. Another Emirates Airbus A380, registered as A6-EOB, operated the flight to DXB the following day.

“The flight to Dubai has been canceled for technical reasons,” an NCE spokesperson said in an email to AeroTime.

At the time of publication, A6-EOM is still at NCE with no scheduled flight out of the airport, flighradar24.com data showed.

Since August 19, 2023, three different Emirates Airbus A380s have flown into NCE on flight EK77, including A6-EOB, A6-EEC, and A6-EEV.

Airbus delivered A6-EOM in August 2015 shortly after the aircraft flew its first flight on March 10, 2015, according to ch-aviation.com data.

Since then, it has accumulated a total of 29,829 flight hours (FH) and 3,061 flight cycles (FC). Between March 2020 and May 2021, the aircraft was stored, with ch-aviation.com data showing zero FHs and FCs during that period and a significant reduction in activity during March 2020 when compared to the previous month. The same could be observed between June 2022 and October 2022.

“Emirates can confirm that flight EK 77 from Dubai to Nice on 18 August landed normally and passengers and crew safely disembarked,” an Emirates spokesperson said in an email to AeroTime. “Upon landing, engineers discovered some damage to a slat in the right wing, and the aircraft will remain on the ground to undergo further assessments.”

AeroTime approached Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité de l’aviation civile, BEA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) for comment.

UPDATE August 22, 2023, 10:45 AM (UTC +3): The article was updated with a statement from Emirates.

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