An Emirates Boeing 777-300ER, registration A6-EQI performing flight EK-231 from Dubai to Washington Dulles, DC (USA), has been involved in a near disaster when it came within 175 feet of impacting the ground in a neighborhood near Dubai International Airport.
According to The Air Current Emirates has confirmed the incident is under investigation.
Aviation Herald reports that: “According to Mode-S data transmitted by the aircraft’s transponder the aircraft remained on the ground until accelerating through at least 216 knots (400km/hr) over the ground about 4400 meters/14400 feet past the runway threshold and about 90 meters short of the localizer antennas, was airborne at 75 feet AGL at 234 knots (433km/hr) over ground already over the first residential houses past the runway (5640 meters/18500 feet past the runway threshold), then climbed out to safety.”
It adds that “it understands the aircraft sustained some damage in the departure and there is also information, that a total of 4 crew members may have been dismissed as a result of the occurrence.”
Here is a video explanation of what may have happened.
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On December 27, Emirates released a crew alert to their pilots following the occurrence suggesting the crew had not picked up the previous flight crew had left the altitude setting at the Master Control Panel at airport elevation/00000 feet causing the flight director to not indicate takeoff rotation and climb out but instead indicate to maintain that altitude (ALT mode).
Preflight checks should have picked up the error.
The speed of the 777 could have caused damage to the flaps and the pilots should have returned to the airport but continued to Washington for a landing without further incident.
The aircraft then performed the return flight EK-232 on schedule and was grounded in Dubai and remained on the ground in Dubai for 4 days.