An Emirates plane flew for nearly 14 hours with a large hole in the side after passengers reported hearing a loud bang.
The Airbus A380 took off from the airline’s main hub in Dubai on July 1, heading for Brisbane, Australia.
Not long after take-off, and as the plane was over the sea, passengers reported hearing a loud bang, but the crew decided to continue flying and landed in Brisbane about 13.5 hours later.
Upon approaching Queensland Airport, the flight crew contacted Air Traffic Control to request emergency services to be on standby and said they suspected they had blown a tire at takeoff, the Aviation Herald reports.
The plane landed safely, but once on the ground, the emergency services were shocked to discover a large hole in the hood on the left side of the plane.
Fairing is added for aerodynamic reasons, giving a smooth contour and to reduce resistance.
Inspectors also discovered a loose bolt in the nose bear, but it is not yet known whether the two incidents are related.
The damage meant the plane was unable to depart for its return flight and was still on the ground in Brisbane about 17 hours after arrival.
A passenger reported hearing a ‘loud bang’ shortly after takeoff
“There was a loud bang and I felt it through the floor too,” a passenger told The Courier Mail in Australia.
‘The cabin crew remained calm, stopped the food service and picked up the phone and checked the wings, engines.’
An Emirates spokesman said the EK430 flight from Dubai to Brisbane was “a technical error”.
‘One of the aircraft’s 22 tires ruptured during the cruise, causing damage to a small part of the aerodynamic hood, which is an outer panel or the skin of the aircraft.
“At no time did it affect the fuselage, frame or structure of the aircraft.
‘The plane landed safely in Brisbane and all passengers disembarked as planned.
“The hood has been completely replaced, inspected and cleared by engineers, Airbus and all relevant authorities.
“The safety of our passengers and crew has always been our top priority.”
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