An Emirates Boeing 777-300, flying from Dubai to Washington Dulles, rotated for take-off past the end of the runway while accelerating just at the end of the runway end safety area. The flight landed in Washington without any further landing incident. The flight EK-231 made its return trip to Dubai and was grounded in Dubai for four days.
According to The Aviation Herald, the aircraft sustained some damage in the departure. There are also unconfirmed reports that say four crew members were dismissed following the incident.
The incident raises some serious concerns about Emirates’ pilots’ skills and experience levels. Last week, another incident occurred, where a Boeing 777-300ER bound for Washington DC overran the runway while taking off, narrowly missing the apartments close to the airport.
In the event mentioned above, the jet accelerated for take-off on Dubai’s runway 30R. It rotated for take-off past the runway’s end and did not take to the air until the runway’s end safety area. At 18,500 feet (5,640 metres) over the runway threshold, the Boeing flew 75-feet above the ground level, passing over the first private dwellings.
A6-EQI proceeded on to Washington, DC, after safely reaching altitude, where it was inspected for cracks and damage to the wings, flaps, and landing gear.
Emirates issues alert to crew members
In the aftermath of the accidents, Emirates has issued a crew notice to its pilots. The crew alert indicated that the autopilot had been set up wrongly.
It appears that the Boeing 777 pilots did not set the autopilot to the initial climb altitude of 4,000 feet. Instead, they left the master control panel’s altitude setting at 0 feet (due to the plane’s earlier landing in Dubai). As a result, when A6-EQI took off, the flight director did not show take-off rotation, instead indicating maintain that altitude as A6-EQI barreled down Dubai’s runway 30R.
There are theories that the errors were caused by a lack of expertise and situational awareness in the cockpit that morning. The incident also draws attention to Emirates’ long-standing policy of hiring novice Boeing 777 pilots.