Emirates Airbus 340-500 strikes tail and over runs runway in Melbourne

Posted on 22. Mar, 2009 by in Featured

An Emirates’ A-340 ran off the end of the runway and struck its tail attempting to take off in Melbourne Australia. It dumped fuel and then returned landing long and hard. A center of gravity or over weight situation seems to be the most likely scenario due to obvious difficulty in taking off and landing. The aircraft struck lights and antennae off the end of the runway as it struggled into the air. This is as close to a major disaster as the USAir flight in the Hudson. Fortunately there was no loss of life. It will be an interesting investigation.

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  1. Rick 22 March 2009 at 18:40 #

    Now another plane on short final is down. The Pilatus PC-12 apparently on short final to Butte, Montana, and according to witnesses “making steep turns”. He was probably base to final if that’s true. Maybe a slow flight and steep turn stall. 17 people on board an airplane designed to seat 7 or 8 PLUS luggage for a ski trip. He had filed to Bozeman, MT but changed to Butte…so one has to think there’s some kind of problem before he got into real trouble. Chip, I have flown the Pilatus…I have the highest regard for this airplane and have recommended it to two different corporations for plenty of good reasons. I’m really taken aback that this plane has gone down.

  2. chip 24 March 2009 at 09:25 #

    You can add the MD-11 from FEDEX now. Very sad, this is the third accident involving a severe PIO and bounce/roll over event;IMO it is an automatic stabilization system issue. The Pilatus may be harder to solve since I doubt there was a flight data recorder. It appears to have stalled on final just like the Q-400 and 737 in the last two accidents. I’m on the road but will research upon my return.

  3. Rick 24 March 2009 at 16:37 #

    Chip, I’ve seen a video on the FEDEX MD-11, it hit nose gear first…almost like it was balooning. After that it just hit a wing and exploded. High cross winds, and a plane infamous for handling difficulties in in crosswinds and windshear.

    The pilatus had been in the air for a little over two hours, so with that much fuel burn, I’m not sure everybody’s early comments about overweight has got credibitility. Yes he was passenger overloaded, but the overload was young children. Since he diverted from Bozeman, there might be a clue there with engine issues. I talked to a RJ pilot today and he descriped a turbo prop explosion in a KingAir from overheating on short final. Just speculating, of course.

  4. Rick 25 March 2009 at 06:44 #

    Reading this morning (25Mar09) Pilatus pilot requested diversion to Butte while still at FL250. Also, he apparently passed through icing layer at 1500. Investigators find gear down and flaps up at crash sight. You’re right, no voice or data recorder.

  5. chip 25 March 2009 at 13:01 #

    I just got back from the airport. I’m doing some research later (must go to daughters soccer game in an hour), the MD-11 video does not show the entire event. It shows the final portion of the PIO (pilot induced oscilation), however IMO it is a stibilization issue with the automation of the MD-11. This is the third identical type accident.

    IMO the telling sign with the Pilatus accident: gear down, flaps up. With all those kids in a tight area, having done it, it can be very distracting. They seem to run out of patience on short final. In my case, many moons ago, my oldest two sons got into a fightin the back seat, right after I took a bug in the pitot static tube and the airspeed went to zero. On short final by the way!

  6. Rick 27 March 2009 at 12:06 #

    After raising 5 myself, I should have thought of that. I’m also wondering if the Pilatus might have had an electrical problem. The gear on this plane are gravity driven so they could have been deployed in any case. You have to wonder why the flaps weren’t. He was apparently only 500 feet from the threshold.

  7. Rick 27 March 2009 at 13:58 #

    Chip, I keep thinking why did he divert? One could speculate that if he had a mechanical or electrical problem, he’d want to get to an airport where he had more confidence could get major maintenance. Boseman is only 57 miles from Butte. Also, I keep thinking nobody in their right mind would want to be doing a no-flaps landing with all those kids onboard. This guy had 2000 hours in a PC12, and he’s former Air Force pilot. If he was slowing it down with no flaps, I’m guessing that might have been a factor in the stall.

  8. Rick 27 March 2009 at 15:53 #

    Another possibility for the divert was he wanted high confidence in CFR capability. Also, can’t forget about that icing layer at 1500.

  9. chip 27 March 2009 at 18:17 #

    I think your observation of short final gear down and flaps up tells the entire story.

  10. Rick 2 April 2009 at 15:03 #

    “steep turns” “west of the centerline” “turned west”. With witnesses saying things like this, and now the NTSB preliminary report out, I’m wondering if for some reason he wasnt doing a go-around. It smells like he turned cross wind and went into a stall either at that point or when he turned downwind. When center asked him if he had the airport in sight he responded that he “had one more cloud to manuever around”. Interesting factoids. Don’t know what it all means. I still think he might have had an electrical problem.

  11. chip 2 April 2009 at 16:10 #

    I think the key is manuvering, steep turns and the flaps up. I’m afraid it looks like a steep turn stall. Very tragic. Probably distracted by staying VMC and maybe all the kids.

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