Emirates take off now an accident

AUSTRALIAN investigators have upgraded the Emirates near crash in Melbourne last month from ‘incident’ to ‘accident’.

On 20 March, the Airbus A340-500 needed the full 3.5 km (11,500 feet) of runway to take off. It rotated at 175 kph causing its tail to scrape on the runway throwing up sparks and filling the interior with smoke. The plane then smashed a strobe light and narrowly avoided hitting the 2.5 metre (8 foot) perimeter fence half a kilometre (1640 feet) from the runway’s end. Finally, it also destroyed an antenna and narrowly missed hitting a building before dumping fuel and returning to the airport half and hour later.

“It’s a serious investigation. There are a fair bit of resources being put into this one,” said Neville Blyth, a senior transportation safety investigator with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).

An Emirates spokesman said, “The report from the ATSB has not yet been finalized, and as such it would be inappropriate for Emirates to make any comment at this point in time.”

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