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Were new procedures in Dubai airspace a factor in Emirates crash?

Very tight rules for pilots suddenly forced to fly a go-around at Dubai Airport were critiqued in a technical journal months before this week's 777 crash landing ( More...

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chalet 4
When this Emirates 777 crashed Sky Dubai flight 848 was algo trying to land and informed the tower "we have only 7 MINUTES FOR HOLDING" and requested going to an alternate (this could be heard on the ATC recording). This sounded very stupid to me so I checked with my sources in the Middle East (Western firms serving commercial and military aviation clients in the área) and they told me all of the United Arab Emirates airlines, major and mid size and from other countries have ordered flights to carry only the mínimum minimorum of fuel reserves to avoid "excessive burn" associated with with larger heavier fuel uplifts, and they explained to me that this is because their profits are paper thin or perhaps already in the red (the airlines will never tell you the truth) and that those governments are continually injecting funds disguised as investments but that in reality are subsidies. Penny pinchers and pound foolish perhaps?.
gerardo godoy 2
Excelent Article, very informative and complete.
Tom Zaidman 2
, a pilot colleague observed exactly what happened as he was there, waiting in his aircraft to cross runway 12L. The B777 bounced and began a go-around. The aircraft reached about 150 feet (45 metres) with its landing gear retracting, then began to sink to the runway.

This suggests that the pilots had initiated a go-around as they had been trained to do and had practised hundreds of times in simulators, but the engines failed to respond in time to the pilot-commanded thrust. Why?

Bounces are not uncommon. They happen to all pilots occasionally. What was different with the Emirates B777 bounce was that the pilot elected to go around. This should not have been a problem as pilots are trained to apply power, pitch up (raise the nose) and climb away. However pilots are not really trained for go-arounds after a bounce; we practise go-arounds from a low approach attitude.

Modern jets have autothrottles as part of the autoflight system. They have small TOGA (take off/go-around) switches on the throttle levers they click to command autothrottles to control the engines, to deliver the required thrust. Pilots do not physically push up the levers by themselves but trust the autothrottles to do that, although it is common to rest your hand on the top of the levers. So, on a go-around, all the pilot does is click the TOGA switches, pull back on the control column to raise the nose and — when the other pilot, after observing positive climb, announces it — calls “gear up” and away we go!

But in the Dubai case, because the wheels had touched the runway, the landing gear sensors told the autoflight system computers that the aircraft was landed. So when the pilot clicked TOGA, the computers — without him initially realising it — inhibited TOGA as part of their design protocols and refused to spool up the engines as the pilot commanded.
Jack370 2
This was a classic example of pilot error IMHO. It had nothing to do with ground control. It looks the the A/C had gear up. No excuse to have gear up that low to the ground.

It sounds like the pilot attempted a "go around" and raised the gear before he had enough power to avoid touching the runway. Classic rookie pilot mistake. Thankfully all survived by a miracle but it was not due to the pilot crashing landing in the first place.
MH370 1
Jeff Nielsen 1
I believe they were using RWY 12L, and given a clearance to climb to 4,000 feet. I don't think this was a factor.
Stefan Sobol 1
The article seems to imply that pilots are relying too much on the automation to fly a go-around which can get them into trouble. They should not be pressing a few buttons and then sitting on their hands. Sometimes they may be required to actually fly the plane within the standards of the ATP PTS and should be prepared to do so. The crash of the 777 at SFO is a classic example of a pilot who is not prepared to actually fly the plane if the automation does not do what he expects.

In the case of Emirates, the plane did not get far enough into the air to have to worry about the altitude restriction during a go-around.
dodger4 1
Some interesting observations, but I don't see a causal link between a convoluted Missed Approach Procedure and schmucking a jet into the ground.
Jason Bell 1
No. This was crew error. The B777 did not lower its landing gear, the Tower saw this and ordered a go around in imperfect phraseology but the message was clear, and the 777 acknowledged, then failed to maintain minimum level flight. The engines take 6-7 seconds to spool up to climb power but should always carry enough N1% to maintain level flight in the event of a go around. This plane failed to remain airborne and gradually plunked down.
Jason Bell 1
I still can't see replies on this site. I know there was one. I get a notification, log in, to find nothing.

What likely happened in this 777 case is that, after cleared to land by the tower, a second aircraft on the ground, instructed by the tower to cross the active, was too slow clearing and the tower waived off the Emirates 777 with unprofessional phraseology, but which the 777 understood and acknowledged. The waive off came before the 777 crossed the threshold. So, I could be totally wrong about the 777 not dropping the gear and probably am, but the 777 failed to maintain even level flight. This is all based on Vas Aviation and liveatc, which could be inaccurate.

The FDB857 crew would only be able to observe any 777 landing irregularity from its left side window or captain seat as 857 was moving southerly. Thus any bouncing would happen well down the runway, not at or near the numbers. So the 777 was waived and it then inexplicably pancaked in.
My quarter cent ....
Inspite of not being an aviator , but being trained in engineering and management , I can say with certainty that no one can be foolish enough to bring about a change of any description in a system without going through the related pros and cons !
Can I be asked to make flying procedures ? Singly or collectively ?
No ... No ... No ...
Even at the final approval level a non aviator can not be asked to contribute in any way.
Legislators too have an extremely limited contribution while making enacting related to aviation or other subjects .
Just like the judicial officers adjudicating on different subjects including aviation. They too seek approval and concurrence of experts from the subject related field.
In short , new rules being one of the contributory factor for the crash landing ?
A big no ...
David Barnes 5
Mr. Mittal:

In your post, you state, "a non aviator can not be asked to contribute in any way". I strongly disagree, as many people in the industry have knowledge, input, and information to contribute even if we don't hold a yoke in our hands. Engineering possesses design data, maintenance understands how components interact, how they are replaced, and how they fail. I'd posit that most of the people who touch an aircraft are not aviators, but each brings forth their expertise.

Is there a place at the table for the aviators? Absolutely. Should there be? Emphatically, I say yes. But that shouldn't, in my opinion, be the only voice in the discussion.
I agree with reservations / riders / caveats .


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