The Aviation Herald reports on something that looks worse than it is.

Emirates A380 lands in Brisbane with damage

The incident took place on the Friday, July 1, 2022. The flight was operated by an A380 with the registration code A6 EVK.

The plane left runway 30L at the airport and flew for 13 hours and 34 minutes. As it turned off more fuel, the plane increased in altitude to 39,000 feet. Emergency services were asked to be on stand-by after the crew told air traffic controllers that they thought a tire had been blown.

The plane was towed to the apron after landing at the airport. There was a huge hole in the left side of the plane, just behind the passenger windows. Compare that hole to the size of the passenger windows for scale.

Major damage to an Emirates A380

There was a missing bolt and cap on the nose gear, though an investigation needs to be performed before we know if these are related.

Emirates A380 with missing bolt and cap on nose gear

The return flight was canceled and the plane is still on the ground in Australia. Passengers had no idea what the plane looked like until they were on the ground, and fortunately no one was hurt.

What happened to this Emirates A380?!

It seems pretty certain that something happened during takeoff or just after takeoff, that could lead to this. The pilots were suspected of seeing a tire blow on takeoff. That doesn't mean the hole was in the plane for the whole flight.

I haven't been able to verify if this is true, but I think it's worth passing on.

I was on this flight sitting approx 10 rows in front of the hole on left side window. Around 30-45 mins after takeoff we heard a loud bang, I turned to my wife and said that whatever it was it would be stressing the pilots. Definitely didn’t sound like normal turbulence. The rest of the flight was fine, no funny noises that I could hear. Before we landed they told us we had to land on a different runway and get an engineer to inspect the plane for a suspected landing gear problem. Landing felt really smooth. Then with the engine powered down we had to be towed. So surprised to see a hole in the side now!! Thankful it wasn’t any worse.

The thought of flying 13 hours with a huge hole in the fuselage is frightening. It would have made a lot of noise if it were there, but there are no reports of that.

It will take a full investigation before we can determine who was at fault.

If the pilots thought there was a huge hole in the plane, they would divert immediately. Since a ton of fuel would have had to be dumped, and a blown tire doesn't pose any risk during the flight, there's not much benefit to returning to the airport.

The fact that the world's biggest jet can land with a huge hole in the fuselage is pretty amazing.

Bottom line

There was a big hole in the A380's fuselage when it arrived in Brisbane. Details of how this happened are limited, but I am sure an investigation will reveal more information about what caused it.

What do you think about this?