Emirates Flight Almost Crashes In Moscow After Attempting To Land 8 Miles from DME Airport, Already Down To Just 400 ft. Altitude

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Emirates might have just narrowly scraped by a disaster when one of their Airbus A380 en route to Moscow was about to ‘land’ (crash really) 8 miles from Domodedovo (DME) Airport in Russia’s capital.

The pilots noticed there was something wrong in the last minute and pulled at flight back up when they were only 120 meters above ground.

It sounds too horrible to contemplate at first sight but if true as it’s being reported then the passengers and crew on this flight likely just escaped one of the largest airline accidents of recent history by just seconds.

The Aviation Herald (access here) compiled some flight data:

An Emirates Airbus A380-800, registration A6-EEZ performing flight EK-131 from Dubai (United Arab Emirates) to Moscow Domodedovo (Russia), was positioning for an approach to Domodedovo’s runway 14R about to intercept the extended runway center line about 8nm before the runway threshold when the aircraft descended to about 400 feet AGL, initiated a go around climbing straight ahead and crossing through the localizer to safe altitude. The aircraft subsequently positioned for another approach to runway 14R, aligned with the extended runway center line but did not initiate the final descent and joined the missed approach procedure as result. The aircraft positioned again for an approach to runway 14R and landed without further incident on runway 14R about 35 minutes after the first go around (from 400 feet AGL).

Position and Altitude data transmitted by the aircraft’s transponder suggest the aircraft was tracking about 190 degrees magnetic when the aircraft initiated the go around at about 1000 feet MSL about 8nm before the runway threshold, which translates to about 400 feet AGL with the aerodrome elevation at 180 meters/592 feet MSL.

The airline told The Aviation Herald on Sep 18th 2017, that the occurrence is being investigated by United Arab Emirates’ Civil Aviation Authority GCAA, the airline apologizes that due to the investigation no further details can be provided.

The GCAA have already sent a first preliminary reply indicating the communication department is about to respond to the questions.

Russia’s Rosaviatsia (Civil Aviation Authority) have not yet replied to the inquiry by The Aviation Herald. …

How can something like this happen? An aircraft getting down to 400 ft (120m) 8 miles before the target airport should be noticed by almost everybody involved. Air Traffic Controllers as well as the pilots on board the Emirates. Fatigue on either side of the staff or a technical issue with potentially disastrous consequences?

Conclusion

I’m surprised this incident hasn’t been all over the news considering it’s already a week old. Of course nobody died and nothing got damaged while neither airline or authorities feel the pressing need to ruffle feathers for obvious reasons.

AV Herald also published flight data in their article and since data usually doesn’t lie it’s a pretty grim picture of what could have happened in case the EK A380 crashed in an urban area. Horrific!

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