Emirates A380 May Have Flown 13 Hours With A Hole In Its Fuselage

A three year old Emirates Airbus A380 from Dubai to Brisbane may have flown for 13 hours with a hole in its fuselage.

Flight EK430 took off from Dubai International Airport and that may be the point at which the aircraft received damage. However it wasn’t until approach into Brisbane that flight crew advised air traffic control that they suspected “they blew a tyre on takeoff” and asked for emergency response services to on standby as they arrived.

On landing aircraft was towed in, and a “large hole in the left hand wing root fairing” discovered, along with “penetration at the underside of the fuselage.”

One person who reports being a passenger on the aircraft shares,

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.

Fortunately the flight went smoothly and the aircraft landed safely.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. With such a big hole in the fuselage surprising it flew 13 hrs without any other problem.. really must be stable to fly 13 hrs with a gaping hole in the fuselage..

  2. I wonder what happened to cause a tire to blow, especially with such force, 30-45 mins later. I would expect they’d be very significantly cooler by that point than when they took off.

    Anyone have insight?

  3. The hole isn’t in the fuselage. It’s in the aerodynamic fairing, which smooths the contour between the plane’s actual fuselage and wing

  4. @Esquiar – I was thinking the same thing, but there is the “penetration at the underside of the fuselage.” If that happened 45 minutes into flight, just going to hazard a guess that that is due to when the fairing was penetrated, there was a strike that damaged the actual fuselage, but didn’t penetrate. Once the aircraft reached altitude, the pressure differential then ruptured the fuselage at that point, that was the bang. Must have been the baggage hold that lost pressure, which the cabin was probably aware of, and they chose to continue.

    Any pilots can confirm or refute whether or not this is a plausible scenario.

  5. To Esquair and other interested parties:

    What one fools writes and others Not thinking, we are “informed” about the Hole. Genius level intelligence is Not necessary to understand a hole of 12+/- inches in the fuselage may have caused a fatal accident.

    Thank you, Esquair, for our clear and logical explanation.

  6. The hole was not in the fuselage pressure vessel but in the aero dynamic fairings enclosing the wheel well so other than a little extra drag causing a slightly elevated fuel burn there is no problem. If there was a problem where the blown tire had damaged other components and systems that are in the wheel well then the crew would have probably returned to the departure airport or land at the closest available facility.

  7. What a ridiculous, pathetic, hyped up non-event!
    Nothing happened. No harm was done. There was no threat to anyone or anything. Simply, a tyre blew and an A380 has 22 of them. Do they “erupt” when they go on your car? No, thought not…What infantile over-hype.
    Appalling, cheap, advantage taking gutter journalism. Clearly a no-news day.

  8. Mark Ashford
    What is your problem, you obviously have a very “uneventful” life !!!!
    I was on that plane and believe me it was not a “non event” it sounded like a bomb went off and the plane shuddered for a considerable amount of time afterwards with over 12 hrs still to fly.
    We all knew there was an issue with the plane but received no information for the rest of the trip even after repeatedly asking.
    I’m sure if your wife or kids were on that plane your “pathetic” post may have been a bit different.
    I feel sorry for you to be honest!!!

  9. I lived a life flying airliners actually so once abgain you demonstate a total failure in your wild assumptions.
    The crew clearly asessed the event as non-critical and acted accordingly despite you as an untrained and inexperienced player in aviation malfunctions obviously feel you knew better.
    Your ridiculously self-indulgent post just sums up the needy self-absorbtion of modern society. How could you possibly have recieved any information during the rest of the flight when no one at all knew what the deal was until well after landing? Where do you imagine this information is to come from? God?
    What planet do you inhabit?

    Sorry to be so honest.

  10. Mark Ashford
    Sorry that us “mere mortals” are not up to your “legend god like” status.
    I didn’t try to pretend or suggest I knew anything !!!
    I simply said I was on board and as a “passenger” not a legend like yourself that it seemed like a big deal to us as the noise was extremely loud and made the plane shudder and clearly something had happened which it turns out it had!!!
    It seems there maybe one “self absorbed” person on this post and it’s not me.
    I’m sure all the other passengers on the plane may agree with my account of what happened!!!
    Not wasting any more time on this.
    I wish you all the best Mark.

  11. If there was a hole in the fuselage there would have been decompression, and the a/c would have reduced altitude and landed at nearest airport. Since none of that happened, there is NO hole in the pressurized fuselage. So get a grip, cripe; the headline is wrong. (I happen to be an a/c structures engineer).

  12. Just tell me, regardless of your spiteful and childish snidery and pathetic status-snivelling- what information do you imagine anyone could have given you? No one knew a thing! There was nothing anyone COULD have told you…
    How can you be so self absorbed that you demand an answer and won’t accept not having one even when on-one at all knows anything? Lord – how drippy-needy-arrogant can anyone be?
    It may have been ‘loud’ to you but was undoubtably inaudible to the flight deck but the Professionals in charge of your safety had no indication of a problem – as there wasn’t one! What do you want? Your bottom wiping because you hear a noise?
    People like you are the reason so many pilots prefer to fly freight.

  13. I am not getting into a debate with a flightsim qualified uex-spurt like him.
    The Professional situation is this;

    You may or may not hear a pop on the flightdeck.
    One may well be reported to you by the cabin crew.
    There are no abnormal indications. You may have seen an abnormally high BTI reading and made the assumption.
    Even so nothing much is wrong, certainly nothing significant.
    What do you do? No point in returning to origin as any problem that might rise will be on landing, you might as well land lighter at destination.
    Tell the passengers? And cause mass anxiety to all? Why? Just to salve the egos ofa couple of arrogant pretentious berks like the above who seem to think they need to be told everything even when it doesn’t matter?
    No, unless conditions in the cabin are so unusual or the risk is sufficient that it requires an expanation you just carry on and even if conditions in the cabin are a bit unusual you have to weigh off the benefit of informing the couple of soon-to-be gobshyte self-righteous needy geeks against unnecessarily scaring the crap out of the 98% peaceful and trusting rest of the pax for no good reason.

    Go figure.

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