An Emirates flight EK-231 from Dubai to Washington Dulles, operated by one of Emirates’ newest Boeing 777-300ERs, with the registration code A6-EQI, was scheduled to depart at 2:25 AM on Monday, December 20, 2021.
According to the details, a Washington-bound Boeing 777 nearly impacted the ground after the flight failed to properly set a climb, which resulted in the flight director, a system similar to autopilot, nearly plunging the aircraft into the ground after take off.
Unconfirmed reports and corroborated by data from FlightRadar24 reveal that the pilot failed to correct the take off climb altitude, which was set to 00000 feet instead of 4,000 feet. As a result, the aircraft started coming back towards the ground during a critical phase of flight. The plane got as low as 175 feet, according to FlightRadar24 data.
Baaghi TV has learnt through unconfirmed reports close to the event that during the departure the pilot decided to follow what the flight director was showing, which was an altitude of zero feet.
While the plane would typically rotate at a much lower speed, the plane was still on the ground at 216 knots, and even overran the standard runway area, and only took off in the runway safety area. The plane was already flying over houses at an altitude of 75 feet, going a minimum of 234 knots.
The plane barely gained altitude, and was at an altitude of just 175 feet when it was flying at a speed of 262 knots. As a point of comparison, ordinarily the plane would be at well under 200 knots at that altitude, and would be climbing much faster.
While Emirates hasn’t yet officially commented on this incident, the airline did send out the following alert to pilots on Monday, essentially referencing the incident:
While it would be standard to return to the airport to assess damage when something like this happens, the pilots made the decision to continue to Washington.
The United States (US) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is now investigating this incident, and that all four pilots have been suspended at a minimum, or possibly even fired.
Baaghi TV has learnt through sources that no one was hurt on the EK231 flight, and on the Boeing 777’s return journey from Washington Dulles to Dubai, only a 3 hr 15 min delay was experienced, as a result of the overspeed inspection.
A deadly crash would have deeply set back Emirates and commercial aviation in general, but far importantly led to the loss of life for what were probably more than 300 souls onboard.
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