Emirates flight EK521 crashed on 3 August 2016 while operating a scheduled passenger flight UAE521, departed Trivandrum International Airport India, at 0506 UTC for a 3 hour 30 minute flight to Dubai International Airport (OMDB), the United Arab Emirates, with 282 passengers, 2 flight crew and 16 cabin crewmembers on board.
The Commander attempted to perform a tailwind manual landing during an automatic terminal information service (ATIS) forecasted moderate wind shear warning affecting all runways at OMDB.
The tailwind was within the operational limitations of the Aircraft.
During the landing on runway 12L at OMDB the Commander of Emirates flight EK521 , who was the pilot flying, decided to fly a go-around, as he was unable to land the Aircraft within the runway touchdown zone.
The go-around decision was based on the perception that the Aircraft would not land due to thermals and not due to a wind shear encounter.
For this reason, the Commander elected to fly a normal go-around and not the windshear escape maneuver.
The flight crew initiated the flight crew operations manual (FCOM) Go-around and Missed Approach Procedure and the Commander pushed the TOGA switch.
As designed, because the Aircraft had touched down, the TOGA switches became inhibited and had no effect on the autothrottle (A/T). The flight crew stated that they were not aware of the touch down that lasted for six seconds.
After becoming airborne during the go-around attempt, the Emirates flight EK521 climbed to a height of 85 ft radio altitude above the runway surface.
The flight crew did not observe that both thrust levers had remained at the idle position and that the engine thrust remained at idle.
The Aircraft quickly sank towards the runway as the airspeed was insufficient to support the As the Aircraft lost height and speed, the Commander initiated the windshear escape maneuver procedure and rapidly advanced both thrust levers.
This action was too late to avoid the impact with runway 12L.
Eighteen seconds after the initiation of the go-around the Aircraft impacted the runway at 0837138 UTC and slid on its lower fuselage along the runway surface for approximately 32 seconds covering a distance of approximately 800 meters before coming to rest adjacent to taxiway Mike 13.
The Aircraft remained intact during its movement along the runway protecting the occupants however, several fuselage mounted components and the engine/pylon assembly separated from the Aircraft.
During the evacuation of Emirates flight EK521, several passenger door escape slides became unusable. Many passengers evacuated the Aircraft taking their carry-on baggage with them.
Except for the Commander and the senior cabin crewmember who evacuated after the center wing tank explosion, all of the other occupants evacuated via the operational escape slides in approximately 6 minutes and 40 seconds.
Twenty-one passengers, one flight crewmember, and six cabin crewmembers sustained minor injuries.
Four cabin crewmembers sustained serious injuries.
Approximately 9 minutes and 40 seconds after the Aircraft came to rest, the center wing tank exploded which caused a large section of the right wing upper skin to be liberated. As the panel fell to the ground, it struck and fatally injured a firefighter.
The Aircraft was eventually destroyed due to the subsequent fire.
Causes of the accident :
The Air Accident Investigation Sector determines that the causes of the Accident of Emirates flight EK521 are:
- During the attempted go-around, except for the last three seconds prior to impact, both engine thrust levers, and therefore engine thrust, remained at idle. Consequently, the Aircraft’s energy state was insufficient to sustain flight.
- The flight crew did not effectively scan and monitor the primary flight instrumentation parameters during the landing and the attempted go-around.
- The flight crew were unaware that the autothrottle (A/T) had not responded to move the engine thrust levers to the TOGA position after the Commander pushed the TOGA switch at the initiation of the FCOM- Go-around and Missed Approach Procedure.
- The flight crew did not take corrective action to increase engine thrust because they omitted the engine thrust verification steps of the FCOM- Go-around and Missed Approach Procedure.