The pilots of the Airbus A380 passenger jet flying from Dubai to Brisbane only noticed the damage once they landed
The pilots and passengers of an Emirates flight from Dubai to Brisbane, Australia were surprised to find that they made the 14-hour journey with a massive hole in the side of the Airbus A380 they were traveling on.
According to the Aviation Herald, which tracks airline safety incidents, the crew and passengers of Friday's flight EK-430 reported a loud bang roughly 45 minutes after the plane took off from Dubai's main airport. The pilots believed that one of the plane's tires may have blown and alerted air traffic control in Brisbane, requesting emergency services be on standby.
After the plane successfully landed and the passengers made their way off the aircraft, engineers found a large gaping hole in the left-hand wing root fairing.
Emirates later explained to The Independent that the incident was the result of one of the A380's 22 tires experiencing a technical fault during takeoff. The tire ruptured and damaged a "small portion of the aerodynamic fairing, which is an outer panel or the skin of the aircraft," an Emirates spokesperson told the outlet. He noted that there was no "impact on the fuselage, frame or structure of the aircraft" as a result of the incident.
"The aircraft landed safely in Brisbane and all passengers disembarked as scheduled," the spokesperson said.
According to the airline, the passenger jet has already been completely fixed and its fairing replaced, checked, and cleared by engineers and all other relevant authorities. The A380 made its way back to Dubai on Sunday.
The A380 is considered the world's biggest passenger plane. However, as noted by The Independent, it has somewhat fallen out of favor in recent years due to the pandemic. The model looks set to make a return to the skies as some airlines, including Qantas and Singapore Airlines, have announced they will be returning it back to service to cope with the recent surge in travel demand following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions around the world.