Emirates A380 in mid-air engine shutdown

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An Airbus A380 superjumbo operated by Dubai’s Emirates Airline was diverted to Kuwait after the aircraft’s crew was forced to shut down one of its engines midflight.

Service EK202, which departed New York JFK on October 25, was flying at about 35,000 ft 250 nautical miles east-south-east of St John’s, Newfoundland, when engine number four was turned off by the flight crew.

According to the website Aviation Herald, the A380 descended to an altitude of 31,000 ft and continued on its flight path towards Dubai, before diverting to fellow Arab Gulf state Kuwait.

Emirates dispatched a replacement Airbus A380 to Kuwait to retrieve the passengers and crew, who were then flown on to Dubai. The diversion resulted in a delay of about five hours.

Aviation Herald reported that the flight crew announced mid-flight that the engine in question had developed technical difficulties and had been shut down, with Kuwait being the furthest reachable destination with the remaining three engines.

Emirates did not immediately respond to Arabian Business’ request for clarification of the incident.

The airline is the biggest customer of the superjumbo, with 37 A380s currently in its fleet with a further 53 on order and 30 options. Its Dubai hub is also home to the worlds’ only dedicated A380 facility.

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Posted by: Non-Muslim

In my opinion, this almost non-event (from an aviation professional point of view) is a perfect example for
1. a professional risk assessment based cooperative decision making by maintenance, operations, customer service and finally the pilot in command (commonly known as captain) who always still has the last say.
2. the proper execution of the fallback plan so cooperatively developed, i.e. dispatch of a relief A380 to KWI and textbook-like passenger and baggage transfer there onto the "new" aircraft.
3. complete over-reaction of hyped media who repeatedly seem to still have no idea how commercial aviation works and what risks are manageable (like this one) and which are not - but are resisting to recognise that airlines are very much able to decide what can be done and what should be stopped. Airlines have ONE thing in mind: safety!
Although not a friend of EK, I do applaude EK and all its staff for acting responsibly and (in my point of view) absolutely safely in this instance.

Posted by: Telcoguy

I think everybody involved in this trade agreed that the decision was the right one also from a safety perspective, but I can understand people getting nervous about this
However I have two comments:
1 Risk is often misrepresented and misunderstood by media and general population. If we were to stick to the numbers there would be a "global war on slippery bathtubs" and an "alliance of the willing against treacherous ladders". Not to mention a non ending number of inquiries on the "murdereous car companies that are killing our young citizens", just to mention the most likely accidental death causes
OTOH less than 5 deaths per year have triggered thousands of TV programs about man-eating sharks

2 Not all airlines have safety as a main concern. I think Emirates does, as so many others. But there are certainly airlines I refuse to fly, and others that being the only way to reach my destination, I board uncertain about how the trip will end

Posted by: Bob

EROPS not ETOPS gents ... for example 4 engined aircraft like the 747 or A380's come under Extended RANGE Operation regulations whereas Extended TWIN Operations (ETOPS) is specifically for twin engined jets ;)

Posted by: Edmond J. Philippi

I believe Emirates has very professional and experienced Pilots,
the decision to continue with the 3 engine is not as risky as one thinks,
these jets are able to fly even with 2 engines without any Great risk but then it could always land at the nearest airport for the technical support,
No doubt these Giant Jets are tested and certified for ETOPS

Posted by: lol

why would the plane have crashed? I think people are obviously confused, the engine did not explode, fail or any of these dramatic events which are clearly circulating in some peoples brains, it was shut down on purpose. No Threat to the aircraft, remember the aircraft has another three engines. This is the normal procedure, it has happened with EK 380s before, and other airlines around the world, one famous incident was with a BA 747 which shut down an engine and flew from LAX to Heathrow. I think its hysterical how the non-aviation community is making such a big fuss over it! Passengers are so silly.

Posted by: steve

Yes thats true and ETOPS originally was brought about to establish guide lines for aircraft when they have a failure or they have to shut down an engine over water, the length of time they can sustain safe flight on reduced performance...etc, before landing safely. The whole concept I am talking about here; Is how far to you push safety margins? I don't care what airline it is or who makes the aircraft. If I am a passenger on this flight I would expect the flight crew exercise on the side of caution. Lets consider if the flight had crashed and it was later found out the flight crew shutdown the engine 4 hours before the crash. Where would the heroes be then? There would be hell to pay for sure.

Posted by: jha

Actually, according to Wikipedia:

"The FAA has decided to use the single term, 'extended operations,' or ETOPS, for all affected operations regardless of the number of engines on the airplane."

Posted by: Nidal

Why the captain choose Kuwait. Heathrow is the closer and also a major hub for Emirates, rather than flying extra 7 hours with failed engine?

Posted by: xhris

Kuwait was the max range airport they could make on 3 engines. They did not have the fuel needed to make Dubai...

Posted by: Expat08

Well done EK

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