Emirates 521 – one year update

Emirates flight 521 crashed on landing at Dubai on 3 August 2016.

One year on the United Arab Emirates investigation into the crash is focusing on pilot actions and has apparently identified ways that air traffic control and flight crews can communicate better, an interim report said on Sunday.

A copy of the short interim report is here:

First anniversary interim report

The Boeing 777-300 flight from India, crashed after the pilots tried to pull out of a landing attempt.

The report has raised the number of injured people to 30 from 24, but gave no reason for the increase; it may be that the number now includes some of the cabin crew, four of whom were seriously injured.

All 300 passengers and crew evacuated the plane but a firefighter died tackling the fire caused when it skidded along the runway on its fuselage.

Investigators were “working to determine and analyze the human performance factors that influenced flight crew actions during the landing and attempted go-around,” the report from the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said.

An Emirates spokeswoman told Reuters it was reviewing its training and operational processes and procedures as part of its own ongoing internal investigation into the crash.

She declined to comment on whether Emirates believed pilot actions were a factor in the crash.

They clearly were.

Unspecified “safety enhancements” have been identified by investigators related to communication between air traffic control and the flight crew, and with weather information shared with the flight crew, the report said.

The interim report also states that a detailed examination was performed of the Aircraft evacuation systems, including the operation of emergency escape slides in a non-normal aircraft resting position, and the effects of wind on the escape slides. This was clearly an issue for passengers and crew in the evacuation.

A GCAA spokesman told Reuters the regulator was unable to provide specific information on the report because the investigation was still going on.

Investigators have previously said the aircraft was subjected to shifting winds as it came into land.

The report said investigators had found no pre-existing mechanical issues with the plane or its Rolls-Royce engines.

Analysts have suggested the cause of the crash should have been determined relatively quickly after the incident.

GCAA Director General Saif Mohammed al-Suwaidi said in November the investigation would take two to three years.

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