An investigation is under way after one set of landing gear on an Emirates Airbus A380 failed to deploy properly before landing, forcing the world’s largest airliner to touch down on its remaining wheels.
The airliner was arriving in Dubai from London last week when the crew received an error message concerning a system responsible for deploying the gear.
An alternative method of deployment based on lowering the wheels using gravity failed to work properly.
“What happened was that right-hand gear didn’t deploy under gravity drop,” Emirates president Tim Clark said when asked about the incident.
“So the aircraft landed on the main gear (and) nose gear: it’s certified to do that,” he said, adding the under-wing gear which contains four wheels had since been fixed.
The cause is being investigated by the United Arab Emirates’ air crash investigation agency.
“I will be asking Airbus a few questions as to how this could have happened,” Clark told reporters in Berlin.
“We are assisting our customer in the technical investigation into the issue,” an Airbus spokesman said.
The A380 weighs up to 391 tonnes on landing. The giant plane has a total of 22 landing wheels, including two sets under the belly of the plane and one set under each wing and the nose.
Emirates is the biggest operator of A380s, using engines powered by Engine Alliance, which is co-owned by General Electric and Pratt & Whitney.
Separately, Clark said Emirates was having technical issues with alternative Rolls-Royce engines for A380s due for future delivery.