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Last updated: 20 September 2021
Statuts:Enquête Officielle
Date:vendredi 20 mars 2009
Heure:22:32
Type/Sous-type:Silhouette image of generic A345 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A340-541
Compagnie:Emirates
Immatriculation: A6-ERG
Numéro de série: 608
Année de Fabrication: 2004-11-04 (4 years 5 months)
Heures de vol:22526
Cycles:2598
Moteurs: 4 Rolls-Royce Trent 553A2-61
Equipage:victimes: 0 / à bord: 18
Passagers:victimes: 0 / à bord: 257
Total:victimes: 0 / à bord: 275
Dégats de l'appareil: Substantiels
Conséquences: Repaired
Lieu de l'accident:Melbourne-Tullamarine Airport, VIC (MEL) (   Australie)
Phase de vol: Au décollage (TOF)
Nature:Transport de Passagers Intern.
Aéroport de départ:Melbourne-Tullamarine Airport, VIC (MEL/YMML), Australie
Aéroport de destination:Dubai Airport (DXB/OMDB), Emirats Arabes Unis
Numéro de vol:EK407
Détails:
At 22:31 local time, an Airbus A340-500 aircraft, registered A6-ERG, commenced the takeoff roll on runway 16 at Melbourne Airport (MEL) on a scheduled, passenger flight (EK407) to Dubai (DXB), United Arab Emirates. The takeoff was planned as a reduced-power takeoff and the first officer was the handling pilot for the departure. At 22:31:53, the captain called for the first officer to rotate. The first officer attempted to rotate the aircraft, but it did not respond immediately with a nose-up pitch. The captain again called 'rotate' and the first officer applied a greater nose-up command. The nose of the aircraft was raised and the tail made contact with the runway surface, but the aircraft did not begin to climb. The captain then selected TOGA on the thrust levers, the engines responded immediately, and the aircraft commenced a climb.
The crew notified air traffic control of the tail strike and that they would be returning to Melbourne. While reviewing the aircraft’s performance documentation in preparation for landing, the crew noticed that a takeoff weight, which was 100 tonnes below the actual takeoff weight of the aircraft, had inadvertently been used when completing the takeoff performance calculation. The result of that incorrect takeoff weight was to produce a thrust setting and takeoff reference speeds that were lower than those required for the actual aircraft weight.
The aircraft subsequently landed at Melbourne with no reported injuries. The tail strike resulted in substantial damage to the tail of the aircraft and damaged some airport lighting and the instrument landing system.
As a result of the accident, the aircraft operator has advised the Australian Transport Safety Bureau that it is reviewing a number of procedures including human factors involved in takeoff performance data entry.

Probable Cause:

CONTRIBUTING SAFETY FACTORS:
- The first officer inadvertently entered the incorrect take-off weight into the electronic flight bag to calculate the take-off performance parameters for the flight.
- The captain was distracted while checking the take-off performance figures in the electronic flight bag, which resulted in him not detecting the incorrect take-off weight.
- During the pre-departure phase, the flight crew did not complete all of the tasks in the standard operating procedures, which contributed to them not detecting the error.
- When conducting the loadsheet confirmation procedure, the first officer called out 362.9 tonnes as the FLEX take-off weight, rather than the 262.9 tonnes that was recorded on the master flight plan, which removed an opportunity for the captain to detect the error.
- The first officer changed the first digit of the FLEX take-off weight on the master flight plan during the loadsheet confirmation procedure, believing it had been transcribed incorrectly, which removed an opportunity for the flight crew to detect the error.
- The lack of a designated position in the pre-flight documentation to record the green dot speed precipitated a number of informal methods of recording that value, lessening the effectiveness of the green dot check within the loadsheet confirmation procedure. [Minor safety issue]
- The flight crew’s mixed fleet flying routinely exposed them to large variations in take-off weights and take-off performance parameters, which adversely influenced their ability to form an expectation of the ‘reasonableness’ of the calculated take-off performance parameters

CONTRIBUTING SAFETY FACTORS:
- The first officer inadvertently entered the incorrect take-off weight into the electronic flight bag to calculate the take-off performance parameters for the flight.
- The captain was distracted while checking the take-off performance figures in the electronic flight bag, which resulted in him not detecting the incorrect take-off weight.
- During the pre-departure phase, the flight crew did not complete all of the tasks in the standard operating procedures, which contributed to them not detecting the error.
- When conducting the loadsheet confirmation procedure, the first officer called out 362.9 tonnes as the FLEX take-off weight, rather than the 262.9 tonnes that was recorded on the master flight plan, which removed an opportunity for the captain to detect the error.
- The first officer changed the first digit of the FLEX take-off weight on the master flight plan during the loadsheet confirmation procedure, believing it had been transcribed incorrectly, which removed an opportunity for the flight crew to detect the error.
- The lack of a designated position in the pre-flight documentation to record the green dot speed precipitated a number of informal methods of recording that value, lessening the effectiveness of the green dot check within the loadsheet confirmation procedure. [Minor safety issue]
- The flight crew’s mixed fleet flying routinely exposed them to large variations in take-off weights and take-off performance parameters, which adversely influenced their ability to form an expectation of the ‘reasonableness’ of the calculated take-off performance parameters

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: ATSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 9 months
Accident number: AO-2009-012
Download report: Final report

Sources:
» SKYbrary 


Opérations de secours

ATSB issued 2 Safety Recommendations

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Plan
Ce plan montre l'aéroport de départ ainsi que la supposée destination du vol. La ligne fixe reliant les deux aéroports n'est pas le plan de vol exact.
La distance entre Melbourne-Tullamarine Airport, VIC et Dubai Airport est de 11613 km (7258 miles).

Les informations ci-dessus ne représentent pas l'opinion de la 'Flight Safety Foundation' ou de 'Aviation Safety Network' sur les causes de l'accident. Ces informations prélimimaires sont basées sur les faits tel qu'ils sont connus à ce jour.
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