Commercial Airliner Causes Business Jet to Flip in Harrowing Mid-Air Ordeal

February 28, 2018
Abram I. Bohrer

The aviation accident attorneys at Bohrer & Lukeman are monitoring the events surrounding a chilling affair involving a commercial airliner and a business jet. On January 7th, an Emirates Airbus A380-800 jetliner was en route to Sydney from Dubai when a Bombardier Challenger 604 business jet, operated by German carrier MHS Aviation, passed 1,000 feet underneath it. The wake turbulence created by the A380 caused the smaller aircraft to flip and roll before plummeting 10,000 feet. The airplane accident lawyers at Bohrer & Lukeman are investigating the shocking incident.

According to the Aviation Herald, the Emirates jetliner, “most likely” registration number A6-EUL, was cruising at 35,000 feet above the Arabian Sea at the time of the occurrence, roughly 820 nautical miles northwest of the Maldives. The business jet, transporting 9 occupants from the Maldives to Abu Dhabi, was headed in the opposite direction as it passed underneath the commercial aircraft. One minute later, the wake turbulence created by the larger airplane reached the smaller craft, causing it to flip and roll 3-5 times before dropping 10,000 feet. The time was 8:40 a.m.

As the pilots wrestled to regain control of the jet, the passengers were tossed to and fro in the cabin, resulting in the serious injury of at least one occupant. Both engines flamed out and the Ram Air Turbine system shut down, resulting in further complications. It was only through “raw muscle force” that the pilots were able to level out the jet at 24,000 feet and restart the engines.

Due to the damage caused to the airframe by the extreme level of G-force, as well as the physical trauma of those on-board, the Challenger 604 made an emergency landing in the Muscat airport in Oman, 630 nautical miles northwest of their location. Several occupants were rushed to the hospital.

The jet was determined to have suffered irreparable damage and has been taken out of service.

The German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation (BFU) is leading the investigation into the details of the accident, as the flight was over international waters and the jet was registered to a German firm. A preliminary report is expected to be released in mid-March.

The Emirates A380 reached Sydney without issue.

The A380 jetliner has been involved in several wake turbulence incidents in the past decade, including near Tiblisi in 2009; Frankfurt and Bruanschweig in 2011; and Bali in 2012. According to the Aviation Herald, Air Traffic Control around the world has been instructed to exercise particular caution directing any air traffic crossing pathways with an A380 aircraft.

The plane crash attorneys at Bohrer & Lukeman are following the developments regarding the Emirates wake turbulence accident and will report any new information as it is released on its website.

Bohrer & Lukeman is a New York-based airplane crash law firm with over 25 years of experience representing those that have been injured or killed in general aviation and commercial airline accidents. Abe Bohrer, the firm’s founder, has successfully represented clients domestically and internationally.