On 18th August 2023, an Emirates Airbus A380 collided with a large object, reportedly a drone while landing in Nice, France. As a result, the aircraft sustained damage to its right-hand slats and have been grounded since then.
The Airbus A380-800 with registration A6-EOM was operating flight EK77 from Dubai to Nice. However, on the approach to runway 04L at Nice Airport, the aircraft collided with a large drone, as reported by the Aviation Safety Network.
A post-flight inspection revealed damage to a section of the leading edge. Photos shared on the internet show one of the slats removed from the wing with extensive damage, with the metal ripped and torn.
Following the incident, the return flight EK78 from Nice to Dubai was cancelled. “The flight to Dubai has been cancelled for technical reasons,” said an airport spokesperson to AeroTime.
Tracking data from flightradar24.com revealed that another Airbus A380, with the registration A6-EOB, operated the Dubai-bound flight the following day.
The aircraft has been grounded and the leading edge slat was replaced on Sunday, 20th of August.
The French investigation board BEA has confirmed that they are looking into this occurrence, but could not yet confirm if a drone was indeed involved.
The exact cause of the damage has not yet been confirmed but local reports have stated that a large drone flying in the vicinity of the flight path may have caused the damage to the jumbo-jet.
Feature Image via Twitter (JACDEC)