A Canadian-made plane survived being flipped upside down several times, rolling uncontrollably and then plunging 10,000 feet after flying through wake turbulence believed to be from an EK A380.
The fact that the plane and its occupants survived is being credited to the skill of the pilot of the Challenger 604 business jet, who managed to recover control of the plane and make an emergency landing.
According to eGlobal Travel Media, wake turbulence, sometimes called jet wash, is a phenomenon similar to the wake produced by a huge ocean liner or freighter, which can overturn a small boat at sea. Aerial wakes can be even more violent.
In the latest case over the Arabian Sea, the ferocious wake turbulence caused serious injuries aboard the German private aircraft carrying 9 pax and crew.
The incident happened on 7JAN but reports have just surfaced. The plane is believed to have flown about 300 metres below an A380-800 flying in the opposite direction from DXB to SYD. The A380, believed to have been operated by EK, continued on without incident and landed safely and normally.
According to information received by the Aviation Herald, wake turbulence slammed into the Bombardier plane one to two minutes after its pass with the A380.
The smaller plane went into an uncontrolled roll, turning the aircraft around at least three – and possibly even five -- times.
“After the crew managed to stabilize the aircraft they decided to divert to MCT,” the Aviation Herald reported.
That was clearly a necessary decision -- several occupants were reportedly taken to hospital, one with serious injuries. The aircraft was damaged beyond repair and written off.
No suggestion has been made of any blame or responsibility, but air traffic control centres around the world have reportedly been told recently to exercise particular care with A380s crossing above other aircraft.