Monday, 17 June 2013

A really really bad day on the job

You may (or may not) have received an email that went around a few years ago showing a spectacularly ridiculous jumbo jet mistake.  It truly wasn't a spam and the pilots really stuffed up.  The incident was in France with a two, no less, pilots.  A classic moment.

Airbus crashes into wall during testing


Etihad A340 in incident at Toulouse, France
An Airbus A340-600 (the longest aircraft in civil service today) has suffered a very unusual accident on 15NOV2007 at 5 pm at the Airbus Technical Center in Toulouse, France. As the aircraft (MSN 856) was undergoing the final tests before being delivered to Etihad Airways in the coming days, it had to pass an engine test (“engine run-ups”) on the ground. While carrying out these engine tests, due to some yet unknown reason it somehow broke loose and crashed into an anti-noise barrier. According to some pre-liminary reports, the engines were on full throttle as part of the – otherwise routine test – with all breaks applied when the plane got out of control. As seen on the first pictures above the plane looks badly damaged, having the nose being slammed into the wall and the back touching the tarmac.

Etihad A340 in incident at Toulouse, France (C by AP)

The plane was “seriously damaged” according to Airbus, too, who also said that on top of the 9 people onboard (including 7 Etihad employees) 1 on the ground was also injured. Two of the passengers and this another person on the ground were seriously injured, police said. In all 10 people were injured and four people were taken to hospital, three of whom were in serious conditions, they said. According to the first Airbus press release however, “only” 5 people are hurt, of whome 3 are seriously injured.
Eighty firefighters rushed to the scene after the plane slammed nose-first into the barrier and the tail hit the tarmac. “For an unknown reason the aircraft began to roll and it climbed up the embankment in front of it,” said Airbus France spokesman Jacques Rocca. The company said, however, that only five people had been injured. The four-engined aircraft can carry between 380 and 472 passengers depending on the model and the cabin layout.
Airbus expresses its sympathy to the families and friends of the persons concerned.” and so do we here at Airlineworld.
By coincidence this is the second incident involving an A340-600 on the ground within a week, following Iberia’s aircraft overrunning the runway in Quito in rainy conditions.
Update: the first high resolution picture on Airliners.net: Etihad A340 in incident at Toulouse, France (C by Airliners.net)


Update 2:

French authorities have launched an investigation into a crash involving an Airbus plane due to be delivered to the United Arab Emirates carrier.
Etihad Airways said none of its staff were involved when the A340-600 crashed into a barrier at Toulouse airport, injuring five people on board.
A spokesman for the airline said those hurt belonged to a firm contracted to test the plane before delivery.
None of them suffered severe injuries. The cause of the crash remains unclear.
The aircraft was scheduled to be delivered next week to Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi base, the airline said.
Source: BBC News
Update 3:
Airbus and French authorities launched an investigation Friday into an accident involving an A340-600 carrying out engine runup tests at the manufacturer’s Saint-Martin site near Toulouse ahead of the aircraft’s scheduled delivery to Etihad Airways. The jet, carrying nine people, apparently crashed through a barrier. Photographs show the badly damaged A340, bearing Etihad livery, nearly split in two, with the destroyed cockpit and nose area of the fuselage mostly severed.
Airbus called the incident “regrettable” and said five people were injured, with three remaining hospitalized as of Friday. One is an employee of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies while the other two work for Airbus, the manufacturer said. It said the aircraft was to be delivered “in the coming days,” adding, “Ground tests including engine runups are a normal procedure on all Airbus aircraft.” The plane was one of two -600s headed to EY before year end. It already operates two of the type.
Source: ATW online
Source:  Airline World
Further reading:
Flight Global
Wikepedia Airbus Industrie Flight
BBC News