Jump to content

Airbus A400M military plane crashes during test flight in Spain, kills four

Recommended Posts


An Airbus (AIR.PA) A400M military transport plane crashed in a field in Seville on Saturday, killing four of the six on board, a government official said, in the first accident involving Europe's newest troop and heavy cargo carrier.

The plane was on a test flight when it crashed one mile (1.6 km) north of Seville's San Pablo airport, emergency services said. Six people were on board; four died on impact and two others were seriously injured, a government spokeswoman said.

The plane crashed into an electricity pylon while attempting an emergency landing and caused a power cut in a nearby neighborhood, El Mundo newspaper said, citing an eyewitness.

An Airbus (AIR.PA) spokesman and a government spokeswoman declined to comment on the cause of the crash, a fresh blow to Europe's largest defense project which had to be bailed out by European governments in 2010 after delays and cost overruns.

Airbus said the transport plane, which is assembled in Seville, had been ordered by Turkey, and that the company had sent a team to the crash site.

Media images showed a plume of black smoke rising from the crash site and fire-fighters spraying the smoldering wreckage. Hardly anything was left of the plane, which left black scorched earth in its wake, a Reuters eyewitness said.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy earlier told reporters while on the campaign trail for local elections that it seemed all those on board were Spanish Airbus employees. He canceled his political rallies for the day.

The Spanish government has also sent a team to investigate the crash, a government source said. Web tracking data indicated that the aircraft had wheeled round to the left before crashing north of the airport.

A person familiar with the matter said the aircraft had been conducting its maiden flight as part of a pre-delivery schedule.


The A400M Atlas was developed for Spain and six other European NATO nations - Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Turkey - at a cost of 20 billion euros ($22 billion), in Europe's largest joint defense project. It entered service in 2013 after a delay of more than three years.

Problems in delivering the planes on time, and with all the required military features on board, resurfaced last year, prompting criticism from buyers including Turkey as well as a management shake-up and more financial charges.

After a total of 4.75 billion euros of charges on its own balance sheet, Airbus hoped it was finally turning the corner, with an executive saying last week that it hoped soon to get a second export customer to add to Malaysia..

There was no immediate word on whether the accident would result in the halting of other test flights or A400M operations in existing operators Britain, France, Germany and Turkey.

Designed to put troops and heavy equipment into remote battlefields or carry out humanitarian missions, the aircraft was designed to fill a gap between the smaller Lockheed Martin (LMT.N) C-130 Hercules and the Boeing C-17 cargo jet, which is being discontinued.

It is powered by the West's largest turboprop engines, supplied by a consortium of Britain’s Rolls-Royce (RR.L), France’s Safran (SAF.PA), MTU Aero Engines of Germany (MTXGn.DE) and Spanish aerospace firm Industria de Turbo Propulsores (ITP).($1 = 0.8931 euros)


View original article: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/09/us-spain-crash-idUSKBN0NU0GK20150509


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The A400M military aircraft, which crashed just a minute after taking off from Seville airport on Saturday, hit an electric power line as it attempted an emergency landing, El Mundo newspaper reported, citing an eyewitness account.


There were six people on board the new Airbus A400M transport plane which reportedly developed a fault just after take-off on a test flight.

Four were killed and two were seriously injured in the crash.  Local media said that those on board were Spanish Airbus employees.

Shortly after Saturday’s tragedy Airbus Defense and Space sent out a team of its experts to Spain to investigate.

The Airbus A400M Atlas is a multi-national four-engine turboprop military transport plane designed by Airbus Military as a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities to replace older transport aircraft, such as the Transall C-160 and the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules. The A400M can perform mission roles other than transportation, including electronic surveillance and aerial refueling.

About 194 planes have been ordered by eight countries, including Spain, France and the UK.

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/europe/20150510/1021950694.html#ixzz3ZkJF5kEl

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Airbus Group NV instructed operators of A400M military-transport planes like the one that crashed in Spain on May 9, killing four people, to carry out checks on the model’s engine-control system before making further flights.

Airbus sent a so-called alert operator transmission to all users of the A400M Tuesday requiring one-time checks on the electronic control units for each of the plane’s four turboprop engines, the Toulouse, France-based company said in a statement.

“To avoid potential risks in any future flights, Airbus Defence and Space has informed the operators about necessary actions to take,” Airbus said. “These results have immediately been shared with the official investigation team.”

The AOT, which also applies to any engine or control-unit replacements, results from Airbus’s “internal analysis” after the crash near Seville, independent of the ongoing official probe, the company said. A400Ms coming off the production line are already barred from entering pre-handover testing by the Spanish Defence Ministry pending the conclusion of the probe.

Airbus shares pared gains following the announcement and were priced 2.4 percent higher at 62.97 euros as of 4:45 p.m. in Paris after earlier trading as much as 3.5 percent higher.

Software Malfunctions

Engine producer Europrop International, which includes Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc, Safran SA of France and Germany’s MTU Aero Engines AG, has declined to comment on the crash. Shares of Rolls-Royce, Safran and MTU also pared gains.

The first A400M, handed over to France in 2013, was delivered a decade after the program was begun and four years later than planned after a spate of delays from glitches including engine-control software malfunctions. Even before the crash Airbus warned of new cost issues in ramping up output.

The defense program -- Europe’s most expensive -- has cost the company and governments 25 billion euros ($28 billion), about a quarter more than originally planned, though militaries from the U.K. to France and Germany are keen to get their hands on a modern transport plane to replace aging equipment.

Before the crash Airbus had a backlog of 162 of the aircraft, with 12 already handed over to buyers. A schedule to deliver a total of 14 A400Ms this year is under review.

The A400M fits in between Lockheed Martin Corp.’s aging C-130 Hercules model and the larger Boeing Co. C-17 Globemaster and satisfies an acute requirement that spans the airlift of military hardware through troop transport to disaster relief.


View original article: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-19/airbus-tells-a400m-users-to-check-engine-controls-after-crash

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

A software problem caused a brand-new Airbus military plane to crash

An Airbus executive told a German publication that a software problem led to the crash of military cargo plane in Seville, Spain on May 9.

In an interview with Handelsblattt, Airbus Chief Strategy Officer Marwan Lahoud blamed the crash on engine control software that was incorrectly installed during final assembly.

According to Lahoud, the black box data confirmed that the crash was a result of a manufacturing error, not a design fault.

Airbus and Spanish investigators have confirmed that three engines failed on the A400M that went down, killing four of the six Airbus employees on board.

“Engines 1, 2 and 3 experienced power frozen [to high power] after lift-off and did not respond to the crew’s attempts to control the power setting in the normal way,” Airbus said in a statement.

“When the power levers were set to ‘flight idle’ in an attempt to reduce power, the power reduced but then remained at ‘flight idle’ on the three affected engines for the remainder of the flight despite attempts by the crew to regain power,” the statement continued.

On May 19th, Airbus issued an alert to operators of the A400M to check the engines’ electronic control units.

According to the Wall Street Journal, no other A400M aircraft have reported experiencing similar software problems. And Airbus’ investigation found that “all other aircraft systems performed normally and did not identify any other abnormalities throughout the flight.”

Following the crash, Spain — where the plane is assembled — has halted all test flights of the model, Reuters reported.

The aircraft involved in the crash was destined for service with the Turkish Air Force.

The A400M is Airbus’s next generation tactical airlift aircraft and entered service in late 2013 with the French Air Force. The plane is designed to be a replacement for the ageing fleets of Lockheed C-130 Hercules and Transall C-160 cargo planes around Europe.

The aircraft is powered by a quartet of Eurprop EPI TP400 turboprops, developed by a coalition of European aviation firms that includes MTU Aero Engines, Rolls-Royce, SNECMA, and ITP.

View article: http://www.businessinsider.com.au/a-software-problem-caused-an-airbus-a400m-to-crash-2015-6

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...