Airbus A340-600 Ground Test Accident

An accident occurred at Airbus Saint-Martin site in Toulouse yesterday 15th November at 5 pm local time, when engine-run-ups were being carried out on an A340-600, MSN 856 (to be A6-EHG), which was due to be delivered to Etihad in the coming days.
The A340-600 jumped its chocks during an engine test and the nose went up and through a blast fence. The airplane has been substantial damaged.

There were nine persons on board out of them five people sustained injuries. There are no fatalities.
Airbus reports that of the five injured people, three remain in hospital. Two were released between yesterday night and this morning. Of the three persons remaining in hospital, one is an employee of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT), a service provider for Etihad Airways, and two are Airbus employees. Airbus and ADAT are providing all necessary support to the persons involved and their families.
An investigation has started yesterday night and Airbus is providing full support to the official investigation authorities in France.

Pictures

Etihad Airbus A340-600 Ground Test Accident
Ethiad Airbus A340-600 Ground Test Accident

Credit: TF1
Source: PPrune

73 Responses to “Airbus A340-600 Ground Test Accident”


  1. 1 rahul Jun 7th, 2008 at 9:16 am

    It is really sad to see that such an advanced aircraft has had a major accident in a static test.Adequate safety measures should be taken to avoid such crashes and plane should be securely bolted to the ground in future static static engine tests.Thank goodness no one perished.

    Rahul,Dubai

  2. 2 Safiullah Jun 7th, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    I doubt no one perished in the accident, it was a total negligence or i would say lack of experience, how can you power all four engines for test ???

  3. 3 Bilal Jul 8th, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Expert I am not but there is alot wrong with this picture,isn’t the blast fence suppose to be behind the plane and not in front of it? this is pure neglegence on part of safety. 2ndly if I am to test a plane on all 4 engines running I would tie it down to something.

  4. 4 Ray Jul 10th, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Morons! Read the Operator’s Manual first! You don’t power all four engines up to max power in an empty Airbus. There’s insufficient weight on the tires and the brakes won’t hold.

    First rule of aviation, if you do something and it has unintended consequences, undo it! Pulling back on the throttle would’ve solved their problem.

    As for chaining it down… What do you propose to chain it to? What size chain and anchor do you think you would need to survive the forces generated by those four engines at max power? Don’t rely on Bandaid approaches as a replacement for adequate knowledge of your aircraft.

  5. 5 Ahmed Jul 12th, 2008 at 7:39 am

    What a bunch of morons. They should all be shamed publicly and never let near airplanes again.

  6. 6 sahil Jul 17th, 2008 at 9:21 am

    hey dude
    according to me

    we people are not allowd to run the powerplants at the max. RPM as the heat generated by the combustion can even damage the turbines as the turbine blades are not cooled.

  7. 7 Possum Jul 29th, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    When all else fails…

    Read The F*#%ing Manual!

  8. 8 Passin Thru Aug 15th, 2008 at 4:02 am

    I worked for MCDONNELL-DOUGLAS FLT TEST and we ran an MD-11 engine up with the brakes set,no chocks one night and the AC slid fwd about 4ft and rolled the asphalt up in front of it. We put in anchors, Thrust of the MD- 11=90,000lb so the chains and anchors had to hold 20% more. Besides an Aircraft sitting stationary does not produce the thrust it does after it moves. It is basically getting a static bite of the air but once it moves, lookout! Oh, they could possibly have more than one blast fence at that airport, never been there. We ran to MAX TO Pwr on a lot of occasions, used a cage over 1 and 2 intakes. They did not overheat in Yuma AZ at temps around 100. I’d suggest more training but they may have come up with that now.

    PS If you use chocks they will become FOD. Ever see the guy pull the chocks on an aircraft carrier and get sucked into the intake. All the sparks and fire are from his cranial helmet and
    headphones. He survived BTW.

    “IF THE WORLD WERE PERFECT, IT WOULD’NT BE.” YOGI BERRA

  9. 9 Eric Aug 26th, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    As I understand it, it was a Muslim crew, they had not read the manual, they turned off an alarm that was sounding because the computer thought they were trying to take off but the flaps were not set, instead of reading the manual, they pulled a breaker to kill the alarm, then that happened it triggered the computer to think the plane was already in the air and it released the breaks, not being terribly smart it never crossed anyones mind to throttle back and figure out what was happening. Just something I read online, could be untrue

  10. 10 Al Aug 27th, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Written by To The Point News
    Friday, 16 May 2008

    The brand spanking new Airbus 340-600, the largest passenger airplane ever
    built, sat in its hangar in Toulouse, France without a single hour of
    airtime. Enter the Arab flight crew of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies
    (ADAT) on November 15, 2007 to conduct pre-delivery tests on the ground,
    such as engine run-ups, prior to delivery to Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi.

    The ADAT crew taxied the A340-600 to the run-up area. Then they took all
    four engines to takeoff power with a virtually empty aircraft. Not having
    read the run-up manuals, they had no clue just how light an empty A340-600
    really is.

    The takeoff warning horn was blaring away in the cockpit because they had
    all 4 engines at full power. The aircraft computers thought they were
    trying to takeoff but it had not been configured properly (flaps/slats,
    etc.) Then one of the ADAT crew decided to pull the circuit breaker on the
    Ground Proximity Sensor to silence the alarm.

    This fools the aircraft into thinking it is in the air.

    The computers automatically released all the brakes and set the aircraft
    rocketing forward. The ADAT crew had no idea that this is a safety feature
    so that pilots can’t land with the brakes on.

    Not one member of the seven-man Arab crew was smart enough to throttle
    back the engines from their max power20setting, so the $200 million
    brand-new aircraft crashed into a blast barrier, totalling it.

    The extent of injuries to the crew is unknown, for there has been a news
    blackout in the major media in France and elsewhere. Coverage of the
    story was deemed insulting to Arabs. Finally, the photos are starting to
    leak out.

  11. 11 Els Sep 9th, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    “…they had not read the manual…”

    What, the Airbus employees hadn’t read the manual for the A340-600?

    Stupid Catholics!

  12. 12 pazza Sep 9th, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    The Airbus employees had read the manual but the Arab crew testing it had not!!!.
    I think you will find that the Arab crew were Muslims and not Catholics.!

  13. 13 Timmy O'Toole Sep 10th, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Muslims are pretty good at destroying aircraft

  14. 14 Anon Sep 12th, 2008 at 11:06 am

    Looks like this thread is getting pretty racist to me……

  15. 15 DAve Sep 17th, 2008 at 7:58 am

    How do you say: OOPS, in Arabic?

  16. 16 anon Sep 17th, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Surely the question is what morons let these people in the plane without first reading the manual? I think you will find that their religious beliefs have very little bearing on their stupidity!

  17. 17 Ashwin Jadhav Sep 22nd, 2008 at 7:14 am

    What has this accident got to do with being a Muslim? I don’t understand why people write such crap in the first place. And no, I am not Muslim.

    Secondly, no person who had read the manual could have prevented this accident in my opinion. I don’t think the manual says “Don’t power up all 4 engines in an empty aircraft”. It’s just simple, common sense. The aircraft won’t hold.

    - Ashwin
    (http://finalapproach-ashwin.blogspot.com)

  18. 18 Rob Beehner Sep 28th, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Well, I’m no expert (not even a pilot), but regarding the comment above, isn’t it “just simple common sense” to have all of the flaps down before take off? (I’ll bet the manual tells the pilot to do that).

  19. 19 Loose Rooster Oct 10th, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    The impression from this report is that that a totally inexperienced (flight) crew was allowed onboard, without adequate, or indeed any supervision to perform pre-acceptance tests ? Seems unlikely to me.
    Further, considering that the A400 is meant to be part of the Airbus ‘Family’ (therefore minimum pilot re-training (therefore costs), is required) - if a pilot is familiar with say, the Airbus A330-300, then (s)he would be reasonably up to speed on the functionality and characteristics (in theory, at least) of an aircraft such as the A400.
    So I reckon there’s more to this than what’s been reported. Imagine - the French involved in a cover-up !!!
    I’m STUNNED !!!

  20. 20 Jerry Oct 12th, 2008 at 10:10 am

    This seems to be one of the typical web scams.

    First of all - all crews testing the planes at delivery have an extensive training in the simulator. And also the manual is largely presented to the crew _by oral presentations_ so no matter what - the crew on board s aware of the safety etc features of the plane.

    Secondly… Etihad happens to be in the possession of several Airbus-family planes - the pilots at the delivery will most likely have flown the types of aircraft previously and would have had the adequate training needed for that.

    It really seems stupid and incosiderate to spread this kind of childish messages in here.

    Jerry

  21. 21 Northwesterner Oct 25th, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    If a circuit breaker was removed just to silence an alarm and no one gave a second thought to this, then this alone is a sign of incredible stupidity, (and race, religion or national origin have NOTHING to do with it). Over the years there have been major air disasters caused by REMOVING A CIRCUIT BREAKER to silence an alarm. The first one that comes to mind was the DC-10 flight out of Paris with over 300 on board (no survivors). There a circuit breaker indicating a cargo door was not properly closed was removed to silence it’s alarm. Guess what, the door blew at altitude and more than 300 people discovered whether God existed or not.

  22. 22 Adi Nov 20th, 2008 at 6:21 am

    THE TALE OF THE ARAB FLIGHT CREW

    Written by To The Point News Friday, 16 May 2008

    The brand spanking new Airbus 340-600, the largest passenger airplane ever
    built, sat in its hangar in Toulouse , France without a single hour of
    airtime. Enter the Arab flight crew of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies
    (ADAT) to conduct pre-delivery tests on the ground, such as engine runups,
    prior to delivery to Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi .

    The ADAT crew taxied the A340-600 to the run-up area. Then they took all
    four engines to takeoff power with a virtually empty aircraft. Not having
    read the run-up manuals, they had no clue just how light an empty A340-600 really is.
    The takeoff warning horn was blaring away in the cockpit because they had
    all 4 engines at full power. The aircraft computers thought they were trying
    to takeoff but it had not been configured properly (flaps/slats, etc.)

    Then one of the ADAT crew decided to pull the circuit breaker on the Ground
    Proximity Sensor to silence the alarm. This fools the aircraft into
    thinking it is in the air. The computers automatically released all the
    brakes and set the aircraft rocketing forward. The ADAT crew had no idea
    that this is a safety feature so that pilots can’t land with the brakes on.
    Not one member of the seven-man Arab crew was smart enough to throttle back
    the engines from their max power setting, so the $200 million brand-new
    aircraft crashed into a blast barrier, totaling it. The extent of injuries
    to the crew is unknown, for there has been a news blackout in the major
    media in France and elsewhere. Coverage of the story was deemed insulting
    to Moslem Arabs. Finally, the photos are starting to leak out. Airbus $200
    million aircraft meets retaining wall and the wall wins….

  23. 23 pedro Nov 29th, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    i work in toulouse and saw the aircraft this wk, it being stripped of any salvage as we spk. I feel there is def cover up.Even airbus employees who were here when it happened say thy know nothing!

  24. 24 Michael Nov 29th, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    I found two pics of the stripping down of the A340

    A340 A6-EHG Strip down
    Photo by DigitalAirliners.com

    A340 A6-EHG Strip down
    Photo by a380spotter

  25. 25 Dr. Tracy Baker Dec 9th, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    This is just proof of the adage “Make something idiot proof and a better idiot will come along”.

  26. 26 jaouad Dec 17th, 2008 at 11:16 am

    I’m searching for the actual technical report of the A 340 ground test accidentbut but I can’t find it. If someone could help me with thad, thad would be grate.

  27. 27 Private Pilot Feb 24th, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Please keep in mind that there were two Airbus employees onboard this aircraft. What were they doing during this power run-up?

  28. 28 Boeing is better Mar 1st, 2009 at 6:32 am

    Very, very sad……..I just can’t believe this could have happened this way. I would hope that it was a mechanical error. If this was truly human error by those that we hope are smart, well trained personnel……then God help us all.

    Fly Boeing……getting you to where you want to be.

  29. 29 Long time professional pilot Mar 22nd, 2009 at 7:33 am

    The Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies crew taxied the A340-600 to the run-up area at Toulouse, France airport. Then they took all four engines to takeoff power with a virtually empty aircraft. Not having read the run-up manuals, they had no clue just how light an empty A340-600 really is. The takeoff warning horn was blaring away in the cockpit because they had all 4 engines at full power. The aircraft computers thought they were trying to takeoff but it had not been configured properly (flaps/slats, etc.) Then one of the ADAT crew decided to pull the circuit breaker on the Ground Proximity Sensor to silence the alarm. 
    This fools the aircraft into thinking it is in the air. The computers automatically released all the brakes and set the aircraft rocketing forward. The ADAT crew had no idea that this is a safety feature so that pilots can’t land with the brakes on. 
    Not one member of the seven-man Arab crew was smart enough to throttle back the engines from their max power setting, so the $200 million brand-new aircraft crashed into a blast barrier, totaling it. The extent of injuries to the crew is unknown, for there has been a news blackout in the major media in France and elsewhere. Coverage of the story was deemed insulting to Muslim Arabs. Finally, the photos are starting to leak out.

  30. 30 stevie Mar 24th, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Hmmm, leaving aside the racism, the quoted “news” story sounds kinda fishy to me.

    Based on v. little quick wiki-ing and my own (deeply buried) knowledge, here’s what I see wrong already:

    A340-600 isn’t the largest passenger airplane ever built. The Boeing 747-800 and 777 and even Airbus’ own 380 are larger.

    Generally, you don’t have an aircrew (pilots) do initial engine run-up checks and you don’t have a ground crew “taxi” an aircraft for such checks. The a/c is towed to the test site/run-up area.

    How does pulling the Ground Proximity Sensor c/b silence the “takeoff configuration” warning horn? Ground Proximity Sensor warning is disabled w/ the gear down (as during a ground test), otherwise landings would be REALLY annoying and pilots might avoid them altogether. (Also, Ground Proximity doesn’t have anything to do with the power setting: it’s based on altitude.)

    Oh, wait, and pulling such a c/b doesn’t “fool” the aircraft into thinking anything (like, say, that it’s in the air). That wouldn’t release the brakes. Not unless the French are really stupid design engineers (and that doesn’t have anything to do with the “muslums”).

    I don’t know about an A340, but all the wheeled aircraft that I’ve flown can be landed with their brakes on. Rarely, however, is it recommended.

    I’ll see if I can find the accident report.

  31. 31 stevie Mar 24th, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    jaouad, the accident report, in French. I’ve done a little translating for those who don’t read Francais.

    http://www.bea.aero/docspa/2007/f-cj071115/pdf/f-cj071115.pdf

  32. 32 stevie Mar 24th, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    This is info from the accident investigation report, from the French version of the NTSB (I believe), the BEA:

    A. Mixed ground test crew of 9 on board: some from Airbus proper, based there in Toulouse, some from the Abu Dhabi-based contractor working on the airline’s behalf.

    3 people in the cockpit for the test: 2 from Airbus, one from the contractor.

    Running the test, in the right seat of the cockpit, in charge of the all controls: Airbus technician, 15 yr employee, 9 yrs experience testing these engines. When he was alerted that the aircraft was moving, his only actions were to kill the parking brake while simultaneously stomping on the main brakes.

    In the left seat, observing the test: contractor employee, alerted the test tech that the aircraft was moving. Has no specified role in the test other than to observe.

    In the “service” seat (like the navigator’s seat, only the A340 ain’t got no navigator, I don’t believe): Airbus-employed test pilot, 9 yrs experience as a professional pilot, 7 as a test pilot, not type rated (i.e., not an A340 pilot), perhaps a manager qualified to supervise such tests. Once again, no specific role other than to observe, but in the end it was him who pulled the throttles back.

    B. There were two main causes: 1) no chocks were used to hold the aircraft’s wheels in place during the test. 2) All four engines were brought to full power to test one leaky engine. Procedures required the use of chocks and running up two engines - the one leaking and one on the other wing (to prevent torquing and yawing of the fuselage). These two procedures had been frequently ignored by all Airbus technicians at the test center for some time.

    Short answer: the test was done improperly, not in accordance with written procedures and standards. The fault of the Airbus technician.

    Contributing causes: 1) the full power of four engines is almost exactly equal to the braking power of the A340s parking brake and the frictional coefficient of the test area’s tarmac, hence the aircraft only moved when shaking of the aircraft and the burning off of fuel lessened the overall braking coefficient. 2) The technician tried to use the brakes alone to stop the aircraft rather than retarding the throttles as well.

    C. Fun fact: the numbers 3 and 4 engines could not be shut down after impact because the throttle control connection to them had been severed. No. 4 was finally killed over two-and-a-half hours later when enough water and fire-fighting foam had been pumped into it to snuff it out. The No. 3 engine died at 1:25 am the next morning - 9 hrs later - when it ran out of gas: it was too jammed into the wall to get any water/foam into it. Now THAT’S hi-larious. And not a bad advertisement for Rolls-Royce engines, it seems to me.

    Yeah, the “news” account above is one of those made up slander e-mails, urban legend-style. No evidence of any cover-up, the photos were widely-disseminated right away (as you can see by the date of this blog report), once the accident investigating was done, no reason why the plane wouldn’t be cleaned up right away. Doesn’t look too good for an airport to have a crashed aircraft anywhere on its tarmac.

    Lesson: racists are racists - go ahead and call them that - and don’t believe what you read on the internet, particularly the clearly racist stuff. Oh, and those of you who believed this stuff and called yourselves professional pilots, you’re not. I am.

  33. 33 Abdullah S. Eyles Mar 26th, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Muslims who have become pilots are not usually the most “devout” of Muslims. Also their working conditions (always travelling, staying in strange hotels every other night) aren’t really convulsive to being religious; how can a transatlantic pilot keep his prayers on time?

    Of course those who like to laugh at anything they don’t understand (in this case Islam - Muslims) enjoy coming to conclusions without knowing all the facts.

    Many thanks to those who sent details of the real reason for this crash; let’s hope those who carry racist views read them with the same excitement they read the “original” story…

    (Yes, I am Muslim; having converted from Christianity at the age of 23)

  34. 34 Nick Apr 1st, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Ok ok ok . . so a bunch of Arabs decided to take another plane outa the sky . . more or less. . cool right on. . but aside from them being Arab there is little to racist values. .if the pilot was white he would still be the moron that totaled a 200mil dollar plane. . right? so regardless of who throws what racial comment around its irrelevant. . the country obviously does not hold the same standards as Some of us ( candida.. . UK. . God forbid the U.S of A)When it comes to air safety . first off ban that fkn flight crew. . anyone that does not have the plain common sense to read A BOOK@!@ that in all reality . . . . was part of there fkn job ( common. . pilots dont read books prior to and or during emergencies. . give me a break . . they r trained to deal with and handle any situations. . if they do not consult a manual at some point i do not feel confident with the pilot(s) unless SUBSTANTIAL evidence is proven that the pilot has had extensive air time)

    As i just finish reading stevie’s post im still brought to wonder why ( even though supervisors were present) no warnings or . . even ( more or less) a heads up given . . Do pilots not beif prior. . I may be going to deep into the militaristic side of the skies but. . you get a brief on whats going on no? should you not assume ( safely) that a plane capable of carrying so much should not be tapped out at full throttle? Further more why was this deemed “bad” ( again more or less) agains muslims? So fkn what you ruined a plane ( again). . the world needs to know whats going on . . i mean christ. . . if this is the case then every tom dick and mohammad can total a fkn plane without the global awarness. . in the UNited states children r shot dead at a university and the WHOLE WORLD knows. . In Canada we have declines in our auto industry and looming recession ( as does all) but . . When we have a plane hit the barriers. . Or even ( as it was . . 2 years ago.. maybe 3) we had a plane ditch in the gully at Pearson International . . I didn’t see any cover ups or denials. . or even silence. . . i saw the situation . . the proof. . and what happen as well as the consequences. . Please someone explain why a race and or religions is relevant? it was there fault. . they failed. . plain n simple. . no one took the time to properly think the test run thru. . nor did they realize the error of there ways. . im sorry but if you ppl are telling me that these jokers pulled back on the throttle. . then please show me real evidence. . i mean more then just someone talking. . Show me the fkn black box.. show me some evidence that says the people were competent to start with . . Give me some solid proof to. . well . . prove to me that the gentlemen flying were capable of doing such. . because the pictures say otherwise….

    Last time i checked the air was the safest way to fly. . the more Muslims i see the more i take boats. . why? not because im racist, nor the fact that i believe that muslims are the root of all evil and the situations aborad from the North American Continent are infact souly there fault ( 9/11 is a subject that will be touchy for… who wants to say 20 years from my post? ill bet on it . .) The point is that ppl should not be given toys if they are unable to play nice.

  35. 35 Nick Apr 1st, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Oh and by the way to respond to jerrys comment way way above. . its hard to articulate words to people that may not fully understand the language spoken . . You were not there for the takeoff. . and you cannot tell me that the people flying were able to speak french in such a fluent way as to allow them to understand everything( English spoken or otherwise) . . tell me where they trained. . and what simulator. .again back to my post . . im glad everyone has an opinion . . but prove it . . show they were competent. . lets see it. . there is more then what meets the eye here. . you people are being shallow and or blind to what is really laying in front of you. . well was laying in front of you ( for you french folks) for us. . Canadians . . well. . shit. . ill be sure to take a cruise over. . to any continent that does not directly link to mine. . .

  36. 36 Xavier Apr 9th, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Thanks Stevie. Sometimes there is a light at the end of the tunnel. As a former pilot it is always good to hear someone give a logical and simple answer so most who do not know can understand. Thanks again. And to the worlds biggest morons that are writing here - we are here together whether you like it or not. Live with it. Not all Muslim is a terrorist just like all Protestants and Catholics are not one either.

  37. 37 Vincent Price Apr 11th, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Do you remember the scene from Airplane?

    The one on the beach where Ted Striker gives all the mission details away
    but can’t say when he’s returning?

    Here’s a reminder:

    Ted Striker: My orders came through. My squadron ships out tomorrow.
    We’re bombing the storage depots at Daiquiri at 1800 hours. We’re coming in from
    the north, below their radar.

    Elaine Dickinson: When will you be back?

    Ted Striker: I can’t tell you that. It’s classified.

    The ‘The Point News’ report is the same thing one brainlessly prejudice and less funny.

    We know all this detail about how incompetent the Arab crew are yet the injuries are covered by a media blackout? Please!

    And even more stupid are those who perpetuate this crap.

    Just to remind you; you are sitting in front of a computer with internet access. Start witth Google and find the official crash investigation report and cross reference it for validity.

    Stevie has kindly done this for you but double check it before quoting your bigotted reports.

    BTW most reliable evidence says it was an Airbus employee doing the demostration. Not fact, just the result of a few checks.

  38. 38 Mike Apr 16th, 2009 at 3:42 am

    Yep, them Arabs/islamist are peace loving people:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/15/afghanistan-taliban-lovers-elope-nimroz

    Sorry guys, pointing out the obvious is not racist, it’s being a realist. Those that accuse are themselves the racists

  39. 39 Mike Apr 16th, 2009 at 3:45 am

    Now, here is some more info at Snopes.com:

    http://www.snopes.com/photos/airplane/etihad.asp

  40. 40 ibokay Apr 20th, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Where does it say the testing crew members were Muslims or Arabs. While I don’t know for sure who the Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies employees were, during my 10 years in the Middle East I witnessed thousands of ex-pats working the technical fields out there. Europeans, North Americans, Asians…………you name it, they are out there. Might be one of those who screwed up!!

  41. 41 swiggy Apr 28th, 2009 at 2:26 am

    checked it at snopes. Not the most reliable spot for fact checking anymore, but they are about the only urban legend site I’ve found that carries the info. The French government has investigated and state that it was the responsibility of airbus to make sure the wheels were chocked prior to testing. Dunno if that would really keep a jet with 54,000 pounds of thrust from multiple engines from moving, but that’s their story and they are sticking to it.

    Since the incident took less than 13 seconds, France claims that neither the ADAT pilot in the left seat nor the Airbus Engineer in the right seat had enough time to reduce the thrust.

    The plane had 2 airbus employees and 7 ADAT employees. No mention was made of their ethnic background, although for of the people on board were hospitalized for their injuries.

  42. 42 The Truth is Out there Apr 29th, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    funny how people comment on aeronautics and biggotry, yet can’t even spell Canadian!

  43. 43 David May 2nd, 2009 at 3:28 am

    This is so old, it happened on nov15 2007, 1.5 years and got this racist garbage in a e-mail of all things

    Shame on you Mike, everyone has had there dark moments, the Germans, the Americans and countless others, just because one group brings terror apon people does not make them all bad.

  44. 44 Wayne May 4th, 2009 at 5:05 am

    Thanks Stevie for sorting this out. This chain email really was some racist crap, the pics alone would have made a good story without the bigot angle.

  45. 45 Abdul Mustapha Phag May 4th, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    I guess that herding camels is easier, coping with white man’s magic can prove tricky sometimes.

  46. 46 SJ May 13th, 2009 at 10:33 am

    All I know is that both Etihad and Emirtaes Arilines have 95% of poilots and staff from other countries specially, EU and US. So can anybody find out the origin of the people from ADAT, if at all it is really necessary for some to know. I’m sure all the air crashes which have taken place so far in the aviation history…Muslim pilots were invovled…correct Mr. Nick??

    Billions of Muslims cant be blamed for few thousands Talibans wrong doings. Muslims exist every where in the world and in Canada also Mr. Nick…how many Talibans have you seen moving around, and punishing and beheading people????

    This world will not be a peaceful place until these racists exist no matter what relegion they bear..

  47. 47 Deborah May 19th, 2009 at 6:51 am

    And SJ….HUH??? What the hell does “This world will not be a peaceful place until these racists exist no matter what religion they bear…” mean????? That makes no sense.

  48. 48 The Report Jun 2nd, 2009 at 12:41 am

    Accident on November 15, 2007
    at Toulouse Blagnac Airport
    to Airbus A340-600 serial number 856

    CAUTION

    This report presents the technical conclusions reached by the BEA on the circumstances and causes of this accident.
    In judicial terms, this occurrence does not constitute an aviation accident or incident, since none of the people on board intended to perform a flight. Nevertheless, the term ‘accident’ will be used in this report, as commonly understood and accepted.
    In accordance with Annex 13 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, with EC directive 94/56/CE and with Law N°99-243 of 29 March 1999, the investigation of the accident is intended neither to apportion blame, nor to assess individual or collective responsibility. The sole objective is to draw lessons from this occurrence which may help to prevent future accidents or incidents.
    Consequently, the use of this report for any purpose other than for the prevention of future accidents could lead to erroneous interpretations.

    Table of Contents

    Caution

    Glossary

    Synopsis

    Organization of the investigation

    1 – FACTUAL INFORMATION
    1.1 Summary of the event
    1.2 Injuries and fatalities
    1.3 Aircraft damage
    1.4 Other damage
    1.5 Personnel information
    1.5.1 Persons on the flight deck
    1.6 Aircraft information
    1.7 Meteorological conditions
    1.8 Communications
    1.9 Airfield information
    1.10 Flight recorders
    1.10.1 CVR
    1.10.2 FDR
    1.10.3 Readout of the flight recorders
    1.11 Information on the site and the wreckage
    1.12 Medical and pathological Information
    1.13 Tests and research
    1.14 Information on the organizations and management
    1.15 Additional information
    1.15.1 Testimonies

    2 – ANALYSIS
    2.1 Test procedure
    2.2 Reactions in the cockpit
    2.3 Oversight of these activities

    3 - CONCLUSIONS
    3.1 Findings of the investigation
    3.2 Causes of the accident
    3.3 Measures taken following the accident

    4 – SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS

    GLOSSARY

    AESA Agence Européenne de la Sécurité Aérienne
    AMM Aircraft Maintenance Manual
    BEA Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses
    (BEAD-Air) Bureau Enquête Accidents Défense Air
    CAM Customer Acceptance Manual
    CEV Centre d’Essais en Vol
    CVR Cockpit Voice Recorder
    EPR Engine Pressure Ratio
    FDR Flight Data Recorder
    GSAC Groupement pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation Civile
    JAR Joint Aviation Rules
    UTC Coordinated Universal Time

    SYNOPSIS

    Date of accident
    Thursday November 15, 2007 at 1610 hrs (1)

    Aircraft
    Airbus A-340-600
    Registered as F-WWCJ

    Location of accident
    Toulouse Blagnac Airport

    Owner
    Airbus

    Purpose of flight
    Engine ground run test

    Persons on board
    9

    Note (1): Unless stated otherwise, the times quoted in this report refer to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). One hour should be added to obtain the local time in France at the time of the event.

    1- FACTUAL INFORMATION

    1.1 Summary of the event

    On 15 November 2007, the Airbus A-340-600 F-WWCJ was undergoing static engine ground runs on the Toulouse-Blagnac airfield. The purpose was to test various systems with technicians of the airline that had ordered the aircraft. No wheel chocks were used. On completion of these tests, after having stopped and inspected the engines, the technicians started the engines again for another engine run at high power to find the origin of oil leaks.

    Approximately three minutes after power up, the aircraft began to move forward. The technician in the left seat perceived the motion and informed the Airbus technician in the right seat. The latter acted on the brake pedals and then released the parking brake. The DFDR (digital flight data recorder) then indicates a partial release of the brake pedal command. Since the aircraft continued to move forward, he tried to modify its trajectory by using the nose wheel steering. The nose wheel gear quickly skidded sideways as the aircraft accelerated.
    The aircraft struck the slope of the anti-blast wall. The forward fuselage broke and fell down on the other side of the wall.

    There were thirteen seconds between the start of aircraft movement and the collision with the wall.

    1.2 Injuries and fatalities

    Fatal - 0
    Serious - 4
    Slight/None – 5

    1.3 Aircraft damage

    The aircraft was destroyed.

    1.4 Other damage

    The anti-blast wall was damaged.

    1.5 Personnel information

    The ground tests during the customer delivery phase are performed under the responsibility of only one ground test technician, an Airbus employee. He was usually accompanied by one or more persons representing the customer, and sometimes by other Airbus employees. Airbus had no special qualification requirement toward the customer representatives attending testing. The representatives of the customer sitting in the cockpit normally had observer roles, but it could happen that the ground test technician allowed the representative of the customer to participate, for example by allowing him to taxi.

    During this test, the technician in charge of ground testing was in the right seat, an aeronautical technician representing the customer was in the left seat and a flight test engineer was on the jump seat. The customer representative and the flight test engineer had no specific function in the aircraft handling. The role of the customer representative was to observe the parameters during testing to ensure compliance with the requirements of the customer.

    1.5.1 Persons on the flight deck

    1.5.1.1 Ground test technician in the right seat:

    Male, 41 years old, Airbus employee, responsible for the test
    • Line maintenance technician since 1992
    • Ground test technician since 1998
    • Course for engine tests and ground runs on A330 - A340 in 1998.
    • RR Trent 500 familiarization course in May 2000
    • Attached to the Flight Test / Aircraft Delivery Department since 2004
    • Flight test engineer since 2004
    • Recurrent training for A-330/340 engine test in October 2006

    1.5.1.2 Aeronautical technician in the left seat:

    Male, 36 years old, employee of a maintenance company (GAMCO), which maintains the Etihad Airlines aircraft and carries out their acceptance tests.
    • Technician for the GAMCO company since 1997
    • Courses at Lufthansa Technik and Airbus in 2002
    • A-340-600 engine ground run training in 2006

    1.5.1.3 Flight test engineer on the jump seat:

    Male, 42 years old, Airbus employee
    • Flight test engineer in 2000
    • Attached to the Flight Test / Delivery Department since 2000
    • Authorized to perform engine tests on Airbus family aircraft
    • Commercial airplane pilot since 1998
    • A-320 type rating in 2004
    • ATR-42 type rating in 2006
    1.6 Aircraft Information
    Airframe:
    • Manufacturer: Airbus
    • Type: A340-600
    • Serial Number: 856
    • Provisional Registration: F-WWCJ
    Engines:
    Engine #1 Engine #2 Engine # 3 Engine #4
    Manufacturer Rolls-Royce Rolls-Royce Rolls-Royce Rolls-Royce

    Type Trent Trent Trent Trent
    556A2-61 556A2-61 556A2-61 556A2-61

    Serial Number 71492 71490 71491 71493
    Total Time 24 h 26 h 24 h 23 h

    Engine control parameter

    The thrust of the A-340-600 engines is expressed in terms of the EPR (Engine Pressure Ratio) which represents the ratio of total pressure between the turbine outlet and compressor inlet. This ratio varies approximately between 1 (ground idle) and 1.41 (full thrust, or around 28000 daN).

    Weight and balance

    The aircraft weight was 223 tons including 40 tons of fuel, and the CG was at 25.8%. Ground tests are usually performed with 80 tons of fuel. The maximum certified take-off weight is 380 tons.

    Braking system

    Description of the system

    The A-340-600 has two Main LG, one on the right side and one on the left, one Central LG and one Nose LG. Each MLG and the CLG have 4 wheels each. The CLG is slightly aft of both MLG. Each MLG wheel and CLG wheel is equipped with a braking system, and each brake is powered by two independent hydraulic systems. The NORMAL braking pressure is controlled through the green system. The blue system powers the ALTERNATE braking.

    When the parking brake is set, the blue system applies 2500 psi to both MLG. The CLG brakes are not operated by the parking brake.

    When the brake pedals are pressed, the green system operates both MLG and the CLG, with the amount of pressure applied depending of the position of the brake pedals. The green system pressure is inhibited as long as the parking brake is activated.

    If the parking brake is released while simultaneously pressing on the brake pedals, the system allows both circuits to be pressurized together, while the ALTERNATE circuit depressurizes. This applies only to both MLG and the total amount of pressure from both circuits is limited to 2770 psi.

    In addition, the braking of the CLG wheels is automatically reduced when the nose wheels are steered. When the nosewheel steering command is greater than 20 degrees, the CLG braking is completely inhibited.

    Certification standard

    The JAR25.735d regulation for certification indicates that the parking brake must be designed to prevent the aircraft from moving on a dry paved runway with one engine at maximum thrust, the others being at ground idle. In these circumstances, the A-340-600 parking brake must develop a minimal braking force of 28000 daN or 3500 daN per braked wheel. The system was designed to develop a braking force of 8500 daN per braked wheel with a brake pressure of 2500 psi.

    1.7 Meteorological conditions

    At 1600 hrs, the meteorological conditions measured at the Toulouse Blagnac airfield were:

    -Wind 330°/16 knots, visibility greater than 10 km, cloud cover few at 4100 feet, temperature 5°C, dewpoint -5°C, QNH 1019 hPa.

    1.8 Communications

    The ground test technician, who taxied the aircraft, was in contact with the ground controller of the St-Martin watchtower. This frequency, specific to Airbus, makes it possible to control the traffic during the taxiing of aircraft on the Airbus site of the Toulouse Blagnac airfield.

    1.9 Airfield information

    The accident occurred on the BIKINI ramp. This area is dedicated to testing and is part of the manufacturer’s facilities.

    No grip data for the surface of the test area were available before the accident. To enable a quantitative analysis of the braking performance, it was necessary to undertake measurements of slipperiness. These measurements were carried out in conditions close to those on the day of the accident. The measured friction coefficients were between 0.65 and 0.68. These values correspond to the coefficient of a dry runway in good condition.

    1.10 Flight recorders

    In accordance with the applicable regulations, the aircraft was equipped with a cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and a flight data recorder (FDR).

    1.10.1 CVR

    The CVR is a recorder with static storage capable of storing the last two hours of recording.

    • Manufacturer: L-3 Communications
    • Model: FA 2100
    • Type Number: 2100-1020-02
    • Serial Number: 455462

    The following tracks are recorded:

    1. VHF and mouth microphone from the third seat (rear location)
    2. VHF and mouth microphone from the captain’s seat (left side)
    3. VHF and mouth microphone from the first officer’s seat (right side) and FSK signal
    4. Area microphone

    The recording quality was good and lasts a little more than two hours. The event has been recorded in its entirety.

    1.10.2 FDR

    The FDR is a recorder with static storage capable of reproducing at least the last twenty five hours of recording.

    • Manufacturer: L-3 Communications
    • Model: FA 2100
    • Type Number: 2100-4043-02
    • Serial Number: 440952

    The data are of good quality and the event could be identified at the end of the recording. The graphs of the recorded significant parameters appear in the annex.

    1.10.3 Readout of the flight recorders

    The CVR and FDR have been synchronized using the UTC time recorded in the FDR and the “Master Caution” “Single Chime” identified on the CVR.

    The aircraft arrives at the BIKINI area approximately 14:19
    It is at a magnetic heading of 312 degrees. The parking brake is set and active.

    During the tests between 14:19 and 14:58 the maximum EPR values are between 1.04 and 1.22

    The last engine ground run is started at 15:58. The aircraft is still not moving.

    Between 15:58:10 and 15:59:03 the thrust is increased gradually from idle to a steady value of 1.25 EPR. This engine thrust setting corresponds to a position of the thrust levers between MCT (Max Continuous Thrust) and MTO (Max Take Off Thrust).

    The ALTERNATE pressure values are close to 2600 psi for the wheels 1,2,5,6 (left gear) and 3,4,7,8 (right gear). They are at 64 psi for the wheels 9,10,11,12 (central gear) (2).

    Note (2): Brake pressure values are recorded in increments of 64 psi

    At 16:02:06 the person in the right seat starts talking but is interrupted at 16:02:08 by the person in the left seat who announces :
    “Euh … cabin is … aircraft is moving forward”

    The first significant LONGITUDINAL ACCELERATION parameter values showing a forward acceleration of the aircraft are observed around 16:02:07. The recorded ground speed starts to increase at 16:02:09 (3)

    Note (3): Ground Speed values are recorded in increments of 1 kt.

    Between 16:02:08 and 16:02:13 the ground speed increases from 0 to 4 kt.

    At 16:02:11 the person on the left seat again says :
    “Aircraft is moving forward”

    An action on the brake pedals is recorded from around 16:02:11

    The parking brake is deactivated around 16:02:13
    The person on the right seat announces :
    “Parking brake off”

    From the moment the park brake is released:
    • the brake pedals are briefly released on two occasions
    • the ALTERNATE circuit braking pressures drop below 192 psi
    • the NORMAL circuit braking pressures on the MLG are consistent with the brake pedals position on both right and left sides, and increase from 300 to 2500 psi in one second
    • the NORMAL circuit braking pressures for the CLG reach a maximum of 192 psi at 16:02:14 and then decrease to 64 psi and stabilize at that value
    • the wheel speed values which were still recorded as zero (the sensors do not work until a wheel speed of 3 to 5 kt) become positive and are consistent with recorded ground speed and aircraft movement
    • the recorded ground speed increases rapidly from 4 to 31 kt in seven seconds
    Between 16:02:13 and 16:02:15 the command given from the right-hand side to the NWS (Nose Wheel Steering) goes from 0 to -75 degrees (full right command against the stops). The evolution of the nose wheel angle until impact is consistent with that command. From 16:02:15 the magnetic heading of the aircraft begins to increase; it goes from 312 to 349 degrees in seven seconds.

    The angle of the nose gear reaches 77 degrees right at 16:02:19 and remains at that value until the end of the recording. From 16:02:18 we can hear on the CVR severe vibration noises followed by impact noises.

    The thrust levers did not move until 16:02:20 when they are retarded to the IDLE detent. The EPR values of the 4 engines start to decrease immediately afterward.

    The longitudinal acceleration becomes significantly positive, indicating an aircraft deceleration, around 16:02:20.5

    FDR recording ends between 16:02:21 and 16:02:22
    CVR recording ends at 16:02:23

    1.11 Information on the site and the wreckage

    The aircraft was involved in a collision with the anti-blast wall located at the north side of the BIKINI ramp. It came to rest leaning on the wall, pointing to the north. The tail cone and the tip of the right wing were in contact with the ground. Only the right MLG was touching the ground.

    The aircraft had struck the anti-blast wall at an angle of about 30 degrees. The underside of the forward cabin was torn over about fifteen meters and folded to the ground when passing the anti-blast wall.

    The cockpit crashed to the ground north of the wall. The avionics bay containing most of the flight control computers, located under the cockpit, was completely destroyed.

    Engine #1 and #2 hit the wall and were severely damaged. The #2 pylon was twisted. Engine #3 and #4 kept running after impact and did not stop immediately. It was not possible to shut them down, neither by activating the fire extinguisher handles nor by positioning the thrust levers on OFF. Water and foam spray on engine #4 managed to extinguish it at 18:48.

    Due to the proximity of the wall this was not was not possible with engine #3 in a similar manner to engine #4. It shut down by itself only on November 16 at 01:25 after it had consumed all the fuel from its collector tank.

    The NWG was broken and separated from the fuselage. The wheels were oriented to the right and had a steering angle close to the maximum value. The nosewheel tires had cuts in them, and showed marks of rubbing at right angles to the tread.

    Ground tire traces

    For the following descriptions, the distance reference is taken from the point of impact on the wall, and back along the aircraft trajectory.

    A first tire trace, corresponding to one of the internal wheels of the right MLG, is visible starting at 120 meters over a length of approximately 10 meters. The trace of the external tires is present but less marked. Those traces are oriented along an axis with a magnetic heading of 330 degrees. No trace of the left MLG tires was observed.

    At 83 meters, we can see the first NWG marks. They curve toward a northerly heading. They are initially parallel, then at 50 meters converge to leave only one single trace. By then, the NLG is no longer directional.

    Symmetrical braking traces from both MLG are present from around 60 meters until the wall.

    1.12 Medical and pathological information

    The investigation did not highlight any medical anomalies likely to have deteriorated the capacities of the occupants.

    1.13 Tests and research

    Video camera

    The recording of a video camera permanently filming the BIKINI area was reviewed. It shows the aircraft during the last test. At first the aircraft moves slowly then suddenly accelerates. While the path begins to slowly turn to the right, the NLG starts skidding sideways. The plane continues on its path until it hits the wall. The forward section rises, falls back on the wall and the fuselage breaks. There are flames at engines #1 and #2 as well as on the aft section of the aircraft.

    By looking at the recordings from several days before the accident, it can be seen that some tests are carried out with wheel chocks and some others without.

    Analysis of braking force and surface grip

    The braking system of the aircraft has been modelized, in order to better understand the cause of the aircraft having started to move. The modelling uses the theoretical system functioning as described in paragraph 1.6 and is based on the values of the brake pressure parameters recorded by the FDR. The values of the EPR parameters of the four engines have also been used to determine the total thrust.

    Braking force

    For each of the braked wheels, the maximum braking force created by the brake pressure is determined based on the specification of the brakes, as a function of the recorded pressure. The overall braking force is obtained by summing the braking forces from the 12 wheels. When the parking brake alone is used, the brake pressure on the CLG wheels is zero and only the MLG wheels contribute to braking.

    Slip resistance force

    For each of the wheels, the value of the slip resistance is equal to the weight supported by the wheel multiplied by the friction coefficient μ between tire and tarmac. The simulation allows computation of the limit friction coefficient value below which the wheels would slip, under certain mass distribution assumptions. In the same way, the forces of slip resistance for each of the wheels are summed to obtain the overall slip resistance force.

    Engine thrust

    The thrust of the engines was calculated from the recorded EPR parameters and from manufacturer data, based on the day conditions (320 ft, nil speed, ISA -9C, no bleed air from engines). It stabilized at approximately 83500 daN.

    Results

    The model allows calculation of the theoretical changes in thrust and the maximum braking force developed by the braking system, and compare these to the slip limit force above which the wheels start to slip. For the aircraft to remain motionless, it is necessary that the thrust is less than both the maximum braking force developed by the system and the slip limit force.

    Throughout the last test, the thrust of the engines and the maximum braking force on the parking brake are very close. To obtain under the same conditions a slip limit force equivalent to the thrust force, a friction coefficient μ of 0.687 is necessary. Given the measured friction coefficient values, it is reasonable to believe that the aircraft was quickly on the edge of slipping.

    The fact that a balance, even fragile, has existed for about three minutes confirms that the brakes were functioning in accordance with their specifications.

    Therefore, modeling has allowed to establish, with a reasonable confidence level, that during the last test the thrust and braking forces compensated each other, but that the balance of those forces was particularly precarious.

    Thus, the aircraft remained motionless with 8 wheels braked through the parking brake, then started moving. Several factors may have contributed to the aircraft starting to move, notably :
    • the vibrations created by the engines
    • the reduction of weight due to fuel consumption (about 1270 kg)
    • a slight local brake pressure reduction on one of the wheels

    When the parking brake was released, the application of the brake pedals never allowed to attain the same level of braking action despite the fact that brakes were applied to 12 wheels. This is due to two factors: first, the actions on the brake pedals were not sustained at the maximum level, and, secondly, the action on the NWS very quickly led to inhibiting the CLG braking. The resulting braking during the motion varied between 65 and 95% of the braking level obtained before the aircraft movement.

  49. 49 Ahmed Alhaddi Jul 6th, 2009 at 10:05 am

    It makes me vomting that, some wo wrote a word (Muslem Crew)and they never read the manual??? Those who still can’t see the world with a zooming vision must have enough knowldage to accuse others, and write the facts.

  50. 50 mmash Jul 9th, 2009 at 8:39 am

    Being a professional pilot and a reader or aviation material on net, wonder why i never came accros phrases like, ‘christian’, ‘jewish’, ‘hindu’ or ‘buddist’ crew balmed for an accident. This is the first time i came to know in my 22 years of aviation career that religion of the crew too can be a factor in aircraft accidents.

  51. 51 LEw Weingarth Jul 26th, 2009 at 10:36 am

    I build and troubleshoot $800 million drilling rigs. My industry is full of extremely clever folks, what we do is not as simple as flight, but pretty close, and we have built about 100 of these rigs. Still, we regularly put telephones where the control room operator can’t reach the phone while looking at the control screens. We put two control screens that MUST be used in tandem - 30 feet apart. This last one I was on sea trials we put the computer screen a good 35 feet away from the computer, mouse, and keyboard. It’s a critical computer too, far too critical to do a hilarious remote mouse, having one guy look at the screen and shout left, left, down, click, up, right, right a little more, no left, OK click.

    My point is complacency is a major factor in building anything high tech. The French in Toulouse have been building these aircraft since the mid 70s. That’s about the right amount of time that all the senior staff “grew up” at Airbus and know the aircraft operation so well that they no longer need the rules.

    If you looked at Boeing at this age, probably find the same thing.

    Conclusion, don’t buy or fly Airbus for a few years until they shake up the middle management.

    I am sure the “Muslim crew” did read the manual, but obviously not as well as they should have read it. Also, they, like any of us, would defer to the “Airbus experts” in the cabin. Finally, Muslim countries being even more mysoginystic than the west, the crew was almost certainly 100% male. As my wife always reminds me, males are genetically incapable of reading manuals or asking directions. She is mistaken, we can, but choose not to.

  52. 52 Sz Aug 15th, 2009 at 10:01 am

    I agree with the comment posted by “mmash” on Jul 9th, 2009 at 8:39 am. its so pathetic why people have to bring in religion, race and simmilar crap for a totally unrelated subject matter.

    Just because it’s Etihad or ADAT crew test run it doesent mean the crew responsible for the crash are Arabs or neccessarily muslims. someone with a sane and educated mind would wonder the propotion of expats attached to the mid-east corporates.those who actually blame a particular race on this subject, do you people actually watch prime-time crime news and bloopers and check out what race these criminals or jokers are of?? well the probability of it would be right at your face!

    its very sad to see why people cant see the root of the issue and address that. this is absolute stupidity. why not make use of your time to find out what actually went wrong. none of you lot who made “smart” comments were actually there and how can you make judgment of this? telepathy?? Horse S**T!!! I think this whole disgusting racists comment was sparked by Eric’s coment posted on Aug 26th, 2008 at 7:31 pm. look at yourself in the mirror Eric.. pathetic is’nt it?

  53. 53 J. Plante Sep 15th, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    BEA (France’s civil air investigation) found that the plane was at Airbus Headquarters, in the terst pen, with it’s wheels not chocked, with an Airbus company engineer at the controls. The ADT personel were not at the controls.

  54. 54 John Sep 26th, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    I would be interested to learn of measures taken to avoid incidents such as these in the future. The best way would be to remove the human element. Further, GAMCO now renamed ADAT has these pictures cashed in any google search.

  55. 55 John Sep 26th, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Oh… yes, finally, sometimes a picture is not worth a thousand words. If I was out to purchase a flyingmachinemetaljet (air plane) from Airbus, I would insist: only white paint- no logos or registry numbers. This is the lesson.

  56. 56 Zang Dec 19th, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Well, after so much time passed, I am surprised how do people manage to be so ignorant and mean. A lot of crap was written here, about race, religion, unread manuals, and so on. Moreover, after a brief info and a comprehensive (for those who are able to understand) translation of the official report were posted above, there were some REAL “intellectually challenged” people who are still writting about “muslim crew”, about how crap are Airbus planes, how “stupid” are “Arab” pilots. One was asking himself what measures were taken… It is written in the end of that damn report, you ignorant! So, what’s not clear? A very annoyed and routined technician from Airbus, who was in charge of the test, failed to think and to act in a correct manner, in order to stop that plane. Cut the gas should have been an instinctive gesture. The arabian company representative NEVER touched any controls. The third technician, Airbus employee, kept his “observer” status until it was too late. “Don’t bother the boss” is one of the most spreaded “philosophy” in the planes cockpits, everywhere. Remember the worst comercial planes accident in the history, happend when the copilot didn’t dare to stop the best of the best of the best, of the best pilot, the KLM had. So, ignoring the failure to follow procedures, the accident occured because of routine, lack of focus on the job, and wrong decision making from the part of the Airbus technician who was in charge for that test and because of the “shy guy” in the third seat. Now, does anybody knows who were they? Does anybody know their race or religion? NO, NOBODY KNOWS! So, why the fuck are some morons here, who are making stupid, idiotic, mean comments about this? I think the right place for those morons is the trash grave. They just provoke me nausea… and the Airbus is still an excellent plane

  57. 57 Sherif Gaber, Airline Captain Jan 24th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    With all due respect to all comments , simply put : people made the ground running test were not qualified and not licensed , and should not been allowed .

  58. 58 Don Jan 25th, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    I have flown Aircraft and studied systems in various aircraft. a four engine plane is different from a 2 it is obvious that the lack of proper study and understanding came into effect. 90% of accidents are pilot error this is no acception. To assume you know an aircraft because you flew one of it’s sister aircrafts is ludicrous. the layouts are simular to help transition but every aircraft has a different system. Rather or not they read the handbook is irrelivent rather or not they retained the information in the handbook was so either way they did not addiquatly understand their aircraft.

  59. 59 John Pf Feb 5th, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    It’s unfortunate that things like this false story of the Arabic, Muslim crew are passed around the internet without critical assessment. This is how negative stereotypes get started, unconfirmed stories and plausible half-truths feed to a gullible army of citizens who want to believe their “enemy” is stupid and ignorant. Unfortunately, stupidity and ignorance are not solely for Arabs and Muslims to purvey, the rest of the world serves it up in abundance. It’s good to at least have the facts (see above) before calling a distant culture names. Also, it’s one thing to write slander deliberately (I hope Hell, if it exists :-), has an especially toasty place for these people), it’s a whole other thing to be the conduit of such muck (at least without the caveat that it’s comedy and not being passed on as the “truth” or “news”).

  60. 60 Kent A Feb 9th, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Among all the comments about this, there are a few valid ones and a lot of heresay.
    One of the comments goes like this: “A340-600 is the largest passenger aircraft ever built”
    My question to some of the “Experts” are: What about A380???

  61. 61 Peter Denimal Feb 17th, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Dear all,

    it is only today that a colleague makes me aware of this accident, though I was in the country at the time -but clearly out of earshot. Many people must have heard it happen, many others will have heard the last two engines roaring away for hours, tne last one until the next day [!], yet I am told a cover-up by both company staff and the media meant that I never heard of it, when it has been on this page since the following day. Which other stories now unfold on the net through eyewitnesses rather than the media, I wonder, but I like to know, so thank you for keeping me posted, Michel.

    Yours,
    Peter Denimal

  62. 62 JetMechay Feb 26th, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    ((My response in ))

    This is info from the accident investigation report, from the French version of the NTSB (I believe), the BEA:

    A. Mixed ground test crew of 9 on board: some from Airbus proper, based there in Toulouse, some from the Abu Dhabi-based contractor working on the airline’s behalf.

    3 people in the cockpit for the test: 2 from Airbus, one from the contractor.

    Running the test, in the right seat of the cockpit, in charge of the all controls: Airbus technician, 15 yr employee, 9 yrs experience testing these engines. When he was alerted that the aircraft was moving, his only actions were to kill the parking brake while simultaneously stomping on the main brakes.

    In the left seat, observing the test: contractor employee, alerted the test tech that the aircraft was moving. Has no specified role in the test other than to observe.

    ((This is wrong. The Airbus maintenance manual says that BOTH operator and observer must be STANDING on the MAIN brake pedals during high power runs. NOT the parking brake. When I do it in the A320, my partner and me literally stand on the brake action…..it lifts my butt up out of the seat. I once read that many pilots fail to use maximum braking in aborted take-offs because they aren’t used to giving it their all. So when I run at high power I literally STAND on the toe action of the rudder pedals. Although my trainer used parking brake only….and a lite fuel load at that. Never saw the aircraft move at high power. Not even close. This investigation still doesn’t answer all questions. Maybe after running and getting fully warmed up before the last high power run, maybe the tip clearances got tighter and the engines were producing a little more thrust than the book says.))

    In the “service” seat (like the navigator’s seat, only the A340 ain’t got no navigator, I don’t believe): Airbus-employed test pilot, 9 yrs experience as a professional pilot, 7 as a test pilot, not type rated (i.e., not an A340 pilot), perhaps a manager qualified to supervise such tests. Once again, no specific role other than to observe, but in the end it was him who pulled the throttles back.

    ((I’m surprised he didn’t pull the “Thrust levers” back sooner, being a pilot. By the way, Airbus doesn’t call them throttles….because there is no physical connection to the engines as we see here in spectacular vivid example. For that reason they call them “thrust leevers”. In this case the thrust levers were severed from the aircraft and the engines continued to do what they were designed to do. Classic Unintended consequences.))

    B. There were two main causes: 1) no chocks were used to hold the aircraft’s wheels in place during the test.

    ((Chocks aren’t needed. What if you were an airline operating that plane and had to taxi to a remote part of the field to do high power runs?…like we did….is someone going to follow you out there to place wheel chocks? The answer is, NO. It’s impractical.))

    2) All four engines were brought to full power to test one leaky engine. Procedures required the use of chocks and running up two engines - the one leaking and one on the other wing (to prevent torquing and yawing of the fuselage). These two procedures had been frequently ignored by all Airbus technicians at the test center for some time.

    ((I’ve heard, that is the Airbus culture….a little arrogant. I’ve heard that they are not too strict on personal protective equipment either, in this day and age where that has become the norm all over the world. HOWEVER, the factual part of the report says that the parking brake is adequate for all four engines. The cockpit technicians probably wanted a little time running all four engiens at TOGA for experience. Nothing unusual or negligent in that at all. What do you think they do when they do a “High power assurance take-off run”? They cook those babies, all four of them, at TOGA for 2 or three minutes and then take a snap-shot of parameters for the record. It’s shaking too badly to write it down…they have to use the snap-shot button to record their readings and write them down when they get the power back to idle. I think there is more to this story than we are hearing…..remember, there are lawsuits and insurance companies being dealt with here. We may never hear the whole truth.))

    Short answer: the test was done improperly, not in accordance with written procedures and standards. The fault of the Airbus technician.

    ((You are correct only in saying it was the fault of the Airbus techincian. His only fault was in not pulling the thrust levers back to idle. It’s that simple. It’s totally inexplicable. It’s also inexplicable that the pilot obsever didn’t say, “idle, idle idle!” And seeing a failure to idle the engines, pull them back himself. What was he waiting for? However there is a somewhat lack of training about the systems knowledge fact, that center-gear braking is inhibited during max steering angle. The taxi mechanic should have known that. He should have known that for max braking, to leave the steering tiller alone.))

    Contributing causes: 1) the full power of four engines is almost exactly equal to the braking power of the A340s parking brake and the frictional coefficient of the test area’s tarmac, hence the aircraft only moved when shaking of the aircraft and the burning off of fuel lessened the overall braking coefficient. 2) The technician tried to use the brakes alone to stop the aircraft rather than retarding the throttles as well.

    ((Number 1 is not a contributing factor at all. As stated in the factual presentation of the report, the braking coefficient of the A340 is WAY more than adequate for the parking brake. More than twice as much as required by regs. Further, number 2 is not a contributing factor either….it’s the ONLY factor. Failing to maintain control of his aircraft by not retarding the thrust levers was the ONLY fault in this incident. Having said that, a design flaw is that during steering, the center gear does NOT contribute to braking…however it DOES contribute to a loss of braking coefficient by taking weight off of the main gear. That’s a design flaw. “NO” you say? It was, in this case. It went beyond academic discussion, these guys proved it.))

    C. Fun fact: the numbers 3 and 4 engines could not be shut down after impact because the throttle control connection to them had been severed. No. 4 was finally killed over two-and-a-half hours later when enough water and fire-fighting foam had been pumped into it to snuff it out. The No. 3 engine died at 1:25 am the next morning - 9 hrs later - when it ran out of gas: it was too jammed into the wall to get any water/foam into it. Now THAT’S hi-larious. And not a bad advertisement for Rolls-Royce engines, it seems to me.

    ((…but a bad advertisement for fly by wire control systems. Those X X engines should be able to be shut DOWN in an emergency. What if it had been a “normal” crash out on the field? What then? How incredibly dangerous to have a commercial airline engine running at maximum thust out of control for 9 hours! That’s strictly unacceptable. The JAA needs to step in and demand a fix for that. Who knows…remote emergency shut-down control panels…I don’t know. Something. Anything is better than letting a high power jet engine run out of control for 9 hours. It could have broken loose from the wreckage and gone airborne….who knows how far it could have gone. Miles I should think.))

    ((Also I didn’t read anywhere in the report any mention of the taxi crew pulling the aural warning circuit breaker. ….although that is common practice on many types. I often forgot to pull the warning breaker but instantly knew what it was when it went off….and consequently ignored it. That’s mostly what we did, we simply ignored it because we didn’t want any false warnings on the ECAMS and really didn’t want to silence any potential warnings whatsoever. We wanted everything at “SYSTEM NORMAL” status on the ECAM. At less than TOGA power settings we would dial in “flaps and slats 1″ or whatever it took to silence the dang horn.
    I find it hard to believe that an experienced taxi mechanic let this happen. I think it is possible that someone in the cockpit DID pull a breaker and accidentally disabled the brakes. By the time the taxi mechanic would realize what had been done to him, it would be too late to recover the aircraft. He was along for the ride….other than pulling back the dang thrust leevers. (which wouldn’t have been enough to stop the aircraft if brakes were disabled)
    Someone else mentioned something about he thought you COULD indeed land with the brakes on….but thats not true of modern airliners. They need to sense weight on wheels to allow brake pressure. If the aircraft was tricked into thinking it was in the “air mode” then brakes would indeed be disabled. These electronic aircraft have all kinds of “gottchas”. Sometimes pulling a circuit breaker ACTIVATES a system rather than de-activating it because it’s “normal” state is active or “on”.))

  63. 63 Abert Ellis Apr 14th, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    This story sounds very strange to me. It is possible to deactivate engine, control surface and the other autonomous systems on the A320. This can be done from the cockpit prior to ignition. It is not a good idea to do this if one is going to fly the aircraft but for a ground test I would believe that this would be priority one.
    Even if the ground crew had not read the manual surely one of them would have suggested this. I don’t believe that ground crews are that dumb as a pilot I have relied on their expertise and knowledge for many years in many types of aircraft.
    I think this may be dirty tricks going on from the unmentionable as it puts once more the fly by wire systems of the airbus into disrepute.
    Captain Ellis.

  64. 64 Mike_in_Kyiv Sep 23rd, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Just read the manuel guys. I have an idea that all the 9 clowns in the cockpit on this delivery test will be cleaning the aircraft from now on rather than driving it. What stupidity and what a waste of a fine aircraft.

  65. 65 Cpt. Obvious Nov 3rd, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Poor decision making knows no boundries, whether they be racial, cultural, or religious. When the guy realised not chocking the wheels might have cost him his job he panicked, stood on the brakes and steered away from the wall. Ironically both those common sense reactions caused the aircraft to gain speed and sealed his fate.I’m no expert but I would guess that he resisted yanking the throttles back to idle because that may have some adverse effect on the engines caused by shock cooling.

    Lesson learned: Follow the procedures and take the 5 minutes required to chock the wheels. It may save you career, your life, and your employers quarter billion dollar aircraft.

    The truly stupid people are the ones who think religion was a contributing factor.

  66. 66 Tobias (Sweden) Dec 16th, 2011 at 9:14 am

    I find it sad that people are xenophobic and narrow-minded enough to blame Arabs or Islam for the accident, when they should be focusing on the real problem: the French.

  67. 67 HUTTER Jean-Marc (FRANCE) Jan 19th, 2012 at 11:29 am

    La leçon à retenir de tout ça :
    1er - Respecter la check-list
    2éme - Respecter la check-list
    3éme - Respecter la check-list

    A vouloir faire les opérations de mémoire, on oublies :
    - de mettre les cales aux roues
    - de ne mettre que deux moteurs à pleine puissance (avion vide)
    - de garder la main sur la manette des gaz
    - de garder son sang-froid

    Tout les reste c’est de la foutaise!!

    JM HUTTER (France)

  68. 68 qHEALING Feb 10th, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    200 million dollars and silencing an alarm confuses the plane in thinking its in air. i am sure they can put multiple checks to see if plane on ground or in air since people do stupid things but computers also were designed by stupid people

  69. 69 Kevin Hawkins Mar 30th, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Where does religion come in to this?

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