First Airbus Crash

If I needed reminding that I should no longer adhere to the maxim, “If all else fails – read the instruction book,” this is it. Apparently ignored by the main stream media, here are some photos of the first A340-600 Airbus crash in Toulouse, France. Der Spiegel reported it when it happened, but that was about it :) Lissie, who writes about budget four wheel drive travel in Australia (amongst other things) emailed me about this asking if it was true.

These are pictures of the wreck of a brand new Airbus A340-600, in November 2007, that had never flown. Brand spanking new right out of the hangar, without a single hour of air time.

Enter the Arab flight crew. Thank the French and their Arab friends for this bit of ‘comedy of errors’. Nine employees of the Arab airline were in the aircraft, but not one employee from French Airbus was present. The Arabs taxied out to the run-up area. Then they took all four engines to takeoff power with virtually an empty aircraft.

This was their first mistake as they obviously didn’t read the run-up manuals. They had no clue just how light an empty Air bus really is. No chocks were set, not that it would have mattered at that power setting. The brakes will not hold it back at full power anyway.

As it turns out, 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, etc). Then one of these brain surgeons decided to pull the ‘Ground Sense’ circuit breaker to silence the alarms.

This fools the aircraft into thinking it is in the air.That was their last mistake. As soon as they did that, the computers automaticlly released all the brakes and set the aircraft rocketing forward.They had no idea that this is a Safety feature so that pilots can’t land with the brakes on. There was no time to stop and no one smart enough to throttle back the engines from their max power setting.

10 people were injured in this farce, 3 of them seriously.

So the rest is as you see it below.

90 thoughts on “First Airbus Crash”

  1. I’m with lissie.

    I’ll also add that those photos are shocking.

    I live near an airport and have nightmares about plane crashes, those pictures will give me some all new one’s to look forward to.

    So preventable, it seems ridiculous.

  2. It is probably the silliest crash I have ever seen. I am trying to find out how badly they were injured – but I cannot seem to find any real information.

    Bet they won’t let an inexperienced crew drive an empty one again :)

    1. @William White:
      I wonder if you are referring to the pilots who flew into the world trade centre?otherwise this is characteristic of White men to think they are the most competent people ever conceived.I am sure the two jumbos which crashed on the Runway , one of which was KLM, were being flown by pilots influenced by Arab Pilots.
      The Chivalry of White Pilots is Legendary , Ask a KID!

  3. :)

    Emil – True. It could have accidentally cut a swathe to Paris.

    William – I will take your word for it. I have seen all the evidence I need not to ever get on a plane with an Arab crew :D

  4. And how many A-380s has Etihad ordered?

    Imagine had this been one!

    I’m pretty sure each one of us pilots out here would feel our danglies retract upon seeing a broken A-380 in these circumstances…

  5. The plane was still at the Airbus plant in Toulouse and had not been delivered to the airline. The people who crashed this plane were French Airbus staff.

  6. Well, that is in dispute – I am trying to ascertain the exact details. Certainly the Airbus press release contradicts the police investigation, and the original statement.

    Anyone have the “real” information?

    The only thing that is certain is that it was crashed, and there were injuries.

  7. I live in Europe and did not hear anything about this in the national press (who are usually quite keen to report such things). It sounds like there has been a very effective cover-up, explaining your difficulty in getting accurate information. What about trying the relevant air investigations agency?

    Peter Scotts last blog post..Italy Fuel Prices

  8. Me too – I live in France not a million miles away from Toulouse, and I heard nothing on any of the news broadcasts.

    Maybe some one will step in with the skinny, but for now I am going with my first report :)

    You would have thought it would have made international news, let alone the French.

  9. I just wanted to congratulate Mr. Knowles on writing such an effective bigot magnet of an article. You’ve really attracted mankind’s finest to share their enlightened pontifications here. Thanks for making it so apparent precisely which race of airline crew was responsible in your journalistic account of these events. You, sir, are a scholar and a peacemaker.

  10. Brian – I understand the flight crew was Arab. Does that fact make it a bigot magnet?

    If they had been American, would you be accusing me of Anti-american behavior?

    Yes, thank you – a scholar and a peacemaker. Should I have instead lied and said they were something else?

    Martians perhaps?

  11. Random anonymous person named whatsup -

    I fuckin’ hate Norwegians. They are disgusting, filthy people. I agree with you, we should nuke the buggers immediately.

    Unless I am missing your point.

  12. The crash is real, the supporting text is made up.

    The accident occurred during on the ground pre-delivery testing, and no “arabs” were involved, at rather the race of the Airbus employees is not known (or relevant).

  13. Stuart – if you have some genuine information please share it and I will edit the post. I have not been able to find anything that contradicts this version other than hearsay and the link above.

    The official press release stated that it was being driven by the purchasing company’s crew, there were no airbus staff aboard, no one was hurt and it was a “routine test” that went wrong.

    This press release is no where to be found now.

  14. “Although the A340-600 already had been painted in Etihad Airways’ colors, Airbus was still the owner of the aircraft and it was insured on the policy of giant aerospace manufacturer EADS, which owns Airbus.”

    “During the engine run-up test, the aircraft’s landing gear jumped over the chocks wedged against its tires to hold the A340-600 in place”

    “None of the people onboard the aircraft were Etihad Airways employees, but at least one — who was injured and remained hospitalized on Nov. 16 — was an employee of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies, a service provider to the airline. The two other people who are still in hospital are Airbus employees, the manufacturer said.”

    http://www.aviation.com/safety/071116-etihad-airways-a340-600-incident.html

  15. Who cares if Arabs where manning the plane or not, I’d still not want to fly with them. Have you seen how they run their countries?

  16. If it was a ‘French’ air crew, why was there a cover up.
    If the Arab country was simply a customer in waiting,
    why would there be a black out on the story? Don’t
    forget that a hefty proportion of France is now Arab.
    (how could we forget the overturned burning cars
    and riots so recent?)

    As for the terrorists that use airliners as weapons,
    remember the NYC trade towers were brought down
    by American and United pilots who were able to
    get the planes in the air. These guys clearly can’t
    even do that.

  17. Those camel jockeys should have wiped the sand outta der eyes! Sheesh … they can’t even remove squatters from their own land! Snopes says they all were arabs, and morons to boot. Wtg arabs!

  18. read the press release, Ethiad employees where on the plane. What goes unsaid is what is important. Of course Ethiad employees caused it and of course Airbus didn’t make a big deal out of it because you are not going to tick off one of your customers by publicly humiliating them. Read how NTSB reports are written in the US. They purposely obfuscate them so people in the business know what happens but there are no juicy quotes for the media headlines.

    1. Gary – too right. Regardless of all the shit I have been given for being a racist, the original press release dissapeared pretty darn fast.

    2. @Gary: I read somewhere that no American (or anybody else for that matter) has ever walked on the moon and that the moon landing in 1969 was just a hoax.

      Sorry to spoil your fun you all, but although an Ethiad representative (from Abu Dhabi Aircraft Tech) was indeed in the left seat, the sole manipulator of the controls was a French Airbus technician sitting in the right seat. The left seat occupant was the one who first noticed the aircraft was moving and called out.

      Furthermore I live in France, and I did learn about this incident on the newscast of French public television (FR2) at the time it happened. So there was no cover-up. The chain of events referred on this site is bogus. The only truth to it is that such an accident did happen.

      For those interested in the true story, the French NTSB’s report can be found here: http://www.bea.aero/docspa/2007/f-cj071115/pdf/f-cj071115.pdf (in French). A translation of the report into English can be found at http://blog.flightstory.net/418/airbus-a340-600-ground-test-accident/ (look for a comment posted Jun 2nd, 2009 at 12:41 am)

  19. So the moral of the story is that you can only report the truth if the guilty parties are/were white Americans?
    But, then, I’d hate to see my name in the papers/online for stupidly crashing a brand new kagillion buck airliner!
    Then again, it’s pretty stupid to blow yourself and others up over religion or politics!
    Party on, dudes!

  20. Stupid Americans Airbus is not french is european.The airbus is produced in Germany,Spain,England and assambled in france just near to the border of Spain……
    All the us industries are going down, the dollar,general motors,crysler,ford,boing patetic country………soon usa will pass by Europe,China and others,ja,ja…

    1. Well, I have a feeling the disasters at VW, Porsche, Land Rover Jaguar, UBS, the collapse of the Spanish economy and goodness knows how many other upcoming European failures are going to put us not far behind,. ;(

  21. Look at what you guys are saying. It’s a simple air crash for god’s sake. Why do we have to bring in Muslims and Arabs in the conversation then start linking them to terrorists?

    Terrorists exist all around the globe and from every country. These guys have no religion. It’s unfair to accuse a whole nation of being TERRORIST because of the actions of one or 2 or even 10 people.

    And to the Ignorant person who said “THAT’S WHY GOD GAVE THEM CAMELS”. I THINK YOU ARE THE MOST UNEDUCATED PERSON ON EARTH. Go visit the Arab countries and then tell me if it’s full of Camels. Do you read history at all? Civilization has started from that region centuries before you are born. But I guess you don’t read and brain washed with all the media.

    Take some time to open your eyes and watch this:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7866929448192753501

    As an American, this vedeo was shocking. Watch it then talk.

    1. @Edward:
      Edward, thank god there are still civilized people like you on this planet. The racists here need to take a good long look at themselves in the mirror, you’ll see how pathetic you all are.

  22. A buddy of mine ex B52 driver was chief instructor on L-1011′s at Iranian Airlines, said you could teach monkeys how to fly easier than the Iranians. These guys should never be allowed in the air

  23. I have been a commercial pilot for over 30 years. I was there when this crash happened. The aircraft was due to be delivered to the customer, Etihad Airways on the following day. The aircraft is an Airbus A340-600, a stretched version of the Airbus A340-300. The aircraft was crewed by Engineers and Maintenance technicians, and not pilots. The aircraft was taken out on an engine run for engine validation checks, which usually takes about 3 hours to perform. This involves running the engines at different thrust ratings, and at times taking them to maximum static thrust. Somehow the brakes on the aircraft failed causing the Airbus to leap forward and crashing into the blast deflector fence. Normal procedures for high thrust power runs require the main gear to be chained down to the tarmac, to prevent this type of accident.

    Luckily, there were no deaths from this accident. Just some bruised ego and scars.

  24. I never saw an airbus crash before anyway the plane was too long for the short runway(maybe)but I’m sure that it would fly in airports where there are longer runways also why did they put a wall there?it would have flown if there wasn’t a wall there(I’m not really sure about the sentence I said just now)and acutually that was the HQ of Airbus!Anyway when I saw that I really don’t fell like riding airbus anymore but I liked the Airbus A380!I rode it twice before and it was my best day ever because my flight was from Hong Kong to France and back(I’m not Chinese!I’m an American living in Hong Kong and I just spent the holidays in France the back to school in Hong Kong!)

  25. French, Arab, Martian. Does it matter to the story which race was in charge? It’s inflammatory.

    Although I suppose that if it WERE Martian, there would be some preconceived notion that they would be good pilots, what with space travel and all. But I suppose that might be my racial bias coming out.

  26. it does not come down to race. airbus have had so many crashes recently when pilots appear unable to manage the craft. airbus 447 and today’s 12th may flight from south africa to gatwick. also a flight ditched in the indian ocean. the huddson river miracle was also an airbus. there is a smoking gun. maybe there should be more concern over the aircraft safety which is a far bigger issue than the race of those flying. who cares what race the pilots are when hundreds have died on airbus craft!

  27. Airbus have unanswered questions especially the A330 !!!
    Maybe the fly by wire is too hi-tec and if there is a problem the response
    by pilots is not fast enough due to complexity of aircraft!

    1. @ciaran kelly: Of all the different oppinions and speculations as to what may or may not have been the cause of A330s’ track record, yours is the most compelling.

  28. Airbus have unanswered questions especially the A330 !!!
    Maybe the fly by wire is too hi-tech and if there is a problem the response
    by pilots is not fast enough due to complexity of aircraft!

  29. It’s possible something has been overlooked, perhaps something quite simple, like the square windows that brought down passenger plans in the past.

  30. Looks like a very expensive comedy of errors. Having worked around jet engine performance checks,i can tell you that you need your wheel chocks in place,and you had better have the aircraft chained down at full thrust. It doesn’t matter who was at the controls,the required checklist was not followed. These people were not qualified to be at the controls,period!

  31. Please grow out of the camels and monkeys crap
    it was a white man who smashed the emirates jet,because he pulled out the circuit breaker warning parking brakes on with full power.the aircraft computers then sensed an in flight condition and disabled the brakes.result what you see up there
    lets call a white spade a spade it was an engineer doing a static grond run and not a white or arab pilot
    as pilots learn chivalry and respect another pilot

  32. Years ago I spent some time teaching a crew in Saudi Arabia to fly an early Hawker. They told me when they were ready to fly, and on their first flight got lost, landed in the desert.

    When they finally showed up no one said a word about what had happened. Apparently they ran out of fuel, finally got some, and brought the bird home.

    Glad to get out of there in one piece.

    Best pilots in the world come from the good old USA.

  33. happy–new–year–2012—–wish–you–and—your—family—happiness–and—prosperity—all—new—year—2012

  34. I’m getting this Comedy Act a little Late as this is 5 May 2012…
    These WILD and Crazy ARABS.. Just wanted to show the World….
    “DON’T EVER EVEN THINK ABOUT FLYING WITH AN ARAB CREW” !!!!!!!
    EVER…EVER…EVER…EVER…EVER

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