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.