Posts Tagged 'A340'

Etihad Airbus Crashes Into Wall During Testing

Etihad A340 in incident at Toulouse, France

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

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

The plane was “seriously damaged” according to Airbus, too, who also said that on top of the 9 people onboard (including 7 Etihad employees) 1 on the ground was also injured. Two of the passengers and this another person on the ground were seriously injured, police said. In all 10 people were injured and four people were taken to hospital, three of whom were in serious conditions, they said. According to the first Airbus press release however, “only” 5 people are hurt, of whome 3 are seriously injured.

Eighty firefighters rushed to the scene after the plane slammed nose-first into the barrier and the tail hit the tarmac. “For an unknown reason the aircraft began to roll and it climbed up the embankment in front of it,” said Airbus France spokesman Jacques Rocca. The company said, however, that only five people had been injured. The four-engined aircraft can carry between 380 and 472 passengers depending on the model and the cabin layout.

Airbus expresses its sympathy to the families and friends of the persons concerned.” and so do we here at Airlineworld.

By coincidence this is the second incident involving an A340-600 on the ground within a week, following Iberia’s aircraft overrunning the runway in Quito in rainy conditions.

Update: the first high resolution picture on Airliners.net: Etihad A340 in incident at Toulouse, France (C by Airliners.net)

by balint01

Update 2:

French authorities have launched an investigation into a crash involving an Airbus plane due to be delivered to the United Arab Emirates carrier.

Etihad Airways said none of its staff were involved when the A340-600 crashed into a barrier at Toulouse airport, injuring five people on board.

A spokesman for the airline said those hurt belonged to a firm contracted to test the plane before delivery.

None of them suffered severe injuries. The cause of the crash remains unclear.

The aircraft was scheduled to be delivered next week to Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi base, the airline said.

Source: BBC News

Update 3:

Airbus and French authorities launched an investigation Friday into an accident involving an A340-600 carrying out engine runup tests at the manufacturer’s Saint-Martin site near Toulouse ahead of the aircraft’s scheduled delivery to Etihad Airways. The jet, carrying nine people, apparently crashed through a barrier. Photographs show the badly damaged A340, bearing Etihad livery, nearly split in two, with the destroyed cockpit and nose area of the fuselage mostly severed.

Airbus called the incident “regrettable” and said five people were injured, with three remaining hospitalized as of Friday. One is an employee of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies while the other two work for Airbus, the manufacturer said. It said the aircraft was to be delivered “in the coming days,” adding, “Ground tests including engine runups are a normal procedure on all Airbus aircraft.” The plane was one of two -600s headed to EY before year end. It already operates two of the type.

Source: ATW online

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Iberia Airbus Slides Off Runway At Quito

EC-JOH slid off the runway at Quito - by airliners.net 

On  Friday, 09NOV2007, an Iberia operated Airbus A340-600 has slid off the runway in Ecuador at the Quito Airport and caused the airport to be shut down for two days. Arriving from Madird, at 17:06 immediately after touching down the aircraft overran the runway and came to a still in the soft terrain, where it is still standing after two days. According to the Aviation Safety Network’s preliminary report: “The A340 suffered one or more tyre bursts on landing at Quito (UIO). The aircraft overran the runway and came to rest tilting to the left with nr.1 and 2 engines touching the ground.” Such accidents happen every once in a while, but we have seen that they can turn out much worse as in Sao Paolo a few months ago for example.

Fortunately nobody was hurt, all 349 passengers and crew escaped woundless. When I saw the pictures, my first thought was that just in less than a year I have flown the same type of aircraft with Iberia, and when looking at the name just on the side of the cockpit, I realized that it was this same aircraft that took me back from Lima, Peru to Madrid last December… It is a very strange feeling to know that the plane which I once flew in my life and is registered as EC-JOH and named “Miguel de Unamuno” has been involved in such an incident…

At the moment there are only indications as per what really caused the accident, some comments on the internet praise the pilots that they managed to save such a situation without anybody getting hurt, while others blame them for the accident. Only investigations will tell, but I feel sorry for this beautiful bird to damage one wing, three of the Rolls-Royce engines plus basically most of the landing gears including the nose. It will be a big management and technical task to repair it on site by Iberia as I’m afraid Quito lacks the necessary infrastructure for such a repair. The terminal is also operating under some restrictions since the ILS antennas were destroyed and replacement will take 15 days (ILS – Instrument Landing System).

This picture from a different angle shows just how close to residential areas were to this accident…

Iberia EC-JOH in Quito - by Reuters

A slideshow with more onsite pictures on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqfQAm-iyJI

by balint01


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