Spanish investigators have found that Airbus and European safety authorities were warned in late 2014 of a software vulnerability in the A400M cargo plane that was similar to a weakness that contributed to a fatal crash seven months later
Brought to my attention by David Santamaría Sanz, a reader of The Aviation Geek Club, the horrific previously unreleased Euro Press video in this post shows the Airbus A400M airlifter crashing near Seville during a test flight on May 9, 2015.
Four of the six crew were killed in the accident, after three out of four engines froze minutes after take-off.
According to Reuters, Spanish investigators have found that Airbus and European safety authorities were warned in late 2014 of a software vulnerability in the A400M military plane that was similar to a weakness that contributed to a fatal crash seven months later.
Data needed to run the engines had been accidentally erased when Airbus workers installed software on the ground, and pilots had no warning there was a problem until the engines failed.
A confidential report by Spanish military investigators into the crash, completed in summer 2017, found that the engine-makers had warned Airbus and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in October 2014 that software installation errors could lead to a loss of engine data, and that technicians may not receive any warning before take-off that a problem had occurred.
The Airbus A400M is a multi-national, four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. It was designed as a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities to replace older transport aircraft, such as the Transall C-160 and the Lockheed C-130 Hercules. The A400M is positioned, in terms of size, between the C-130 and the C-17; it can carry heavier loads than the C-130, while able to use rough landing strips. Along with the transport role, the A400M can perform aerial refuelling and medical evacuation when fitted with appropriate equipment.
The A400M’s maiden flight, originally planned for 2008, took place on Dec. 11, 2009 from Seville, Spain. Between 2009 and 2010, the A400M faced cancellation as a result of development programme delays and cost overruns; however, the customer nations chose to maintain their support of the project.