This new Airbus 340-600, the largest passenger airplane ever built, was sitting outside its hangar in Toulouse, France without a single hour of airtime.
The flight crew of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) entered the aircraft 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 take off, but it had not been configured properly for takeoff.
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 ADAT crew had no idea that this is a safety feature so that pilots don’t land with the brakes on.
The computers automatically released all the brakes and set the aircraft rocketing forward.
Not one member of the seven-man ADAT crew was smart enough to throttle back the engines from their maximun 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 due to the news blackout in France and elsewhere, because coverage of the story was deemed insulting to Arabs.
Finally, the photos are starting to leak out.
One French Airbus: $200 million dollars
One ADAT Flight Crew Annual Salary: $300,000 dollars
One unread Operating Manual: $300 dollars
Aircraft meets retaining wall.