(Boursier.com) – The circumstances of the crash of the Airbus A400M military in early May in Spain, begin to fade. Neither the pilot nor the engines would be involved, but the accident was due to bad download of an important software.
According to sources close to the case cited by Les Echos’ of the day, it is the power control software of four engines – turboprops – and this program was poorly downloaded during the so-called “pre-flight” phase, ie the phase that separates the output of unit from the assembly line of its first flight.
“A serious quality problem in the final assembly”
On May 9 The A400M, which was to be delivered to Turkey, crashed shortly after takeoff from its first test flight after suffering a power loss of three of its four engines. The crash killed four of the six people on board. Black boxes have been recovered but the specialized unit of the Spanish Ministry of Defence in charge of the investigation has not yet made any comment on their analysis.
Without going into details, the director the strategy of Airbus Group Marwan Lahoud, confirmed the thesis of the technical problem, tied to a procedural error. In an interview with the German newspaper ‘Handelsblatt’, Lahoud said that “black boxes confirm, there is no structural defect, but we have a serious quality problem in the final assembly.”
The group received on Wednesday the results of analysis of the black boxes, which “confirms our internal testing,” said the head of Airbus. On 19 May, Airbus had already alerted its customers asking them to control the electronic engine management system.
Delays and additional costs for the A400M to repeat
Since its launch in 2003, the A400M program was peppered with incidents and delays. Scheduled for 2009, the first device was eventually delivered in 2013, with the key to an additional cost of several billion euros for the program. The unit was commissioned some 180 copies by eight countries. France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Luxembourg, Belgium, Turkey and Malaysia
The problems of the A400M led Tom Enders, Airbus CEO Group, to replace these last months the leader of the military aircraft sector, and the head of the A400M program.
Since the accident of May 9, Germany, Britain, Turkey and Malaysia have suspended their flights A400M. France, she says them, but only for operational emergencies.