Aircraft Meets Retaining Wall – Wall Wins. Priceless!

THIS STORY, allegedly being withheld from the media, was doing the rounds on the Internet today…

This brand spanking new Airbus 340-600, the largest passenger airplane ever built, sits just outside its hangar in Toulouse, France – without a single hour of airtime.
Enter the Arab flight crew of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) 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 four engines at full power. The aircraft computers thought they were trying to take off, but it had not been configured properly (flaps, slats, etc.).
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 computers automatically released all the Brakes and sent the aircraft rocketing forward. The ADAT crew had no idea that this is a safety feature so that pilots can’t land with the brakes on.

Not one member of the seven-man Arab crew was smart enough to throttle back the engines from their maximum power setting, so the $200 million brand-new Aircraft crashed into a blast barrier, totalling it!
The extent of injuries to the crew is unknown due to the news blackout in the major media in France and elsewhere.
Coverage of the story was deemed insulting to Muslim Arabs.

One French Airbus: $200 million dollars.
Untrained Arab Flight Crew: $300,000 annual salary. 
Unread Operating Manual: $300.

4 Responses

  1. Great story, Ted! Hope the crew are OK, though – the cockpit looks to be in a bad way…

    Incidentally the Airbus A340 is NOT the largest passenger aircraft in the world – that honour belongs to the newer Airbus A380.

  2. Having looked into this further it would seem the incident actually took place over 2 years ago (, so far from being “withheld from the media” it is in fact old news. I expect the above story is just one of many humorous variations that have sprung up on the internet since.

  3. Thanks for the correction, Nick.

    I should perhaps point-out that I have not been able to confirm the story – neither Toulouse or ADAT have felt inclined to comment. But the photographs appear genuine and seem to confirm that some form of ‘piloting’ was to blame…

    There is no metadata in the jpegs either, so I have no idea of the date.

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