Spain suspends pre-delivery flights of A400M

Credit: Policia Nacional

Airbus Defence and Space resumed flight testing of the A400M tactical transport on May 12, just days after four of its personnel were killed in the first accident to involve the type since its flight debut in December 2009.

Spain’s defence ministry is leading an investigation into the cause of the Four killed in Seville plane crash, which happened shortly after its first take-off from the airport in Spain. Another two Airbus flight test personnel were seriously injured in the incident, which left the transport completely burnt out. The aircraft had been scheduled for delivery to the Turkish air force next month.

“The A400M flight test programme continues unless or until any evidence is found which would suggest that it is not safe to fly,” Airbus said after completing a 1h 50min sortie from Toulouse to Sevilla four days after the crash. “So far no such evidence has emerged.”

While planned flight testing with an Airbus fleet of three ´Grizzly´ development aircraft is set to continue, the manufacturer confirms that the Spanish military authorities have ‘temporarily suspended the licence to undertake flights with the production aircraft that are in preparation for delivery.’ The decision has been reached as a “precautionary measure and pending the accident investigation,” it adds.

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