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Engine failure on Spain crash plane

Published 03/06/2015

Airbus says three of the four engines on an A400M military plane failed before it crashed near Seville in Spain
Airbus says three of the four engines on an A400M military plane failed before it crashed near Seville in Spain

Airbus says three of the four engines on an A400M military plane failed before it crashed near Seville last month, killing four people.

In a statement, Airbus Defence and Space said the faulty engines were confirmed by Spanish accident investigators after completing their preliminary analysis of the aircraft's digital flight data and cockpit voice recorders.

The crash on May 9 killed two pilots and two flight test engineers. The crash remains udner investigation.

Three of the aircraft's four turboprop engines suffered what it called "power frozen" after lift-off, and failed to respond to the crew's efforts to regain control.

A fourth engine responded normally. No other problems have been identified by the preliminary analysis.

Airbus says the A400M's eight-bladed turboprop engines are the most powerful in production. They are built by a consortium made up of Rolls Royce, Snecma, MTU and ITP.

The A400M can carry 116 fully equipped paratroopers or carry up to 37 tons of cargo, including armoured vehicles and helicopters.

Last month, Airbus sent a so-called Alert Operator Transmission notice to all operators of the giant airlifter, warning them of the need to perform checks of its Electronic Control Units before they are next flown.

Airbus said investigators' latest analysis is consistent with that AOT and doesn't call for any further recommendations.

Four of the five countries that already have A400Ms - Britain, Germany, Malaysia and Turkey - grounded the plane after the crash. France, which has six, says it will only use the aircraft in urgent operations.

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