The tanker had taken off from Airbus’ Getafe site near Madrid and was over the sparsely populated Caceres region at around 27,000ft when the EADS designed boom detached itself from the aircraft causing only minor structural damage and fell to the ground. No injuries were reported from the Airbus Military crew which was flying the jet at the time and no injuries were sustained on the ground.
After a search, the damaged boom was recovered early on Sept. 11.
Airbus has launched an inquiry as to what has happened and the cause of the detachment, no further details seem available at time of writing.
Flightradar24.com gives you the possibility to track the entire flight using the playback feature. Just insert the aircraft callsign “MRTT014” into the search box.
Here’s a screenshot of the path followed by the Airbus tanker on the Sept. 10 test flight:
This is not the first time the A330 experiences flying boom problems. On Jan. 19, 2011, one of the Royal Australian Air Force’s
multi-role tanker transports operated by Airbus Military suffered the detachment and partial loss of the boom during a test sortie with a Portuguese Air Force F-16.
Richard Clements for TheAviationist.com
Image credit: Airbus Military
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