Airbus A400M airlifter crashes shortly after take off from Sevilla in Spain

May 09 2015 - 8 Comments

An Airbus A400M aircraft crashed near Sevilla airport, in Spain, at 12:57 pm local time killing 4 crew members and injuring 2.

On May, 9, the Airbus A400M with the serial number MSN023, departed from Sevilla Airport at 12:45 pm local time for the first production flight crashed to the northwest of the airport.

Four of the six crew members, all Airbus Defence and Space employees of Spanish nationality, died in the incident. According to the last press release, the 2 remaining crew members are currently in hospital in a serious condition.

MSN023 was foreseen to be the third aircraft to be delivered to the Turkish Air Force, whose formal delivery was scheduled for June 2015.

The A400M, using callsign CASA423 was tracked by Flightradar24 via ADS-B: according to the charts posted after the incident, it reached a maximum speed of 173 kts at an altitude of 1,725 feet, then it started descending.

The last log, shows the plane has hit the ground at 167 knots with a vertical speed of about -3,000 feet per minute.

A400M crashed

Image credit: Flightradar24.com

 

  • InklingBooks

    Aviation Week has the detailed specs and a description of a previous test flight of an earlier plane.

    http://aviationweek.com/awin/pilot-report-proves-a400m-s-capabilities

    Interesting remarks include:

    “As with Airbus jetliners, the A400M’s power levers are not back-driven. They remain frozen in position at the managed power detent. In my opinion, moving power levels provide flight crews with useful visual and tactile cues to the auto-throttle functioning.”

    And:

    “Strongman demonstrated an additional layer of stall protection. With the auto-throttle armed, the system intervenes with “speed floor” protection by increasing thrust long before the aircraft approaches alpha max.”

    And:

    “But it is pricey. Divide the number of orders by the total investment and the unit price is a staggering $170 million-plus—almost twice the cost of a C-130J.”

    • Jorge

      Very interesting! The only thing I don’t understand is the third point, it may cost almost twice a C-130J, but it can carry almost twice the payload (37t vs 20t) so uh… it makes sense? Or I’m missing something? :/

      • Roland Lawrence

        the C130 is made by an American company. Its damn right unpatriotic to buy anything else. Joking aside though the A400 has had a whole load of problems many political and its overweight by 12 tons from what I have understood. The An70 would have been a better bet and the Germans actually wanted to buy. Attracted by even better specs and a $65m price tag. The A400 aint bad though and has nice range, speed, payload. Its also a political hedge. France does not want to rely on US supplies for its security. In the UK, US butt cant be kissed enough.

        • Jan Schmidt

          well, it has nothing to do with “patriotism”. it is pragmatism. you said it yourself. it is about “trust”. airbus is mainly france and germany. they do not trust russia or the usa enough to provide supply items if there is a political or other issue where those can use the supply chain to “enforce” their will or drive supply prices up the roof. it is about european sovereignity and their aircraft industry capabilities. pity, they did not joint-venture with antonov as lockheed martin did with yakovlev to build the f-35b stovl bomber…

  • I-RIGHT-I

    I guess the Turks couldn’t afford one of ours.

    • Jan Schmidt

      the turks also bought hq-9 sam systems from china instead of russian s-300vm. it is about costs – it should be obvious that the C-17 is very expensive to buy and operate ($23,811 per flight hour, compared to $14,014 of a C-130J Hercules).

  • Jan Schmidt

    First my condolences to families and friends of the people who died… the A-400M is 7 years too late and is a political, technological und industrial nightmare. And the militaries of many nations eagerly await the A-400M, because their old cargo planes cannot fly any longer and on global missions you NEED airlift capacity. Of course you can lease airlift services anywhere, but it will cost you a fortune. Also why did they not cooperate with Antonov and rebuild the An-70 early in the 90ies? I stood in some Antonow cargo planes, An-8, An-12, An-22, An-124, An-225 at airshows and to waste the know-how of the famous cargo plane maker is really shortsighted. Granted the russian engines are not as good as the western designs and it would cost to integrate western avionics the An-70 would fly today at dozens of nations. But no… they played politics and now people lost their life. btw the last C-17 was completed in february 2015, now Boeing will make only parts until 2017. reopening the C-17 production line is out of the question, not enough customers. The C-17 had also many errors at first, resulting in ultimatum from federal government, to fix the program in two years or the C-17 would be cancelled. So europe is stuck with the A-400M. The ukraine clusterfrack has stalled the new An-70, it will be even more late than the A-400M. And the clocks ticking… A total of 174 A400M aircraft have been ordered by eight nations. Recently South Africa has ordered eight A-400M.

  • Jan Schmidt