This brand spanking new Airbus 340-600 sat 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.)
In order to silence the alarm, one of the ADAT crew pulled the circuit-breaker on the Ground Proximity Sensor to silence the alarm. This fooled the aircraft into thinking it was in the air.
You don’t need brakes when you’re in the air so the computers automatically released all the brakes. The ADAT crew had no idea that this was a safety feature so that pilots can’t land with the brakes on. Under full power the plane shot forward. 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.
In view of the above, please note that this story is not funny.
No, really, it’s not funny.
Not, all right?
hehe I used to do the same thing in Airbus simulators cause you know that Ground Proximity Warning computer is really annoying, right?