Friday, July 24, 2009

Never underestimate the strength of a reticulated wall.

A friend just sent me this. And I've shamelessly cut and pasted the pictures into my blog.

Behold a brand spanking new Airbus 340-600 which, until recently, was sitting in a hangar in Toulouse, France without an hour on the clock. (There was a photo of the exterior of the plane but blogger won't let me publish it).

Sexy, yes?
I would say that's what the Arab flight crew of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) thought when they went to conduct pre-delivery tests on the ground, before its delivery to Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. First up, they taxied the A340-600 to the run-up area.

Then they took all four engines to takeoff power with a virtually empty aircraft. Unfortunately, it appears these fellas hadn't read run-up manuals and they had no clue just how light an empty A340-600 really was.

There is an actual blow by blow account of what happens next, but I'll cut to the chase.

They kind of totalled it. Oh yeah.
I think the technical term for this is 'a bad day at the office.'
Apparently the extent of injuries to the crew is unknown due to the news blackout in the major media in France and elsewhere as coverage of the story was deemed insulting to Muslim Arabs.
But then, I could always be victim to a great Internet myth.

And if it isn't, I reckon the crew the have just created a fantastic yarn to tell their grandchildren, if they're still around to tell it.

Anyone else heard of this story, or have I just been royally had?


baconguy said...

Yeah I heard of that. If you hunt through wikipedia article on the A340 there is a footnote linking to the airbus site press release.
That is very dry though, I can't find the article I had with the full explanation.

laughykate said...

Oh found it! So it happened in 2007 - was there any press about it at the time or I was living under a rock?

Fat Sparrow said...

It's on (the definitive source for debunking, finding out, or confirming any rumor that's floating through teh Interwebs):

Etihad Airplane

Snopes' says that it's partial truth, with some anti-Muslim stuff thrown in, i.e., no news blackout, etc.

I love Snopes. Without them, where would I have been in the Great Asbestos Tampon Scare of 1998?

laughykate said...

Oh thank you for that Fat Sparrow. I had forgotten about Snopes! That's my afternoon screwed.

Grow Up said...

Seen the email about it doing the rounds.

Holemaster said...

"This is the control tower, you're cleared to crash the plane straight into the concrete wall"

"Roger that control, proceeding at full throttle, estimate crash impact in 10 seconds"

laughykate said...

Grow Up, 'twas yet another party I was late to!

Hah !Holemaster. Put's another spin on nose job, doesn't it?

tinman18 said...

Good news, LK, is that the pilot survived.

Bad news is that he now drives the helicopter you're thinking of hiring.

laughykate said...

*starts to get anxious*