Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Welcome to Etihad Airways, the National Airline of the United Arab Emirates

Via an a-mail from a friend who is knowledable about aviation matters.

Etihad takes off ... sorta ...

You might enjoy this ... A340-600 at TOULOUSE FRANCE

These are pictures of a brand new A340-600 in November 2007 -- it had never flown. Brand spanking new right out of the hanger, the Etihad aircrew of nine were in the aircraft but not one employee from French Airbus was present. The aircrew taxied out to the run-up area then they took all four engines to takeoff power with virtually an empty aircraft. This was their first mistake. They obviously didn’t read the manual and had no clue just how light an empty Airbus really is.

No chocks were set, not that it would have mattered at that power setting. The brakes will not hold it back at full power either. The takeoff warning horn was blaring away in the cockpit because they had all 4 engines at full power. The aircraft computers thought they were trying to takeoff but it had not been configured properly (flaps/slats, etc, etc). Then one of these brain-surgeon-like pilots decided to pull the ‘Ground Sense’ circuit breaker to silence the alarms. This fools the aircraft into thinking it is in the air.

That was their last mistake. As soon as they did that, the computers automatically released all the brakes and set the aircraft rocketing forward.

The ground sense indicator is a safety feature so pilots can’t land with the brakes on. There was no time to stop and no one smart enough to throttle back the engines from their max power setting. So the rest is as you see it below.

Of Note: No one is talking and it didn’t make the mainstream media

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Of Note: No one is talking and it didn't make the mainstream media"

Why is that of note? It wasn't in this country, and it didn't involve an American airline. There are plenty of stories that never make our media on a daily basis.

So what are you trying to imply with that sentence? Why be vague?

10:00 AM  
Blogger Ryne said...

A quick Google search demonstrates that this incident was reported by the BBC and Der Spiegel, so it was reported by the "mainstream" media... but it was the mainstream media in Europe.

I'm a big aviation buff, so I read about this last year, but I really don't think it really made front page news back in the US because Etihad's only American destination is JFK, and because competing and privately owned Emirates Air is a more popular option for people flying to that part of the world. Also, there were no passengers on board, which lessened the catastrophe (and newsworthiness) of the situation.

Also, there were Airbus employees in the aircraft, actually, and the 340 was not on its way to be delivered to Etihad, but rather, was being tested.

Not sure if it was an Airbus or Etihad pilot at the controls, but apparently, the aircraft and/or the crew failed such a test.

Here's something you might be interested in... Airbus as of late have been campaigning to have the USAF adopt the A330 as the new air refueling tanker, until Boeing won out with their 767. If Airbus won the contract, it would have resulted in an new assembly plant in the US, and would have made it easier for Airbus to sell the behemoth A380 as the replacement for Air Force One when the current 747-200s used are retired.

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually ryne, you have it backwards. Airbus WON the contract last year, because Boeing took it for granted that an American company would win the bid, and overpriced. There was such a political firestorm over some damn foreigners winning an USAF contract over and American company though, that the USAF was forced to re-open the bidding process, which means that Boeing will more than likely win the contract, even though they probably don't deserve it, and it will most likely cost us much more.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Ryne said...

Nick, you're right; I really didn't do too much research on the topic, and just based my assumption that Boeing would win out on the Air Force magazines that keep coming to my apartment (the former tenant was ROTC).

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what were you trying to infer in this post?

10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention that the Etihad aircrew of nine members were all liberals. Hence the relevance.

9:58 PM  

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