Airbus Military has launched an investigation to determine what caused the refuelling boom from an A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) to separate from the aircraft during a flight over Spain on 10 September.
The mishap involved the second MRTT to have been prepared for the United Arab Emirates, which was being flown by an Airbus Military crew from the company's Getafe site, near Madrid.
"The aircraft was flying at 27,000ft [8,230m] when it encountered a total boom detachment," the company says. The EADS-designed structure came down in Spain's remote Caceres region, and was found early on 11 September.
The United Arab Emirates will receive three boom-equipped A330 tankers
The aircraft landed normally at Getafe and was found to have suffered "extremely light" damage. No other aircraft was involved in the incident and there were no injuries.
Airbus Military is under contract to deliver three boom-equipped A330s to the United Arab Emirates air force.