Airbus has issued fresh operating guidance to users of its A400M tactical transport, as investigation work continues into a fatal crash involving the type on 9 May.

In an alert operator transmission (AOT) made on 19 May, Airbus Defence & Space advises its customers to take actions “to avoid potential risks in any future flights” involving the Atlas.

“The AOT requires operators to perform one-time specific checks of the electronic control units [ECU] on each of the aircraft’s engines before next flight, and introduces additional detailed checks to be carried out in the event of any subsequent engine or ECU replacement.”

While Airbus says its communication is being made as the result of “internal analysis”, independently from an official investigation led by the Spanish defence ministry, it focuses attention on the A400M’s Europrop International TP400-D6 propulsion system.


Airbus Defence & Space

Following the crash of aircraft MSN23 in Seville, Spain, Airbus’s head of military aircraft Fernando Alonso said the manufacturer and its suppliers would fully assist the investigation, and specifically mentioned the powerplant producer.

Four Airbus flight test personnel were killed in the 9 May crash, and another two were seriously injured. The aircraft – which had been scheduled for delivery to the Turkish air force during June – had been making its debut sortie when the accident happened.

Airbus has so far delivered a total of 12 production examples of the A400M to the air forces of France, Germany, Malaysia, Turkey and the UK. The UK confirms that operations with its two aircraft remain "paused", due to the recent loss.