The head of Airbus Defence & Space’s military aircraft division has committed the company to “full transparency” once the factors behind a fatal A400M crash are known.

Four of the company’s flight test personnel were killed when aircraft MSN23 came down shortly after taking off from Seville airport on 9 May, while another two suffered serious injuries. Airbus confirms that the tactical transport – which was scheduled to be delivered to the Turkish air force next month – was making its first flight.

A400M crash - PA


“We are supporting the technical investigation team, which will be set up under the leadership of the Spanish authorities,” says head of military aircraft Fernando Alonso, in a television interview distributed by Airbus on 11 May. “Airbus and other suppliers – for example the powerplant suppliers – are there to support this investigation,” he adds.

Responding to unconfirmed media reports about potential causes of the aircraft’s loss, Alonso says: “We would all want to know what happened immediately – unfortunately this takes time. Bear with us, let us do our job, and I commit to full transparency as soon as we have something to tell you.”

A first co-ordination meeting was held by the Spanish authorities on 10 May, with the crashed A400M’s flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder already having been recovered.