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.
“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.