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Wrecked A340 was unchocked, with engines at high thrust: investigators

French investigators state that the Airbus A340-600 involved in an accident at Airbus’ plant in Toulouse last week was undergoing a final test of the engines and brakes when it accelerated from standstill into the test-pen wall.

No technical malfunction has been found in either the Rolls-Royce Trent 500 powerplants or the A340’s brakes.

France’s Bureau d’Enquetes et d’Analyses has released preliminary findings after downloading information from the aircraft’s flight-data and cockpit-voice recorders.

BEA says the aircraft, which was due to be delivered to Etihad Airways on 21 November was at a standstill but that the wheels were not chocked.

Initial information from the flight recorders, it says, shows that all four engines were operating at “high power” for around three minutes.

BEA says the aircraft then began to move forward and the A340 struck the blast-wall about 13s later.

“At this stage no technical fault with the braking systems and engines has been discovered,” it adds. “The investigation is continuing to determine the exact circumstances under which the incident occurred.”

Nine personnel from Airbus and United Arab Emirates engineering company Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies were on board the jet at the time, five of whom were hospitalised as a result of the 15 November accident.


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