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Aircraft Accident Structural Failure: Airbus A340

The accident happened on November 15, 2007, on Toulouse-Blagnac aerodrome to the Airbus A340-600 serial number 856.

Narrative of the accident

  1. Date: Thursday 15 November 2007
    1. Time: 17:10
    2. Type: Airbus A340-642X
    3. Operator: Airbus Industries
    4. Registration: F-WWCJ
    5. Location: Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (TLS), France

An Airbus A340-600 was due to be delivered to Etihad Airways as A6-EHG was performing ground tests at the Airbus plant, Toulouse Airport. The wheels were not choked when the crew started engine and brake tests at 15:19. Until 15:58 the maximum epr on the engine was between 1.04 and 1.22. 

One hour later tests were recommenced, and all four engines were on 1.24 and 1.26 epr power for about three minutes.

Thirteen seconds before the impact the aircraft started to move, within 1 or 2 seconds the crew applied brake pedal inputs and selected parking brake off. These actions led the normal brake pressure to increase to its normal value.

Two seconds before the impact, all 4 engine thrust levers were selected to idle. The aircraft impacted the containment wall at a ground speed of 30 knots. The nose went up and through the concrete wall. Five persons were injured.


  • Due to the improper carrying and assembly of all four engines at a time in which the thrust was close to the capacity of the aircraft’s parking brake.
  • The lack of a system for detecting and correcting drifts in the performance of ground tests, in a context of permanent industrial and commercial pressure, favored the performance of a test outside the established procedures.
  • The technician did not reduce the engine thrust that can suit the aircraft.

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