Spanish investigators that Airbus and European safety specialists were aware of a software vulnerability affecting the A400M military plane before one of the models crashed during a fatal test flight just months later.
In May 2015, an Airbus A400M crashed in a field in Seville, Spain when three of its four engines failed following take-off. Four out of six members of crew were killed in the accident, causing mayhem for the aviation firm.
The Airbus military plane, which is used for carrying cargo and troops, relies on data to run its engines. However, it was deleted when engineers working for the firm installed additional software before the flight.
Pilots weren't given any prior warning that there was an issue with the software and only realised when the engines stopped working.
Following the crash, Spanish military investigators started working on a confidential report to determine the causes of the accident. Completed in the summer, it shows the role Airbus played in causing the crash.
According to extracts seen by Reuters, the engines were affected by faulty software, which the engine manufacturers had apparently warned Airbus and the European Aviation Safety Agency about in October 2014.
They were told that a software fault could render the engines of the A400M useless, and that crew onboard may not receive prior warning when such a problem occurs.
Developed for the militaries of Spain, Britain, Belgium, Germany, France, Turkey and Luxembourg, the project has been plagued with delays and smashed its original, not inconsiderable budget of $23bn. It's been slapped with a plethora of restrictions.
Reuters contacted Airbus to clarify its position on the crash.
It responded by saying that the crash was caused as a result of "multiple, different factors and contributory causes". However, it wouldn't comment on the leaks from the investigation. An Airbus spokesperson said that the company has since reviewed its systems.
"The mitigation measures derived from that report were not sufficient," the investigators wrote in the report.
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