Airbus orders checks on A400M engine system after crash

Tue May 19, 2015 3:03pm EDT
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By Tim Hepher

PARIS (Reuters) - Airbus (AIR.PA: Quote) on Tuesday ordered engine software checks on the A400M military aircraft following the first crash of Europe's new troop and cargo carrier.

The request comes after data compiled by the planemaker after the fatal May 9 accident pointed to a possible anomaly in a system running the plane's turboprop engines.

Two people familiar with the matter said the investigation was expected to focus on possible flaws in the way the system had been installed, rather than a design problem.

Another person familiar with preliminary findings said they suggested a "quality" problem, which could include installation procedures but did not exclude performance issues.

Airbus said it had issued an alert asking air forces to examine the plane's 'Electronic Control Unit'.

The unit controls the powerplants and is part of a suite of software systems that process commands and monitor the performance of the West's largest turboprop engines.

The request for checks, which confirms an earlier Reuters report, is designed to establish whether any problem with installation, or other defect, has spread to other aircraft.

"It is a precautionary measure which is part of our continued airworthiness activities," a spokeswoman said.   Continued...

People are silhouetted past a logo of the Airbus Group during the Airbus annual news conference in Colomiers, near Toulouse January 13, 2015. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau