Turkey grounds Airbus A400M fleet after Spain crash
ANKARAThe Turkish Air Force has temporarily grounded its two Airbus A400Ms after the crash of a plane of the same type in Spain, daily Hürriyet learned May 10.
At least four people were killed May 9 when an A400M crashed near Seville airport in southern Spain during a test flight, the first fatal incident involving the new transport craft.
Airbus, a European multinational aerospace and defense corporation, has been contracted to supply 10 four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft to Turkey by 2018.
Turkey finally accepted its first A400M aircraft in April 2014, ending a months-long controversy over whether the aircraft met technical specifications.
In December 2014, Turkey received its second A400M from the Airbus consortium.
Turkey is a 5.5 percent shareholder in the A400M program, with Turkish Aerospace Industries Inc. (TUSAŞ) supplying fuselage and wing parts for the plane to Bremen, Germany, and Filton, England, for integration before final assembly in Seville, Spain.
Apart from Turkey, the aircraft has also been ordered by the air forces of Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Malaysia, the U.K. and Spain.
Germany and the U.K. have also grounded their Airbus A400M aircraft until an investigation determines the cause of the crash in Spain.
“After the A400M crash near Seville it was decided Saturday to suspend until further notice the test flights of the German defence forces’ sole A400M,” an armed forces press officer told AFP.
“Now we are awaiting results from Airbus on why the A400M crashed near Seville. We are in constant contact with Airbus,” the spokesperson said.
The first of the A400Ms was delivered to France in 2013, with subsequent planes sold to Turkey, Britain, Germany and Malaysia.
A total of 174 A400M planes have been ordered, including 50 by France, 53 by Germany, 27 by Spain and 22 by Britain.