The International Herald Tribune informs us today that there was a slight contretemps when doing a full power runup of one of Etihad's brand spanking new A340-600s.
This one went right through the blast fence and is a total writeoff, or at least is going to need some bondo and a paint job.
Already there are serious differences in le story depending on who's doing the talking. According to Airbus seven contractors working for Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies were aboard and were among the ten injured.
I think what's important will be who was at the throttles, where the aircraft was positioned, and why nobody was able to chop power when the ship started to roll or slide.
My experience with engine runs suggests that there was no clear chain of command in this aircraft. In every engine run I was ever part of, if the aircraft couldn't be moved to a remote area of the airfield with plenty of room it was securely chocked with observers on the ground and on the intercom. In addition, there was always somebody in the cockpit with sense and authority enough to chop the power if necessary-which happened every once in a while.
One time Roger and I were running up a Volpar that I'd redone the gearboxes on. There was ever so slight a momentary tremor in one engine and Roger chopped the power so fast that we were back to idle before I had time enough to ask "What was THAT?" What it was, was the aircraft running out of fuel. At Douglas, full power runs were never done nose to the fence.
At least it ain't me that has to take that long walk back to the office with the bad news.
UPDATE: Somehow or other we got on the subject of ANA and MD87s. As it turned out a savvy reader pointed this contretemps out to me and I had to do my research. It was Japan Air System, and they had MD90s, but the engine run and what happened thereafter is correct.
Thanks, George-you da man.
Photo credit The Sun.