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A Classic Yokomo

Yokomo (n., rhyming slang) = Yoko Ono Moment = Oh, No! moment: That very lonely moment when you are the very first person to realise that some large and extremely unpleasant disaster is about to come to pass. Made infinitely worse when you realise it is your fault and very soon everybody will realise it as such.

This brand spanking new Airbus 340-600 was sat in its hangar in Toulouse, France without a single hour of airtime. Enter the flight crew of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) to conduct pre-delivery tests on the ground, such as engine run-ups, prior to delivery to Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi.

The ADAT crew taxied the A340-600 to the run-up area and then, without properly reading the instruction manuals, took all four engines to take-off power.

The aircraft computers thought they were trying to take off but as the aircraft had not been configured properly (flaps, slats, etc.), the take-off warning horn started to sound in the cockpit. Irritiated by the alarm, one of the ADAT crew decided to silence it by turning off the power supply to the Ground Proximity Sensor.

This fooled the aircraft into thinking it was in the air.

The computers automatically released all the brakes and set the aircraft rocketing forward. The ADAT crew had no idea that this is a safety feature so that pilots can't land with the brakes on.

Not one member of the seven-man crew thought to throttle back the engines from their maximum power setting, so the $200 million brand-new aircraft crashed into a blast barrier, totaly writing it (the aircraft, that is) off.

The extent of injuries to the crew is unknown for there has been a news blackout in the major media in France and elsewhere. Finally, the photos are starting to leak out.

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