Airbus Ground Test Accident Shears Off Nose

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Five people were injured Thursday when Airbus suffered its first ground test accident. The event involved Airbus's second largest aircraft, a 359-seat A340-600, that "broke free" while testing its four engines (rated at 56,000 pounds of thrust, each) and crashed into a noise-reduction barrier at the Airbus facilities in Toulouse, France, according to news reports. The aircraft was set for delivery to Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways this coming week, but its cockpit was "sheared off" in the accident. The aircraft is likely a write-off. Etihad is waiting on six A340-600s from Airbus.