So, on 15 Nov 2007, a seven man flight crew shows up from Abu Dhabi to make the initial flight tests on Etihad Airways’ brand spanking new Airbus A340-600, the largest passenger aircraft in the world. This particular specimen was equipped way beyond first class, with large, padded computer workstations instead of seats, and double beds for the sleepy, and was so new it had not a single hour of air time.
Problem is, the crew neglected to read the manual or to account for the fact that the plane was empty, and defeated several of the very sophisticated safety systems.
Result? They ran the plane into a concrete blast barrier, demolishing the barrier and destroying the $200 million aircraft.
“The extent of injuries to the crew is unknown, due to the news blackout in the major media in France and elsewhere.”
[Actually, there were five crew members injured severely enough to require hospitalization. No one was killed. Hm. Maybe Allah really was looking out for them.]
Scuse me? This was a national security issue or something?
“Coverage of the story was deemed insulting to Muslim Arabs.”
Oh. Well. National security it is.
“That’s why Allah gave them camels.”
Photos at the link, but the whole article is posted as a single image, including the text, and I don’t want to bother taking it apart.
Also see the Snopes write up on this incident, which disputes that there was a news blackout to protect Arab or Muslim sensibilities. Although Snopes is generally reliable, they do have a reputation for a politically correct bias. Still, I must conceded I cannot confirm that there was a blackout, although playing it down would be consistent with French attitudes at the time.
Here is a more technical account of the incident. It should be noted that there was an Airbus officer in the right hand (co-pilot’s) seat, which is where the commands resulting in the crash came from.