Can faulty software crash an aircraft?

On May 9, 2015, a new Airbus A400M, crashed in Spain. Investigations have shown that incorrectly installed engine control software caused the fatal crash. The crash killed four people.

In an interview with German newspaper, Handelsblatt, Airbus Chief Strategy Officer, Marwan Lahoud, claimed that the incorrect installation took place during final assembly of the aircraft, which finally led to engine failure and the resulting crash.
After the crash, Airbus had warned of a technical bug in the Electronic Control Units (ECU) that controls how the aircraft’s engine operates. This bug was discovered during an internal test it conducted independently of the investigation into the crash. Experts believe that the software bug could have led to a loss of control of engine power.

Today, out of the six countries, only France has continued flying its fleet of six aircraft. Germany, Malaysia, Turkey and the United Kingdom have paused flight operations.

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