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13.November 2010

A400M PM and Airbus CEO Jump from A400M

On 13 November 2010 the A400M Programme Manager (PM) Bruno Delannoy jumped from the A400M aircraft, as part of a group of 10 parachutists from various nationalities, and including Tom Enders (Airbus CEO). This jump was not part of any particular test as the official jumping test took place some days before. All was prepared for last Saturday morning in a place called La Juliana which is a drop zone surrounded by olive trees near Seville. The weather, as usual in Seville, was perfect for a jump. 

The A400M PM declared that it was a privilege to jump from such an aircraft and to be one of the first to jump from it. He thoroughly enjoyed the jump too. You can see Bruno diving in the air with the dark blue jump suit and white shoes, at the bottom right of the picture. He was also proud to represent OCCAR-EA in this selected team. The aircraft delivered the parachutists over 12.000 feet (approximately 3.600 meters) and the descent took over 50 seconds in free fall. The parachutists made a formation figure and they opened their parachutes at 900 meters. No incident was reported. OCCAR Director was informed in real time of the successful jump and the safe landing of Bruno. 

Bruno is an experienced skydiver with more than 800 jumps and has previously been involved in several airdrop tests from various military aircraft, like Casa C235, C160 Transall and C130 Hercules. Because of this experience, he was asked by the crew to carry and take care of the famous chicken that the Grizzly crew is involving in all A400M tests. Together with Bruno, the chicken also landed safely on terra firma. 

Seville is the home of the Final Assembly Line of the A400M aircraft and one of the two flight test centres for the A400M Program, the other one located in Toulouse. MSN004 is being assembled there, ready for first flight at the end of the year. MSN004 will be the aircraft used for cargo testing.