Incorrect Autopilot Settings Caused the German Aircraft Crash in Mali


Photo by: Bidgee via Wikimedia Commons


An incorrect autopilot setting caused the crash of a German military helicopter Airbus Tiger that occurred in Mali last July, according to German news provider Spiegel Online. The parliamentary defense committee was reportedly informed by the Defence Ministry about the new findings.

While on a peacekeeping mission in the desert of the West African nation, the said aircraft crashed, resulting in the death of two crew members. Spiegel Online claimed that what controlled the elevator of the airplane then was the autopilot, but it is still unclear as to who programmed the settings on the software. The report highlights that the autopilot settings were not the same as those on the other Tiger aircraft.

The Defence Ministry reports that the autopilot flew the Airbus Tiger sharply lower and left pilots with no opportunity to manually take the helicopter higher again. A spokesman from Airbus, however, declined to comment about the new findings and directed all questions to the military authorities in Germany who are also investigating the accident. 

In a statement, the company said, “Airbus Helicopters agrees with the other Directorate of Aviation Safety Bundeswehr on findings the investigation has produced so far.” 

A spokesman from the defense ministry also confirmed about the new findings as presented to the committee leaders and claimed that they will discuss it in detail with other members. He also declined to talk about the reported cause of the Airbus Tiger crash.