CASA Crash

Questions and concerns about the safety and reliability of EADS CASA aircraft, and about the reliability of EADS as a U.S. defense partner

30 January 2008

General died in Polish C-295 crash

A general was among those who died aboard the C-295 crash in Poland.

General Andrzej Andrzejewski (pictured), age 46, had been commender of a tactical aircraft brigade at the Miroslawiec air base where the January 23 tragedy occurred. He was considered an "excellent jet pilot" who survived a 2003 shootdown when the Su-22 bomber he was flying during an exercise was accidently struck by a missile. "I was miraculously saved!" he exclaimed when a helicopter rescued him from the Baltic Sea. "I got a second life!"

29 January 2008

Slovenia halts purchase of C-295

The Slovenian Defense Ministry "has halted plans" to purchase the EADS CASA C-295 transport plane, citing "the recent crash of the same type of aircraft in Poland," the STA news agency reports from Ljubljana.

The Defense Ministry had announced selection of the C-295 on January 18, only to reverse itself on January 29 after the Polish crash.

"In view of the accident, negotiations on the purchase of the € 30 m[illion] plane were halted only days after they began. The ministry said efforts to equip the Slovenian Armed Forces were being conducted with respect to high technical and other standards, including safety for army personnel," according to STA. Reuters, Aeronews, and Flight International carry similar reports.

25 January 2008

Poland grounds its C-295 fleet

The Polish military has grounded its fleet of 10 EADS CASA C-295 medium transport planes, pending an investigation into the cause of the fatal crash of January 23, in which 20 officers and crew were killed.

Worst Polish air disaster since World War II

The January 23 crash of the military C-295M was "the worst military plane disaster in Poland since WWII."

That's how the news service terms the tragedy. President Lech Kaczynski visited the crash site and declared a national time of mourning.

24 January 2008

Poland opens probe of C-295 crash

The Polish government has opened an official inquiry into the January 23 crash of a military C-295M transport, in which 16 passengers and 4 crewmen died. Reuters has the story.

C-295 crash claims 20 lives in Poland

A Polish military C-295 crashed January 23, killing all 20 on board. Among the dead were "16 senior members of the Polish air force," including a general, according to Polish Radio.

The cause of the crash was not immediately determined. The EADS-CASA plane was preparing to land in Miloslawiec, in northeast Poland. Polish officials say the nearly new C-295M was manufactured only last summer.

The officers were returning from an annual conference on aviation safety.

"This is the first kind of accident we see happening with this kind of aircraft. We are in contact with the Polish ministry of defense in order to give all the support they can need. We give our condolence and our sympathy to all in the air forces and the ministry and we are waiting," an EADS official says.

The plane can carry up to 71 troops or payloads of 9,250 kilos. The radio program quotes a Polish military magazine writer as describing the C-295M as follows: "Those Spanish aircraft are very heavily used in Polish Air Forces, especially for supplying Polish military contingent abroad, in Iraq and Afghanistan. This particular aircraft was one of the best we have and almost brand new - launched from the factory last summer. We are one of the main of this aircraft - so far we have bought 10 of them with 2 more to be received this year and we hope to buy another 4 in the coming years. It's a bigger loss that we could even expect."

14 June 2007

Crash and burn: EADS CASA bid for JCA goes down in flames

The long-fought political warfare campaign to sell the Spanish socialist-built C-295 to the Pentagon has gone down in flames.

According to Defense Industry Daily, the Army and Air Force have chosen the C-27J Spartan to become the new Joint Cargo Aircraft, known as JCA, as a standardized medium-hauler. Apart from a few blogs and some specialized military newsletters, the JCA has gotten little attention in the public debate, though the aggresive efforts of Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) to push the EADS CASA C-295 on DoD are legendary. EADS promised to assemble the planes in Shelby's state, leading observers to comment on the senator's abuse of national security interests for pork-barrel purposes.

EADS and its US-based front group, EADS North America, have expended a lot of energy lobbying for the C-295 - a plane the company simultaneously tried to sell to Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez over strenuous US objections. (See montage of the EADS North America chief with Chavez.)

This is another huge loss for EADS. The deal, which could be worth as much as $7 billion, includes the purchase of 70 C-295s for the Air Force and 75 for the Army.

08 June 2007

Latest submission in EADS poster contest


'I liked EADS so much, I bought the company'

Here's another entry in the Center for Security Policy's "I am EADS" spoof poster contest. Click on image to enlarge.


Will the Pentagon subsidize this guy?


'I love EADS' - another entry in the poster contest


Remember how EADS tried to help Chavez last year?


We remember what EADS did


31 May 2007

Win a trip to France in EADS spoof contest

The lucky winner of a national contest to spoof EADS propaganda will win a free trip to France.

The Center for Security Policy, a Washington-based defense group, is holding the poster contest to make fun of the France-based firm's campaign to make itself look like an American company. The contest is for the poster that best satirizes EADS's "I am EADS" campaign. For more information, click here.

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28 May 2007

EADS CASA can't deliver on time for Deepwater

It's just number 3 of a reported 36 planes being built for the United States Coast Guard, and already EADS CASA is falling behind. is reporting that the Spanish aircraft manufacturer will be at least three months late in delivering its third CN-235 to the Coast Guard. The plane is known in the U.S. as the HC-144A Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA).

The Coast Guard's troubled Deepwater program is to have 36 of the planes, EADS CASA delivered the first two on time, but the third plane was due in March and is not expected until June at the earliest.

Considering all the management and employment problems at EADS, that's not a good sign.

Good to be back

Haven't been blogging for a while, and a lot has been going on with EADS. Safety Man apologizes for the absence, but I'm glad to report that the guys at have been on the job. Seems that EADS CASA legal muscle tried but failed to shut them down earlier this year. Check them out if you haven't already.

23 February 2007

Crashing the EADS party

As we've grown to cover EADS's overall unreliability, some of our readers have informed us that they can't easily track the crashes of EADS aircraft. So here's a list with links to make searching easier:

1992: 31 die in Indonesian CN-235 crash
1997: All 6 perish aboard CN-235
2001: CN-235 wreck: Turkey's first fatal military crash since '68
2001: Second CN-235 crash kills 34 Turkish troops
2001: All dead in third Turkish CN-235 disaster
2001: Spain announces probe of Turkish CN-235 crashes
2001: Faulty CN-235 rudder in Turkish crash
2001: 4 die in Spanish CN-235 accident
2001: Consumer group wants CN-235 fleet scrapped
2002: New airline owner dumps CN-235s
2003: 7 French troops die in CN-235 wreck
2005: Indonesian CN-235 breaks apart, killing three
2006: EADS talks of CN-235 safety but is silent on crashes
2006: CN-235 death toll now at 92
2006: Suspicious timing on shifted blame for CN-235 crash
2006: Coast Guard raised safety issues about CN-235
2006: Sweden grounds EADS CASA fleet after deadly wreck
2006: Probe: Wing fell off Swedish EADS CASA plane
2006: Mexican Navy EADS CASA plane goes down at sea
2006: EADS CASA C-212 death toll: 463 and rising
2006: Cracks found in several C-212 wing fittings

03 February 2007

How German Airbus workers view the USA

Look who wants us to save their jobs! It's the German union IG Metall, which represents Airbus Deutschland workers.

IG Metall's magazine, shown at left, officially views American businessess as "bloodsuckers," "plunderers" and "parasites."

Even though the liberal Free Democrat Party leadership assailed the union's portrayal of Americans, union leaders and their Social Democrat allies defended it. A union spokesman defended the May 2005 cover and other artwork as "a good caricature." Metall is the largest labor union magazine in Germany, with a circulation of 2,000,000.

(Funny how German socialists over the past 75 years love to portray people they hate as insects, isn't it?)

Now, IG Metall workers stand to lose thousands of Airbus jobs under the EADS reorganization. They're hoping that the American bloodsuckers will buy their Airbus A330 tanker to keep them employed.

Workers threaten Airbus slowdown as EADS tries to reconcile the irreconcilable

The built-in contradictions of statist European industrial policy and the free market are cracking through the corporate structure of EADS, whose Airbus division threatens to tear itself apart. Tens of thousands of Airbus workers in Germany and France plan a work slowdown to protest the company's "Power 8" emergency cost-cutting measures.

Airbus is finding it cannot be both a successful private enterprise and a eurosocialist jobs program. Its illogical management structure, dysfunctional pan-nationalist industrial divisions and failed management decisions have caused the leaders of the once high-flying giant to pull the ejector seat. Now EADS must slash thousands of Airbus jobs.

And the workers, with their red banners, are revolting. “Today’s demonstrations in Germany mark only the beginning of a possible Europe-wide wave of protest should the EADS management plan mass layoffs and site closures,” a German union leader tells Reuters. French unions pledged support and have appealed for more government subsidies of Airbus.

Does the United States Department of Defense want to entrust its next generation cargo and tanker aircraft to Airbus?

29 January 2007

Russia to buy 20 percent of Airbus? EADS says no.

European news services are reporting that EADS is negotiating to sell Russia a 20 percent stake in its Airbus division. But EADS has issued a categorical denial that such discussions are taking place.

Sources in Moscow tell Capital, a French business magazine, that Russian Vice Prime Minister Boris Aleshin will travel to Paris for talks with EADS CEO Louis Gallois. The Kremlin-owned Vneshtorgbank (VTB) bought up 5 percent of EADS stock, an action that the regime of Vladimir Putin calls a "strategic action" on the part of the Russian state.

The Spanish financial news website carries a report. Airbus and EADS CASA have substantial Airbus manufacturing facilities in Spain.

According to the report in Finanzas and other Spanish media, EADS rejected Russia's stated desire to buy up to 20 percent of the entire company, but now "has finished convincing its Russian interlocutors of another, more acceptable scheme: instead of increasing its stake in EADS - that manufactures strategic military materials - politically, Russia would be admitted with greater ease as an important shareholder of its civilian brother Airbus."

23 January 2007

French & Russian EADS ownership seen as problem for US national security

The large ownership stakes of the French and Russian governments in EADS are becoming more and more of a problem on Capitol Hill and in the Pentagon.
The British defense company BAE, which is co-building the stealthy F-35 joint strike fighter, has had problems getting some of the super-sensitive US technology it needs to be part of the American-led project.

But the Guardian reports, "EADS faces even stiffer hurdles: its main owners are German and French, with the French state's 15% holding unpalatable to US political leaders."

And EADS is fighting to grab a big part of the Pentagon budget.

What's worse is that the Kremlin has quietly bought up another 5 percent of EADS through a state-owned bank, and it may seek to buy more. That troubles more and more people in Washington as they learn about it.

22 January 2007

Promised EADS facilities in US will give Eurosocialists & Putin political clout

With EADS CASA suppliers, assembly plants and service facilities carefully chosen among key congressional constituencies, the Eurosocialists and the Kremlin are building a powerful political base to lobby Washington.

"The company has been busy building domestic political support for a program that would ultimately involve billions of dollars and thousands of jobs. In 2005, EADS bought a facility in Mobile, Ala., close to a port that can handle oversize cargo. The company has pledged to convert the plant into an Airbus assembly line if the Air Force buys the A330 tanker," Air Force magazine reports.

"The company also has been recruiting talent with the technical know-how (and political connections) to get deals done in Washington. In 2004, EADS hired retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles H. Coolidge Jr., who had just retired as vice commander of Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, to oversee the tanker program and other Air Force efforts.

"Other retired military officers have come on board. Last year, the company elected Les Brownlee, former Senate Armed Services Committee staff director, and acting Secretary of the Army for 18 months, to the EADS North America board of directors.

21 January 2007

EADS hopes military orders will keep company afloat

EADS is hoping that the American taxpayer will ease the financial collapse precipitated by its Airbus division.

According to El Pais of Madrid, Airbus financial chief Hans Peter Ring is hoping "that the rest of the activities in defense, space, helicopters, military transport, etc., will neutralize the fall of Airbus."

20 January 2007

National Guard Association doesn't want C-295

The National Guard Association of the United States does not want the EADS CASA C-295 transport plane, preferring a faster aircraft.

The NGAUS's annual report for fiscal year 2004 recommended that Congress fund a competitor, the C-27, produced by EADS CASA rival Finmeccanica of Italy.

NGAUS doesn't say why it didn't want the C-295. But there's no better judge about what plane is better for the troops than the troops themselves.

18 January 2007

'Gross management blunders' plague EADS

"The average jetliner is struck by lightning twice a year," columnist George Will writes of EADS in today's Washington Post. Airbus, he says, "has recently struck itself twice. The government-created European consortium decided to build the wrong aircraft, then built it badly."

Will looks at how the once-highflying EADS is now in a corporate freefall, with the market judging its "A350 inferior to the [Boeing] 787" and forcing "costly redesigns," and making "a bad $16 billion bet on huge demand for its A380, a double-deck superjumbo."

The A380, he says, has been plagued by "gross management blunders."

EADS: Canada unfairly requires planes that fly

No fair! That's what EADS is crying about Canada's requirement that it won't agree to buy aircraft until there's proof that the planes can fly as advertised.

The European aircraft manufacturer is competing with Lockheed Martin to supply Canada with military transport planes. EADS is upset that the Canadian Department of National Defence acquisition policy "stipulated that competing aircraft had to complete a flight test by the time the contract was awarded in summer 2007. That rule automatically eliminated the EADS Airbus A400M, which would not be available until 2008, leaving the [Lockheed] C-130J as the only option," reports.

16 January 2007

US Coast Guard receives the HC-144A - But do the pilots want to fly them?

The United States Coast Guard has received the first EADS CASA HC-144A, a derivative of the CN-235/C-295, with advanced equipment for coastal patrol and surveillance, Finanz Nachrichten of Germany reports.

"The HC-144A's delivery is further proof of EADS North America's continuing strong support for the US Coast Guard and its mission to keep America safe and secure," puffs EADS North America Chairman and CEO Ralph Crosby.

But do Coast Guard pilots prefer the plane over others? One Coast Guard vet involved with the program in Washington loves the HC-144A, and says that critics are only trying to sabotage the mission. But we hear differently from pilots, and top Coast Guard officers have expressed safety concerns about the planes. Did Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama improperly pressure the Coast Guard to take the planes, at the behest of his former aide who is a lobbyist for EADS? Stay tuned.

15 January 2007

Canada calls EADS transport a 'paper airplane'

Smacking down the yet-to-be-produced EADS CASA A400 as a possible search and rescue plane, a Canadian Department of National Defence spokesman quips, "We don’t buy paper airplanes."

EADS CASA President Francisco Fernandez has acknowledged that the A400 is still suffering from about a dozen "difficulties" in "areas that present a critical risk," but said that the company was working on them.

The DND's apparent decision not to have a competitive bidding process to replace the Lockheed C-130 has irked some military observers, including a Halifax contributor who argues that Canada should not "sacrifice competition" (a reference to the EADS CASA C-295) for "speed" (the faster Alenia C-27J).

Spanish defense chief downplays EADS-Chavez deal

An American businessmen meeting with Spanish Defense Minister José Antonio Alonso asked an unwelcome question about the aborted EADS CASA plan to supply Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez with military transport planes.

Alonso seemed taken aback by the query, which was met with "murmurs and laughs" in the auditorium, Europa Press reports. He brushed off the American concerns, saying the issue was "old and antique."

The meeting took place at the Palace Hotel in Madrid on January 15 (pictured).

EADS CASA found itself in a pickle in Washington when it became known that the company was trying to sell Chavez the very same C-295 planes that it was attempting to sell the Pentagon as the new Joint Cargo Aircraft.

The Bush Administration embargoed US-made parts from the C-295s being sold to Chavez in early 2006. Faced with political pressure in Washington and considerable opposition from the blogosphere, EADS CASA canceled the deal a few months ago.

Poland: EADS CASA unreliable on C-295 deal

As part of its 2001 deal to sell Poland 10 transport aircraft for $300 million, EADS CASA was to have made good on "offset obligations," but Warsaw doesn't see signs that the company will meet them.

Deputy Economy Minister Pawel Poncyliusz intends to bring up the matter with Spain, according to Rzeczpospolita, a major Warsaw daily. EADS CASA has until 2010 to invest in a Polish offset program, but has made little indication that it will comply. Poland has already paid EADS CASA $212 million for delivery of C-295s.

"We are concerned, as so far the European manufacturer hasn't announced and submitted any completed projects to the government for appraisal," a Polish Department for Offset Programs official says.

Among Poland's complaints:

  • EADS CASA has failed to fulfill its pledge to manufacture major Airbus components at the Okecie plant the company had acquired as part of the offset program;

  • EADS CASA has not equipped a promised C-295 service plant in the country, requiring the Polish military to have its already-purchased planes serviced in Spain; and

  • EADS CASA has not gone through with starting large-scale production of transport aircraft components at Okecie for the CASA plants in Seville and Cadiz, Spain.
"All that happened was that bundles of electric cable for aircraft and wing components were ordered from Poland," the official said.

Zbigniew Wasiucionek, who runs foreign marketing operations at EADS PZL Okecie, "declined to comment" on the company's policies.

According to the report, EADS CASA initially repaired the neglected Okecie plant, rebuilding a galvanizing shop, bringing in a new management system, repairing roofs and training employees. "But it lacked the will to do anything more."

11 January 2007

Why would EADS CASA want to sell slow search & rescue planes to a country the size of Canada?

Comment: In search and rescue operations, speed and distance are essential. As one of the largest countries in the world, Canada needs fast planes to cover its huge landmass and coastline.

EADS CASA appears indignant that Canada would want a search and rescue plane that's faster than the European manufacturer's C-295.

Here's some news for EADS: Canada isn't Europe. France, Germany, Spain and a few other European countries could fit comfortably in Quebec alone. Canada's 125,000 mile coastline, stretched out, would reach halfway to the Moon.

From an American reference point, the state of Montana is larger than Germany. France is less than twice the size of Colorado. And Spain is even smaller than France.

No wonder EADS CASA doesn't build a search and rescue plane designed for speed. Its main customers are so small geographically that they don't need one. Which is probably why Canada is holding out for something better.

09 January 2007

EADS partnership with Russians raises security questions

Defense policymakers in Washington are becoming increasingly concerned at the collaboration between EADS and Russian state-owned military aircraft enterprises.

"We value EADS as a defense partner, but we're troubled by the company's growing closeness with the Putin regime," says a veteran defense analyst close to the White House. "As it did with Hugo Chavez, EADS is getting to the point that it's going to have to choose between the Russian government and the United States military," he said.

Prompting was the comment was news from RIA Novosti, a Kremlin-controlled media outlet, that EADS is set to build transport Airbuses outside Moscow in partnership with Russian military aircraft companies.

The Russian partner is the United Aircraft Building Corporation (UABC), a state-controlled conglomerate that RIA Novosti says "will incorporate commercial and military aircraft makers such as MiG, Sukhoi, Ilyushin and Tupolev, as well as companies involved in distribution, including Aviaexport."

05 January 2007

EADS CASA complains that Canada wants a better plane than it can deliver

EADS CASA has been complaining that the Canadian government has been setting standards too high for a new search-and-rescue aircraft.

Like the United States with its upcoming Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA), Canada is deciding between the EADS CASA C-295 and the Spartan C-27J built by Finmeccanica of Italy.

However, EADS CASA is griping that Canada expects too much in terms of performance, and says it can't compete with the C-27J under such demands.

According to Reuters, "EADS-CASA has for years complained that Canada is looking for a plane faster than its C-295."

20 December 2006

EADS CASA president admits A400 has problems in 'critical areas'

EADS CASA President Francisco Fernandez (pictured) admits openly that his A400 military transport plane still suffers from about a dozen "difficulties" in "areas that present a critical risk."

However, he assures the public that the company is aware of the problems and is working on them.

Speaking at a ceremony marking the delivery of the first A400M vertical stabilizer at the San Pablo, Fernandez downplays the problems, saying that they "were not unknown" and would be fixed.

Parallels with ill-fated A380 upset EADS CASA chief

The president of EADS CASA doesn't appreciate journalists' questions that liken the problems of the A400M military transport with the trouble-plagued EADS A380 jetliner.

EADS has lost billions of dollars because of manufacturing problems in the A380 program. EADS CASA President Francisco Fernandez didn't hide his distaste for the questions at a ceremony for delivery of the first A400M vertical stabilizer.

The Spanish news agency EFE reports, "The president of the company appeared upset by some questions from journalists who reminded him that some of the causes of the tail of the giant A380 airplane . . . coincided with the deficiences detected in the outside audit of the A400M."

01 December 2006

Cracks found in several EADS CASA C-212 planes is sending out a report that cracks have been found in the wing attachment fittings in several EADS CASA C-212 aircraft.

According to the report, the cracks were found "during final assembly of a production aircraft," and in "several in-service aircraft."

A Swedish Coast Guard EADS CASA C-212 lost a wing on October 26, killing all four crewmen aboard. The fatal CASA crash was due to metal fatigue where the wing attached to the fuselage.

The report, marked "urgent," nevertheless contains watered-down language, as if to de-emphasize the deadly consequences of the cracks.

The text of the report, carried by, follows:

"Cracks were discovered in outer to centre wing attachment fittings during final assembly of a production aircraft, and also in several in-service aircraft. Investigation revealed the cracking was caused by a defective manufacturing process at the supplier facility. This condition, which involves fittings that are principal structural elements, could result in reduced structural integrity of the aircraft unless detected and corrected."

Urgent inspection notice for EADS CASA C-212s

The following urgent inspection notice has been sent out to owners of EADS CASA C-212 aircraft:

Fri, 01 Dec '06

Applicability: Model C-212-DF and C-212-EE aircraft, serial numbers 444 through 477, except if EADS-CASA AOL 212-010 Revision 1 or Revision 2 has been previously accomplished on both upper and lower fittings in both outer and centre wings on both left and right hand sides of the aircraft.

1. Inspect the eight upper and lower fittings in both outer and centre wings on both left and right hand sides of the aircraft to verify the fitting material, in accordance with EADS-CASA COM 212-303 original issue. For fittings verified to be made of 2024-T42 (L-3140-T42) alloy material, no further action is required.

2. For fittings verified to be made of 7050-T7451 (L-3767-T7451), remove the affected outer wing and perform a one-time inspection in accordance with EADS-CASA COM 212-301 Revision 1 and EADS-CASA COM 212-302 Revision 1. If a crack is detected during the Requirement 2 inspection, before further flight, replace the affected fitting.

Note: EASA Emergency AD 2006-0359-E refers.

Before further flight after 1 December 2006.
Before further flight.
This Airworthiness Directive becomes effective on 1 December 2006.

Background: Cracks were discovered in outer to centre wing attachment fittings during final assembly of a production aircraft, and also in several in-service aircraft. Investigation revealed the cracking was caused by a defective manufacturing process at the supplier facility. This condition, which involves fittings that are principal structural elements, could result in reduced structural integrity of the aircraft unless detected and corrected.

28 November 2006

Metal fatigue blamed for fatal Swedish crash

Metal fatigue is cited as the cause of the October 26 crash of a Swedish Coast Guard EADS CASA C-212 that killed all four crewmen.

The Aviation Safety Network reports that during a fly-by of a Coast Guard station during a routine patrole mission, "the left wing ruptured near the fuselage and separated from the aircraft. The CASA then crashed into the canal and sank to a depth of abouth 6 metres. The ongoing technical investigation has revealed a major fatigue crack in the lower part of the wing primary structure. The fatigue crack, which on the wing outer side is covered by a doubler, has developed and grown under a long period."

19 November 2006

Maintenance stoppage at EADS CASA plant

Maintenance workers have stopped work at an EADS CASA plant, in another compensation dispute. The strike, which began November 16, could last weeks.

According to a Spanish industrial maintenance blog, the contract workers are responsible for "corrective and preventive electromechanical, pneumatic and hydraulic, robotic, automation and serial control maintenance" at the EADS CASA plant in Tablada, Seville.

15 November 2006

CASA C-212 death toll: At least 463

The loss of four Swedish Coast Guard crewmen on October 26 means that at least 463 people have died aboard EADS CASA C-212 aircraft.

According to the Aviation Safety Network, as of July 5, 2005, there had been at least 57 C-212 "hull-loss accidents" with 459 fatalities.

Mexican Navy CASA plane goes down off Yucatan

A Mexican Navy EADS CASA C-212 crashed into the Gulf of Mexico on November 15, but good crewmanship saved all aboard.

According to a statement from the Mexican Navy, the plane had been on matitime patrol for five and a half hours over the Gulf of Mexico when "one of its two engines, and minutes later the other, failed, forcing the pilots to decide an emergency landing."

09 November 2006

Controversy swirls around Arab and Russian investors

Controversy continues to cloud EADS as investors outside the traditional NATO alliance scoop up shares of the beaten-down stock.

Following the Russian government's purchase of 5 percent of EADS, the company is finding objections to a possible sale of $1 billion in shares to Arab investors.

"There is an issue about how the French, German and also Spanish governments may react to Dubai having a significant stake in EADS," a London-based equities analyst tells Bloomberg.

A French fund manager agrees: "I can't see Europe letting one of the technological jewels of its industry going to a non-European," said Jerome de Leusse, who helps manage $635 million at HR Gestion in Paris.

30 October 2006

Sweden grounds EADS CASA fleet after fatal crash

After losing four crewmen in an October 26 crash, the Swedish Coast Guard grounded its two remaining EADS CASA C-212 patrol planes.

The third C-212 crashed during a fly-by at the Skanör-Falsterbo Coast Guard facility, sinking into a canal with the loss of all on board, reports.

The plane was on a "routine patrol flight," according to the report.

Eyewitnesses said that a wing fell off the plane before it crashed. Swedish Coast Guard authorities could not confirm the accounts pending recovery of the wreckage.

14 October 2006

Group circulates e-petition to Congress about EADS CASA and Chavez

A new electronic petition has gone online, urging Congress to stop doing business with EADS CASA because of the company's involvement with the Chavez regime in Venezuela and other issues. The sponsoring website compares EADS CASA to the CITGO oil company, which is owned by the Venezuelan government.

The petition, on, exhorts readers to "Stop Congress from funding a foreign company that's arming Chavez."

A graphic shows a C-295 labeled, "Hugo Cargo."

Notice of the petition went out in today's e-newsletter. The petition says, in part, "American motorists who gas up at CITGO are sending cash directly to CITGO’s owner: the regime of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.

"While consumers can choose not to buy CITGO gasoline, some people in Congress have found another way to help – by funding a European defense company that’s helping modernize Chavez’s military.

"That company is part owned by the French and Russian governments. Its lobbyists in Washington have convinced Congress to buy its patrol planes for the Coast Guard.

"Now it’s lobbying for billions of dollars more in taxpayer money to build a tactical transport plane for the United States Army and Air Force."

Readers may fill out an online form and send an electronic petition to Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner (R-Virginia) and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-California), as well as "the man who is behind the EADS CASA deal: Senator Richard Shelby."

The website links to other sites concerned with Venezuela and the aircraft company, including this one,

12 October 2006

Putin denies plans for hostile takeover of EADS

Visiting Germany, Russian President Vladimir Putin denied any plans for his government to take control of the EADS aerospace giant.

"We have no plans for a hostile takeover," Putin said in Moscow News.

Last month, Putin aide Sergei Prikhodko said the Russian government would not rule out buying a blocking stake in EADS.

Russia's state-owned foreign trade bank Vneshtorgbank bought up 5.02 percent of EADS shares this year, and did not inform the company of its stake until September.
Putin’s aide Sergei Prikhodko said in mid-September that he did not rule out the purchase of a blocking stake in EADS, which holds an 80 percent stake in Airbus, and other assets.

Now, Putin denies that his state-owned gas monopoly Gazprom is seeking to takeover the European defense conglomerate. "Gazprom has never had plans for the acquisition of EADS," he said, acknowledging Vneshtorgbank's purchase.

Russia might buy 10% of EADS, 'maybe more,' says Putin

The Russian government of President Vladimir Putin wants a bigger piece of EADS, and hopes to build ownership in the company through reciprocal stakes for EADS in Russian state-owned enterprises.

"Putin, on a two-day visit to meet German political and business leaders, told German daily Zuddeutsche Zeitung in an interview that the country’s newly formed Unified Aircraft Corporation (UAC) is objectively interested in building closer production ties with EADS through cross-ownership," reports.

"Noting the recent purchase of a 5% stake in EADS by state-controlled Vneshtorgbank, he says: 'I personally believe that Russia could in time increase its stake up to 10%, maybe more.'"

Kremlin wants role in EADS management decisions

The Kremlin wants to have a role in making management decisions for EADS, adding to the controversy surrounding its purchase of a five percent stake in the company and President Putin's open desire for more.

Putin told German businessmen and politicians that he predicates any deal "on Russia’s capability to have a hand in EADS’ corporate matters," reports.

The state premier of Bavaria, Edmund Stoiber, is cool to the idea. After meeting with Putin, he was quoted as saying, “I asked him to understand that in some strategic industries there are limits to taking reciprocal stakes."

05 October 2006

Military transport plane's future now in doubt

An important EADS military transport plane has a cloudy future thanks to the company's managerial chaos and nosediving production.

Development of the A400M military transporter is now "under pressure," Agence France Presse reports. EADS plans to build 195 of the long-range, four-engine turboprop aircraft, which is designed to compete with the Lockheed C-130.

A French defense official said on October 3 that Paris expects no delay in A400M deliveries. However, the Financial Times reports on October 5 that Airbus CEO Christian Strieff admitted the A400M might suffer cost overruns or delays.

According to AFP, "comments from top [EADS] officials . . . called into question the future" of the A400M and the widebody A350.

04 October 2006

Unreliable production earns EADS a shaky future

Investors are fleeing from EADS, with the company losing 15 percent of its value in two days after official news of yet another major production delay.

Defense analysts in Washington are concerned that the dim prospects for the company make EADS look like an unreliable partner for long-term programs like the Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA).

EADS is losing at least $3.6 billion in profits on one of its newest products, the A380 superjumbo jet, which is to be delayed another two years. "Some airlines failed to rule out the possibility of order cancellations," AP Business News reports.

According to Agence France Presse, EADS is expected to lose $6 billion over the next four years on the A380 alone.

Big investment houses are slashing their price targets for EADS. Morgan Stanley, UBS, Credit Suisse and WestLB are among the pessimists. UBS even questions the viability of EADS's restructuring plan.

Customers are readying to run away. Emirates, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas and Virgin Atlantic are all considering cancellation of their orders, according to AP. The order from Dubai-based Emirates Airline was huge: 45 planes. US-based Boeing is benefitting from the chaos.

EADS is stuck with a clunky production model that requires balance among its British, French, German and Spanish Airbus plants, and is subject to unusual interference from politicians from each country.

The chain reaction may have far-reaching results. One brokerage house warns that EADS might receive a downgraded credit rating, which along with the billions of dollars in lost profits and stock value, would make it difficult for the company to raise money for a new line of jetliners.

03 October 2006

More reliability worries as radical EADS CASA unions hold protest

Under the red-and-black anarcho-marxist banner of the General Workers' Confederation (CGT), EADS CASA workers protested the aircraft company's non-renewal of contracts for younger workers. They marched in "concentrations" in what the CGT's newsletter, Red and Black, calls the "first response" to the company's attempt to run more efficiently.

The European Union's controversial labor laws make it extremely difficult for companies to fire incompetent or undesirable employees. EADS has been unable to make good on its orders for Airbus jets, causing concerns in Washington that the company might fail to meet Pentagon deadlines should it win the contract to build the Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA).

US policymakers are already alarmed at the potential for a Russian government-owned bank to buy a blocking share of EADS stocks. They are asking questions about whether and how the Pentagon should issue a large contract to a company that could be taken over by the Russians.

In January, EADS CASA employees held a brief work stoppage to protest the US blockage of the sale of 12 of the company's military transport planes to the Hugo Chavez regime in Venezuela. (CGT stock photo)