I heard of this same sort of thing happening once to a plane. What happened was that the plane was just painted.
The plane crash being referred to is this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XL_Airways_Germany_Flight_888T
Ummm I think it might be this one http://ehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeroperú_Flight_603 But the plane was being cleaned , not painted and also it was a Boeing plane not an Airbus.
Maybe; however, the one I referenced was an Air NewZealand owned plane, and it was in the news at lot over here in NZ when it happened.... Point is that I agree with the original poster about flight instrumentation information loss causing control issues.