Air France crash inquiry doubts Airbus speed monitor safety
  • This Section
  • Latest
  • Web Wrap
Last Updated: Friday, December 18, 2009, 00:09
  
Paris: The inquiry into the loss of an Air France jet that crashed into the Atlantic with 228 people on board called today for new testing standards for air speed probes, which it said ice up at high altitude.

In an interim report on the June 1 crash of flight AF447 from Rio to Paris, the French air accident investigation agency BEA said that, while it has yet to confirm the cause of the accident, the plane's Pitot probes were faulty.

The BEA agency's report said that Airbus, which built the missing A330 jet, had identified 32 cases between November 12, 2003 and the date of the crash in which two or more of these air speed monitors had iced up on its planes.

When Pitots are blocked by ice they send false speed measurements to the plane's onboard flight computers, as was the case on the missing flight, which sent a string of automated error messages before plunging into the ocean.

The BEA, which has already ordered airlines to replace the European-designed Pitots on their A330 and A340 Airbus jets with a US-made model, called in its latest report for new testing standards for the device.

"In practice, the testing criteria are not representative of the conditions really encountered at high altitude, in the case of temperatures for example," the investigators wrote.

PTI


First Published: Friday, December 18, 2009, 00:09


comments powered by Disqus