Flight 447 Fallout: Air France Accuses Airbus of Ignoring Speed Sensor Warnings
The airline also says Thales, an Airbus supplier, did not attend the sensors, which are called Pitot tubes, that were not functioning adequately.
“The chronological analysis shows that Air France was constantly proactive in trying to remedy events linked to the malfunctioning of the Pitot probes,” Air France said in a document submitted to French authorities. “Airbus and Thales felt that these events were minor and without potentially catastrophic consequences,” it added.
Fernand Garnault, an Air France lawyer, said the airline decided to submit the note to explain its views and what happened chronologically with the Pitots.
On June 1, 2009, Flight 447 left Rio de Janeiro for Paris, but the aircraft, and Airbus A330, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. The cause of the crash remains unclear although there are some indications that the aircraft was receiving false air speed readings.
The accusations have become public after the French government announced its plans to search for the aircraft’s “black box,” which could be as deep as 3 miles under the sea in February 2011.
This would be the fourth attempt to recover further evidence regarding the crash. Initial searches recovered 50 bodies, but much of the aircraft and passengers were never found. The last search ended in May, but family members have constantly questioned the handling of the incident.