The effort to find out what happened to Air France Flight 447 on June 1, 2009 seemed all but over in France, when the government announced the launch of a fourth search campaign and the airline pointed a finger of responsibility at Airbus. All 228 aboard the Airbus A330-200 flying from Rio to Paris died when it crashed into the South Atlantic.
Air France Flight 447
The lawyer representing Air France in the June 1, 2009, Airbus A330 accident case has transmitted to the investigating magistrate in France a memorandum that endeavors to demonstrate the carrier did its best to rectify problems with its fleet’s pitot speed probes when they appeared in 2008. In the document, Airbus appears slow to answer Air France’s requests for fixing the issue.
Hopes of ever finding the flight data recorders from Air France Flight 447, the Airbus A330 airliner that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on June 1, 2009, while en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, are once again fading after a failed attempt to refocus the search efforts.
BEA investigators, who admit to having experienced a high level of stress in their effort to understand how Air France Flight 447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on June 1, 2009, now hang their hopes on an array of machines and experts that reached the search area in the middle of the ocean between Brazil and Africa on April 2.
Static electricity may cause pitot static probes to fail, according to a Cessna Citation X owner-pilot who survived a simultaneous failure of all three pitots during a flight earlier this year. Kirill Minovalov, a Russian entrepreneur and private pilot, was flying in stormy weather conditions when the incident happened; he managed to land safely at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport.
The FAA today issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) on Airbus A330s and A340s that requires replacing certain Thales Avionics pitot probes with certain Goodrich or newer-design Thales probes. The AD requires compliance within 120 days. It intends to prevent airspeed discrepancies, which could lead to disconnect of the autopilot and/or auto-thrust functions and consequent increased pilot workload.
Airbus has launched a study for improving flight data recovery, including extended data transmission for commercial airliners, the company announced last week in an apparent acknowledgement of the deficiencies highlighted by the crash of Air France Flight 447 and subsequent efforts to recover its FDR and CVR.
The condition of the wreckage recovered from that Air France A330-200 that plunged into the Atlantic Ocean on June 1 indicates that the airplane broke apart upon hitting the water, not while in flight as previously hypothesized, according to an interim report issued by the French civil aviation accident investigation bureau (BEA) today.
The National Transportation Safety Board has launched investigations into two recent incidents in which airspeed and altitude indications in Airbus A330s might have malfunctioned, adding to the suspicion that an instrument failure could have led to the June 1 loss of an Air France A330-200 (Flight 447) in the Atlantic Ocean, killing 228 people.
Search teams have found the bodies of the captain and a flight attendant among the victims of the crash of Air France Flight 447, the company confirmed today. So far crews have recovered at least 50 bodies from the Atlantic Ocean out of the 228 aboard the Airbus A330-200 when it crashed in the early morning hours of June 1.