Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Concerns grow as hobby drone use increases

Read more

WEB NEWS

Buffalo residents share stunning images of the snowstorm

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Senegalese photographer's flashbacks to Africans throughout history

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Hollande photographed with Julie Gayet on Elysée Palace balcony

Read more

REVISITED

Is Beirut still haunted by ghosts of the civil war?

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Band Aid 30 - Hit or Miss? Bob Geldof in Hot Water over Ebola Single

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Deal or No Deal with Iran? Home Stretch to Reach Historic Agreement

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Football scandals: The ugly side of the beautiful game

Read more

#THE 51%

Ending violence against women: The dangers of trial by Twitter

Read more

France

Investigators call airplanes' speed monitors into question

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-17

The French aviation accident investigative body, the BEA, has said the causes of mysterious Air France 447 June crash remained unclear, but called for new testing standards for air speed monitoring on aircrafts.

 
AFP - The inquiry into the loss of an Air France jet that crashed into the Atlantic with 228 people on board called Thursday 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.
  
"What is more, it seems that certain points -- for example the size of ice crystals inside cloud masses -- are not well understood and it is therefore difficult to evaluate the effects that could have on Pitot probes."
  
Pilots' unions and some of the relatives of victims of June's crash have accused Air France and Airbus of ignoring longstanding problems with air speed monitors on its jets in the run up to the June disaster.
  
The companies insist that their jets met all safety standards, but they have nevertheless now replaced the Pitots with a different model.
  
The BEA has said that the missing jet was receiving false speed data from its Pitots, as it flew at high altitude through a tropical zone known for dense cloud formations, but has not confirmed the cause of the crash.
  
Crash investigators have not been able to recover the AF447's black box flight data recorders from the ocean off Brazil, and the inquiry into the accident is continuing.
 

Date created : 2009-12-17

  • AIR FRANCE 447

    Victims' families gather in Rio for memorial service

    Read more

COMMENT(S)