Airbus warns airlines after Air France crash
Paris, June 5, 2009
Airbus has warned airline crews to follow standard procedures if they suspect speed indicators are faulty, suggesting that technical malfunction may have played a role in this week's Air France crash.
Investigators know from the aircraft's final batch of automated messages, which were sent over a three minute period, that there was an inconsistency between the different measured airspeeds shortly after the plane entered a storm zone.
The Airbus telex was sent to customers of its A330s late on Thursday. An industry official said such warnings are only sent if accident investigators have established facts that they consider important enough to pass on immediately to airlines.
The recommendation was authorized by the French air accident investigation agency (BEA) looking into the disaster. It has said the speed levels registered by the slew of messages from the plane showed "incoherence."
Airbus said its message to clients did not imply that the doomed pilots did anything wrong or that a design fault was in any way responsible for the crash.
"This Aircraft Information Telex is an information document that in no way implicates any blame," Justin Dubon, a spokesman for Airbus, said on Friday.
The Air France A330-200 was en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris when it suffered a rapid succession of technical problems after hitting turbulence early on Monday and almost certainly plunged into the Atlantic. All 228 people on board died.
Brazilian authorities hunting for the plane said on Thursday that flotsam scooped from the sea about 1,100 km (680 miles) northeast of Brazil's coast, was not from the Airbus A330, as previously reported.
Searchers have found several debris sites spread out over a 90 km (56 miles) zone and boats in the area are trying to pick it up to ascertain if the plane really did come down there.-Reuters