Pilots upset at Air France crash inquiry protection of Airbu

Hotel News - 04/08/2011

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Angry pilots have lashed out at air-crash investigators in France, after it was revealed that information critical of Airbus was removed from the official report into last year’s crash off the Brazilian coast. The report apparently had implicit criticism of the European plane maker removed from it before its release last week.

The biggest union representing pilots with Air France pulled out of the official investigation. The union said the probe into the Rio-Paris crash had become a ‘one-sided’ attempt to prosecute the crew of flight AF447, which crashed into the South Atlantic last year.

Yesterday, reports confirmed that France’s Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité de l’aviation civile (BEA), the agency responsible for investigating all civil aviation incidents, had at the last moment removed from its report a ‘recommendation’ for Airbus to improve or replace the stall warning on A330-series aircraft.

It has been reported that flight crews on some planes could get confused by stall warnings sounding the alarm when no problem existed. The report issued on Friday by the BEA indicated that the crash was connected to the pilots on the ill-fated plan ignoring repeated visual and audio warnings that the jet was on the verge of stalling.

The Air France Airbus A330 plunged into the sea on 1 June, 2009, killing all 228 people aboard. It dropped from its cruising altitude for more than three minutes, with stall warnings going off but the cockpit audio recording shows that the pilots never mentioned the warnings.

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