Air France Flight 447 Brought Down by Faulty Air Sensors, Newspaper Claims

ABC News reports that a German newspaper, citing sources familiar with the investigation, is claiming that a malfunction in Air France flight 447’s air sensors was the likely cause of the crash that killed all 228 people aboard nearly two years ago.

The official report has not been released and investigators are still analyzing all of the data provided by the plane’s flight data recorders but it seems to be more and more clear that the air sensors, the focus of the investigation from the beginning, were in fact the reason behind flight 447’s sudden plunge into the Atlantic Ocean back in June of 2009.

Since the crash, several theories have emerged on what brought down the jet liner including problems with the plane’s speed sensors called pitot tubes – which officials believe may have malfunctioned. Now it appears that it was indeed the tubes that caused the crash, though the exact cause has not been announced.

France’s BEA air-accident investigation bureau has not yet commented on the findings of the flight recorders. The agency said it will make a statement on May 27.

Der Spiegel reported that the black boxes showed the Air France plane climbed sharply after the speed-sensor failure and Captain Dubois returned to the cockpit shortly before the crash. From another part of the plane, the captain had communicated with the cockpit on actions to save the aircraft, the newspaper said.

Both Air France and Airbus, maker of the A330 involved in the crash, have come under scrutiny and both have been charged with manslaughter due to the crash. Last week, Airbus sent a memo saying mechanical malfunction did not lead to the crash, suggesting that human error, indicating culpability on Air France’s part, must have been the primary cause. Today’s news however, seems to indicate the exact opposite which may exonerate Air France and ultimately lead to further lawsuits against Airbus.

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2 Responses to Air France Flight 447 Brought Down by Faulty Air Sensors, Newspaper Claims

  1. Mike C. says:

    I wonder if Air France will buy AirBus planes again.

  2. It will be interesting to see what the FDR shows as far as rudder movement. With a low airspeed indication, the rudder would be unrestricted and available for full travel. At AF447s cruise speed, that could be disastrous.

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