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article imageAF447: French pilots threaten no-fly strike, more bodies found

By Michael Cosgrove     Jun 9, 2009 in World
An Air France pilots union has advised pilots not to fly the Airbus A330-200, the model involved in the crash, as well as other Airbus planes fitted with identical speed sensors, unless they are changed immediately.
Although their statement did not refer directly to flight AF447, the union, Alter, said that there was “A real risk of control-related loss of an Airbus” if the small tubes, situated at the front of a plane and which calculate its speed, do not supply reliable data.
French daily ‘Le Figaro’ claims that Air France immediately issued a replacement schedule on Tuesday morning.
These sensors are being seen as a possible contributing cause to the crash, in that if they were not working properly in the storm conditions that the plane is said to have been flying through, they could have indicated erroneous speed estimations to the plane’s pilots, who may as a result have increased or decreased the plane’s speed to dangerous levels.
Flying too fast in those conditions means that a plane can nosedive, and flying too slow could make it stall.
The speed sensors concerned are fitted on Airbus A320’s A330’s and A340’s and have been slated for replacement since 2007 due to several reports of erratic performance and false readings. Icing is considered as being a possible cause.
US Airways has also announced that it is modifying the nine Airbus planes concerned in its fleet.
Searching for Air France wreckage  bodies
Searching for Air France wreckage, bodies
Disclosure Aeronautics/Agbr
Meanwhile, a total of 24 bodies and numerous wreckage parts have been recovered so far from the crash zone.
The discovery of the plane’s relatively intact tail-fin has led investigators to think that the flight recorders, located at the back of the plane, may be intact.
Air France flight AF447 disappeared from radar screens after flying into turbulence and sending out numerous automatic messages describing successive systems failure. No survivors were found.
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