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article imageAF447 black box search ends as involuntary homicide case begins

By Michael Cosgrove     Aug 20, 2009 in World
The search for the black boxes of Air France flight AF447, which crashed into the Atlantic for as yet unknown reasons, ended today. Meanwhile the family of a crew member intends to begin a law suit against Air France, accusing the airline of negligence.
The BEA, the French authority responsible for investigating air accidents, has often been accused of holding back information relative to the causes of the crash, which are largely considered to have originated in faulty readings being given by the plane’s Pitot tubes – instruments that measure a plane’s airspeed. Please read my previous articles on the AF447 disaster for more detailed information.
The frustration of victims’ families with the lack of answers to their questions concerning the crash has finally boiled over and the family of one of the plane’s air hostesses, Carla Mar Amado, 31 years of age, has decided to begin legal proceedings against Air France, reports French daily Liberation.
No-one survived the crash, which claimed the lives of 228 people. 51 Bodies were found in the month-long search which followed the disaster.
In a press conference given in Toulon, in the South of France, the family declared that “Nothing has come out of the three meetings which were organised for the families of the victims. Each time, the technical aspect of the accident has been brushed aside and they tell us that we should let the investigation teams complete their work. Air France must pay for what it has done and must assume its responsibilities for the Pitot tubes.”
The family’s lawyer, Jean-Claude Guidicelli, has been mandated to ask for “The trial of Air France as a moral person. They try to make families believe that they are looking for the reasons whereas we already know the truth: The Pitot tubes are the sole cause of the crash.”
The BEA has confirmed that the Pitot tubes “Gave incoherent readings.”
A court in Paris has already opened a judicial enquiry into ‘Involuntary Homicide.’
This coincides with a BEA press statement announcing the end of what they call “Phase 2” of the search for the plane’s Flight Recorders - ‘black boxes’ as they are commonly known - which lie in around 6,000 metres of water. 6,000 feet is not only their maximum depth operational capability, but also that of the deep-sea cameras and radars which were sent down to the ocean bed to locate them.
“Phase 3” of the search operations, of which no details are known, is said to be under preparation.
The accident happened on June 1 and flight recorders emit beacon location signals for thirty days in case of accident.
That means the hope of finding them is now extremely slim, and, if they are not found, and if the technical data contained within them will not be able to be analysed, the whole story of what caused the AF447 disaster may never be known.
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