Thursday, July 2, 2009

AF 447: Progress Report from the French Air Accident Investigation Bureau (BEA)

Paris, 02 July 2009 - 16:57 local time

Air France has taken careful note of the progress report published by the French Air Accident Investigation Bureau (BEA) concerning the AF 447 accident. In presenting the initial facts, this report constitutes an important stage in the inquiry.

It is also a very important step for the relatives of the victims, who, like Air France, are impatient to understand the circumstances surrounding this tragedy.

It is, of course, of capital importance for Air France to find the flight and voice recorders – “black boxes” – which would enable the investigators to analyse the causes of the accident, whatever these may be. No effort must be spared in achieving this end, and Air France thanks the French Authorities for continuing their sea search with unprecedented resources. Air France would also like to thank the Brazilian authorities for the sea searches they have carried out at the scene of the accident.

All the elements of the investigation produced by the French Air Accident Investigation Bureau (BEA) will be fully and immediately taken into account by the airline. Flight safety is of prime concern to Air France, as can be seen from the ongoing efforts of every sector of the airline using all its resources to improve it even further.

Following the publication of the progress report, Air France wishes to point out that:

  • In Airbus’ recommendation of November 2008, superseding that of September 2007, the replacement of the Thalès AA Pitot probes by Thalès BA Pitot probes was no longer put forward as a solution to the icing problems.
  • On 15 April 2009, Airbus recommended evaluating in real operating conditions the results of a series of laboratory tests on the Thalès BA Pitot probes.
  • On 27 April 2009, rather than waiting for the results of this evaluation, Air France decided to equip its entire fleet of Airbus A330s and A340s with the Thalès BA Pitot probes.

Air France is, of course, continuing to cooperate fully with the Authorities, and reiterates its commitment to total transparency with regard to the investigators, its passengers and the general public.

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