Airbus urges airlines to replace air speed devices on its planes


Paris : Two months after the crash of an Air France Airbus A330 into the Atlantic, the France-based aircraft manufacturer is urging companies flying its planes to replace their air speed measurement devices, an Airbus spokesman said Friday.

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Stephen Schaffrath said all airlines using Pitot tubes manufactured by Thales are concerned by the recommendation, which was drawn up in collaboration with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

EASA spokesman Daniel Hoeltgen said Friday in Cologne that the agency will stipulate that all companies flying Airbus planes equipped with three Thales probes are to replace two of them on each plane with probes produced by the American manufacturer Goodrich.

Further details are to be made public within 14 days, Hoeltgen said.

He noted that the EASA was not reacting to the results of the investigation into the June 1 crash, in which 228 people died, because it has not yet reached any conclusions.

The agency was already looking into the functioning of Pitot tubes before the accident, Hoeltgen noted.

Airbus speaker Schaffrath said: “We know that there were problems with the air speed measurement before the crash of the Air France plane. But we also know that this problem was not the only cause of the crash.”

Schaffrath said most Airbus long-haul planes are equipped with the Goodrich probes and that the recommendation concerns only about 200 of 1,000 Airbus A330s and A340s being flown commercially.