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The World

July 11, 1988

A French magistrate who claimed that authorities were too quick to blame the pilot for the June 26 crash of a new Airbus A-320 near Mulhouse, France, has been removed from the inquiry, judicial officials said. Three people were killed when the Air France jetliner plowed into a forest and exploded during a low-altitude display at an air show. Germain Sengelin, a senior investigating magistrate, was quoted as saying that the Transport Ministry and Civil Aviation Board were too quick to pinpoint pilot error as the cause of the crash. Pilots' unions have complained that authorities absolved the airliner's sophisticated computer-guidance system, one of the craft's main selling points, before completing their inquiry.

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