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Flight Recorders Checked in Airbus Crash

January 22, 1992| Reuters

MONT SAINTE-ODILE, France — Experts began examining two damaged flight recorders Tuesday as Europe's Airbus and French rescue services came under criticism over the Air Inter crash that killed 87 people.

The recorders may help explain why the domestic flight from Lyon--an Air Inter Airbus A-320--vanished from radar screens and plunged Monday night into a steeply wooded hillside minutes short of its destination, Strasbourg.

It was the third A-320 to crash since the high-tech plane was launched four years ago. French pilots' unions have complained that the plane's control system, in which commands are sent electronically rather than hydraulically, is too complicated.

Meanwhile, the rescue organization came under fire, with one unidentified survivor describing the rescue effort as "a shambles."

Nine of the 96 people aboard, including a 13-month-old girl and a 9-year-old boy, survived because the aircraft's tail was caught between pine trees on a slope of Mont Sainte-Odile 30 miles south of Strasbourg. All of the survivors were seated in the rear of the aircraft.

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