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World Briefing / Belgium

Airlines told to replace sensors

August 01, 2009|Times Wire Reports

European air safety regulators told world airlines they will have to replace hundreds of air speed sensors of the type that may have contributed to the Air France Airbus A330 crash in the Atlantic Ocean in June.

The announcement came after Airbus recommended that airlines flying its planes exchange some of the sensors manufactured by Thales Corp. for another model.

Investigators have focused on the possibility that the external monitors on the A330, known as pitot tubes, iced over and gave false speed readings to the Air France plane's computers as it ran into a turbulent thunderstorm. Each modern jet airliner carries at least three of the L-shaped metal pitot tubes that jut from the forward fuselage.

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