Pilots and victim’s families have expressed their dissatisfaction at the Air France crash verdict, with several too upset to talk in public afterwards.
Several have criticised the inquiry’s apparent reluctance to lay the blame squarely on the incapacitated ‘pitot’ speed sensors which had iced up before the Airbus A330 plane crashed while flying from Rio to Paris more than three years ago, killing 228 people.
“Let’s just say that it was noted that the false ‘pitot’ readings put the plane into such a situation that it was defenceless; the pilots were unprepared, and all the conditions needed for an accident to happen came together,” said Robert Soulas, the president of the Families Association.
“Pilots were not trained for an equipment failure of this type. If Airbus had not been so confident, so arrogant, we would all have been trained to pull out of a stall, and maybe this wouldn’t have happened,” said pilots’ union leader Gerard Arnoux.
“I can’t be satisfied. We have experts who will look at it, but at this moment I can only say I hoped they would find other reasons as well, but they didn’t deal with the technical reasons for the crash,” said Barbara Crawld, the mother of one of the victims.
Families and pilots said the administrative inquiry by France’s BEA investigation authority is in denial, and hope a judicial investigation, which reports next week, will be more impartial.