A pilot for a major carrier tells us he “prays” the Air France crash investigators find the black boxes and flight recorders for Flight 447. Why? Because otherwise the investigation team will likely blame the pilots for what may well have been an Airbus structural failure.
As we noted earlier this week, the Airbus that crashed after takeoff from JFK in 2001 crashed because the vertical stabilizer (tail) snapped off. The break was later blamed on the co-pilot, who moved the rudder sharply to stabilise the plane after it hit wake turbulence. Our reaction as citizens (and air travellers) to this was “Why don’t they design the planes to handle that?” Judging from some of the comments on the post, some experts feel the same way.
Bloomberg has a write-up on the man who will be leading the Air France crash investigation. Here’s the paragraph that worries the pilot we heard from:
Paul-Louis Arslanian has his detractors. The French branch of the European Cockpit Association, which has 38,100 members, says he favours conclusions that protect manufacturers such as Toulouse, France-based Airbus at the expense of pilots.
We can only imagine the resources aircraft manufaturers bring to bear to protect their interests and businesses in cases like this. The pilots, meanwhile, are dead, so they can’t kick up much of a fuss.
So, we too hope the black boxes and voice recorders are found.
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