Airlines replace airspeed monitors

RECIFE, Brazil — Air France and other airlines moved Tuesday to replace speed monitors suspected of feeding false information to the computers of Flight 447 and leading to a series of failures that broke the plane apart over the Atlantic Ocean

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Four more bodies were pulled from the sea Tuesday, and helicopters began ferrying other remains to shore. A total of 28 bodies have been recovered; 200 others have yet to be found.

Air France said it began replacing the Pitot tubes on its A330 and A340 jets in May after pilots reported several incidents of icing leading to a loss of airspeed data. The monitors had not yet been replaced on the A330 that was destroyed en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.

On Tuesday, the airline assured its pilots that none of its A330s or A340s would fly without at least two of the new instruments, and that all Air France A330s and A340s will have all three Pitots replaced by July.

Other carriers, including Delta Air Lines Inc. and the Middle East's Qatar Airways, said they are upgrading the devices on dozens of Airbus planes. Delta subsidiary Northwest Airlines also has installed new Pitot tubes on its A319/320 aircraft, Delta spokeswoman Betsy Talton said.

And US Airways is replacing the Pitot tube component on its A330s, it said.

Two companies make the Pitot monitors for the A330 planes — France's Thales Group and Goodrich Corp. of Charlotte, N.C.

Some foreign airline executives have suggested that the problem was isolated to Thales instruments.

Airlines replace airspeed monitors 06/09/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 9, 2009 10:05pm]

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