Sad last minutes of the match air france flight The ship, which was bound for Paris from Rio de Janeiro and was thrown into the Atlantic Ocean in free fall in 2009, killing all 228 people on board, will be examined Monday as a major lawsuit is filed in Paris.
The two heavyweights of the aviation industry – airline Air Franceand aircraft manufacturer Airbus are on trial for manslaughter for the worst plane crash in the French airline’s history.
It is the first time French companies are prosecuted directly instead of individuals after a plane crash, and families’ lawyers have struggled for years to bring the case to court.
The crash on June 1, 2009 shook the world of air travel when flight AF477 disappeared from radars as it crossed the night sky during a storm over the Atlantic. Brazil and Senegal. The Airbus A330 had disappeared without a distress signal.
Days later, debris was found in the ocean, but it took nearly two years to find the bulk of the fuselage and recover the “black box” flight recorders. unprecedented French search effort It involved dredging 17,000 square kilometers of ocean bed at depths of up to 4,000 meters over 22 months.
The aircraft was carrying 12 crew and 216 passengers of 33 different nationalities. killed.
Airplanes mostly crash on land, and the AF477 ocean crash has come to be seen as one of a handful of accidents that changed aviation. It led to changes in safety regulations, pilot training, and the use of airspeed sensors.
At the trial, he will listen to in-depth details from the last, deadly minutes in the cockpit as the confused captain and co-pilots battle to control the plane.
As the plane approached the equator en route to Paris, it had entered the “intertropical convergence zone” that produced volatile storms, often with heavy rainfall. When a storm hit the plane, ice crystals at high altitudes disabled the plane’s airspeed sensors, blocking speed and altitude information. Autopilot functions stopped working.
The 205-ton jet entered a streamlined cabin and then dived.
A co-pilot can be heard saying “We lost speed” in the flight log before other gauges accidentally showed a loss of altitude and a series of alarm messages appeared on the cockpit screens. “I don’t know what’s going on,” one of the pilots says.
The historical essay will consider the role of airspeed sensors and pilots.
Daniele Lamy, head of victims’ group Entraide et Solidarité, told AFP: “We look forward to an impartial and exemplary trial so that this never happens again and as a result the two defendants make safety their priority over just profitability.”
Air France and Airbus They could face potential fines of up to 225,000 euros (part of their annual income) but damage their reputation if found criminally liable.
Both companies denied any criminal negligence, and the magistrates who oversaw the case, tying the crash mainly to pilot error, dropped the charges in 2019.
This decision infuriated the victims’ families, and in 2021 a Paris appeals court ruled there was enough evidence to allow the case to continue.
“Air France … will continue to demonstrate that it did not commit any criminal offenses that caused this accident and will seek acquittal,” the airline told AFP. Said.
Airbus, the maker of the A330 jet, which entered service just four years before the crash, did not comment before the hearing, but also denied any criminal negligence.
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