A330 comes under the scanner
Aircraft Engineers everywhere and also in India are conducting safety checks on Airbus 330 fleets after an Air France flight from Rio de Jeneiro to Paris crashed over the Atlantic on June 1, killing 228 people.india Updated: Jun 10, 2009 23:17 IST
Aircraft Engineers everywhere and also in India are conducting safety checks on Airbus 330 fleets after an Air France flight from Rio de Jeneiro to Paris crashed over the Atlantic on June 1, killing 228 people.
An Air France pilot union, representing 12 percent of its pilots, decided to shun the aircraft on Tuesday, until two of the three speed sensors are replaced. French air accident agency (BEA) suspects faulty speed sensors (that gave inconsistent speed readings) to be one of the factors responsible for the downed A330. The wind velocity-measuring device doesn’t give correct speed if damaged.
With about 20 such planes owned by Indian carriers, civil aviation authorities here have swung into action. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has sent a circular to all airlines to check their A330 fleets.
The regulator’s air safety department has asked the French manufacturer under the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) rules for possible remedial and precautionary measures.
Jet Airways has the biggest A330 fleet in India with 12 planes. One of its spokespersons said, “Last year Airbus had called for an inspection of Airspeed Indication system of the A 330 fleet. A programme was initiated and all inspections according to the manufacturers’ requirements were completed by April 2009.”
An Air India spokesperson said, “Airbus, vide their communication - Operators Information Telex, advised Air India to carry out a check on "Pitot Static Tubes" (speed sensors) fitted on the Airbus A330 aircraft. There are four Pitot tubes in an aircraft. Air India carried out the check on both the aircraft in its fleet and they were found in order.”
Indian pilot bodies, however, are satisfied with the A330. “We have not had any problems with it. Airlines are taking necessary precautions,” said a member of the Indian commercial pilots association.