Air France pilots demand US-made air speed monitors | world | Hindustan Times
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Air France pilots demand US-made air speed monitors

world Updated: Jul 29, 2009 22:16 IST

The top pilots' union at Air France demanded on Wednesday that European airspeed monitors be replaced by US-made models across the airline's fleet after a new malfunction was reported this month.

An Airbus 320 equipped with new speed probes made by European electronics giant Thales was flying from Rome to Paris on July 13 when the sensors, known as pitot tubes, broke down, Air France said late on Tuesday.

The SNPL pilots' union demanded the Thales monitors be replaced by those made by US-based Goodrich, which provides pitot tubes to 70 per cent of the world's aircraft.

Air France decided on June 12 to upgrade all pitot probes after pilots raised the alarm following the crash of Flight 447 in the Atlantic with 228 people on board, the airline's worst disaster in its 75-year history.

The union said the Goodrich models' record showed it had been problem-free.

"We are asking that the fleet be modified with sensors that have not been the object of any complaint," said union spokesman Erick Derivry.

The SNPL "wants the entire fleet to be equipped with Goodrich models that would replace the Thales sensors," he said.

Air France said the malfunction of the probes on the Rome to Paris flight "lasted only a few seconds" and did not jeopardise the safety of the passengers.

French air safety officials are probing the incident.