Problems Found in Airspeed Sensors on Airbus A330 Planes
447 over the Atlantic Ocean on June 1 has also malfunctioned on at least a dozen
problems on planes are more widespread than previously believed. It also gives
new urgency to airlines already scrambling to replace the part, an air sensor,
and figure out how the errors went undetected despite safety systems.
the Air France crash on a Rio de Janeiro to Paris flight and two other recent
in-flight malfunctions. The failures were described by people with knowledge
of the investigation who spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were
not authorized to comment publicly.
French investigators have focused on the possibility that Flight 447’s sensors
iced over and sent false speed information to the computers as the plane ran into
an area of storms at about 35,000 feet.
a loss of airspeed data.
turbulence while on autopilot outside of Kagoshima, Japan. According to an N.T.S.B.
report, speed data began to fluctuate. The plane alerted pilots it was going
too fast. Autopilot and other systems began shutting down, putting nearly all
the plane’s control in the hands of the pilot, something that usually happens
only in emergencies.
and altitude data while flying from Miami to SÃ£o Paulo, Brazil. Autopilot and
automatic power also shut down and the pilot took over, according to an N.T.S.B.
report. The computer systems came back about five minutes later.
this happened in Air France and maybe wasn’t dealt with effectively," said Bill
Voss, president of the Flight Safety Foundation, an aviation safety research group.
other malfunctions under investigation involved planes with sensors made by the
European company Thales.