PARIS, October 5 (RIA Novosti) - A team of professional pilots from Air France pilots' union has concluded that faulty air speed sensors were the main cause of an Airbus A330 crash over the Atlantic in June, the French media said.
Air France Flight 447 en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris crashed into the Atlantic on June 1 killing all 228 people on board. The crash is the worst in the airline's 75-year history, and the world's worst for almost a decade.
According to France's Journal du Dimanche, the pilots' union report primarily blames the plane's manufacturer Airbus, Air France, civil aviation authorities and the European Aviation Safety Agency for neglecting problems with air speed sensors, also called pilot probes, which have been known to Airbus authorities since at least 2001.
Pilots say that if the appropriate measures have been taken, the crash "would have probably been avoided."
EASA, a European Union safety agency, has banned the model of Thales sensor, which was installed on the crashed Air France jet and restricted the use of a newer Thales model, following a preliminary investigation into the Flight 447 crash.
A recent report by the French air accident investigation agency BEA said, though, that the defective speed sensors were not the only explanation for the accident. The flight recorders have not yet been found and the search for them is expected to resume sometime in the fall.
Only 51 bodies were recovered from the crash site off Brazil's northeast coast in Atlantic. Autopsies carried out by Brazilian experts said the injuries suggest that the plane broke up in the air. Meanwhile, Brazil has failed to provide France with the autopsy reports due to lengthy legal procedures.
A total of 640 fragments from the Airbus A330 plane, including the entire tailfin, have been transferred by boat to a French Defense Ministry aeronautical laboratory in Toulouse.