AF447: A head crash in the cockpit, ice on the outside, and too much freight in the hold?
It then points out that it has discovered that Airbus had also taken out a US patent on an invention to bypass the problems of faulty pitots, which it had acknowledged in its application as causing ‘errors in speed readings that could have catastrophic consequences.’
The article concludes with the claim that Airbus does have a little device that A330 operators can fit which in the case of unreliable speed indicators like those that seemed to plague the jet would indicate to pilots exactly what attitude they should hold the jet at under the particular circumstances encountered at the onset of failure, and until the ice was melted away by the heating elements in the pitot. This device, called Buss, cost about half a million dollars per jet, and had been turned down by Air France.
Der Spiegel basically holds the leading editorial franchise for bashing Airbus in Europe, and would disappoint many of its readers if it didn’t run a scathing indictment of the company or its wicked and evil parent EADS at least once every season. Those rants are usually full of obvious nonsense. The problem with Gehirnschlag im Cockpit is that only some parts of it have to be true for Air France to be in very serious trouble.
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