Swiss to replace speed probes on Airbus A330 jets

10th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

Swiss airline unilaterally decide to dispose of 'pitot probes' amid speculation over their safety.

Geneva -- Swiss International Airlines on Tuesday said it would replace the airspeed probes on its Airbus A330 jets, one week after one such jet flown by Air France crashed into the Atlantic, a news agency reported.

Eight of Swiss's planes would be affected by the change, Franco Gullotti, spokesman for the airline which is part of the Lufthansa group, told Swiss news agency ATS.

Gulloti said the company, part of the Lufthansa group, had taken the decision unilaterally. He said the so-called 'pitot probes' had been fitted for 10 years with one incident signalled in 2007

It was announced as the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued a statement to say "the Airbus A330 type and all other Airbus aircraft types are airworthy and safe to operate."

The decision to fit new airspeed probes on A330 planes came as one French union urged Air France pilots not to fly the jets, amid speculation that faulty pitots may have led to the fatal accident that claimed 228 lives.

According to a memo obtained by AFP, Air France warned its pilots in November about "a significant number of incidents" linked to the pitots.

The memo, dated 6 November 2008, describes false speed readings; different speed readings on the pilot's control panel and that of the copilot; and the automatic pilot cutting out.

AFP / Expatica

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