French probe blames 2008 Air New Zealand crash on pilots

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A French investigation into the 2008 crash of an Air New Zealand jet that killed seven during a test flight was the fault of pilots undertaking a risky manoeuvre and poor maintenance procedures.

The Airbus A320 plunged into the sea off France's Mediterranean coast on November 27, 2008, killing five New Zealanders and two Germans who were conducting a low speed, low altitude test after a technical overhaul.

France's BEA air accident investigation agency, in its final report, said the pilots were not competent to fly at such a low level and that ground crew had incorrectly washed the Airbus A320, causing water to enter key detectors.

© 2010 AFP

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