June 26, 2009 | Dave Janney

NTSB to Probe Problems on other Airbus Flights

Here is the story:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TRAVEL/06/26/airbus.problems/index.html

While we are far from reaching conclusions on what brought down Air France 447, there is at least some indication that air speed may have been a factor.

Air France is replacing the air speed indicators (pitot tubes) on its fleet of A330  aircraft.  What we cannot tell from the article is whether the same exact type of pitot tubes are on the other aircraft mentioned, so let’s not jump to any conclusions.

One thing I would like to mention is that airlines do have processes for the crew to follow in the event of an airspeed discrepancy.  Why the Air France crew was not able to respond is a key question that is still unanswered, although we do know weather like they encountered requires a great deal of extra work on the part of the crew.

There are still more questions than answers.  Until we have those answers, I’ll be more than happy to step onto an Airbus.  I have confidence that the NTSB will do all possible to determine if this is a generic issue.

This situation brings up an interesting question – how do different companies in your industry share information about events?  In the case of the airline industry, the aircraft manufacturers share information with those that operate their aircraft, and entities like the NTSB do as well.  Not every industry has this type of feedback mechanism however.  Food for thought.

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