Air France and Airbus face test call in Paris over fatal crash: source

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FILE PHOTO: The rear fin of the wreckage of Air France Airbus flight AF447, which crashed in the mid-Atlantic after leaving Rio de Janeiro, is unloaded from a boat upon arrival at the port of Pauillac in southwestern France, end of July 14, 2009. REUTERS / Olivier Pon / File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) – The Paris public prosecutor has called for Air France and Airbus to stand trial for manslaughter in the crash of flight AF447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in 2009, which killed all 228 people on board, a judicial source told Reuters.

An appeals court hearing to rule on the prosecutor’s request has been set for March 4 at 12 p.m. GMT, the source added on Wednesday, confirming a previous report from Le Parisien newspaper published on its website.

The Paris prosecutor’s office and Airbus could not be contacted immediately. Air France declined to comment.

French judges in 2019 dropped the lawsuits against Air France and the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus over the crash, saying the pilots had lost control of the plane.

French investigators discovered that the AF447 crew mismanaged the loss of speed readings from sensors stuck in storm ice and caused the plane to stall by holding its nose too high.

Le Parisien reports that the Paris prosecutor now claims that there have been “reprehensible offenses” on the part of Air France, particularly in the training of crews, and claims that Airbus underestimated the risks posed by the ice on the sensors.

The newspaper did not say how it got the information.

Report by Bertrand Boucey and Dominique Vidalon; Edited by Mark Potter and Alexander Smith

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