Air France Pilots Blame Safety Agencies for Crash of Flight 447

Air France pilots have accused French and European air safety bodies of failing to prevent the crash of Flight 447 off Brazil last month because they ignored a history of dangerous failures in Airbus speed probes.

The Union of Air France Pilots (SPAF) made their charges amid suspicion in parts of the aviation world that French investigators, the airline, and the Airbus firm may be reluctant to pinpoint a design flaw as the cause of the disaster that killed 228 people.

Their view was reinforced today when Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, chief executive of Air France, suggested that pilots' failure to manage weather radar correctly may have led to the June 1 crash of the Rio-Paris flight.

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