Air France and Airbus on trial for MANSLAUGHTER for Flight AF447 crash that killed 228 people
PARIS: The most alarming air tragedy in the history of Air France killed people from 33 different countries and had a long-term impact, leading to changes in air safety regulations, pilot training, and the use of airspeed sensors. Air France and Airbus will face trial for manslaughter in connection with a 2009 crash that claimed the lives of 228 people, five of whom were Britons. The crash occurred after a flight from Rio to Paris crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. It comes after a 13-year battle for justice by the families of those who died in the terrible crash.
A victims' support group has dubbed the trial as "absolutely essential for the memory of those who disappeared, and for the families," knowing that it will force them "back into extremely painful moments." On June 1, 2009, while en route to Paris, Flight AF447 crashed into the Atlantic after three pilots, including Captain Marc Dubois and Pierre-Cedric Bonin, lost control of the aircraft due to equipment failure during a storm and panicked.
Among those killed on the Airbus A330 flight were 48-year-old PR executive Neil Warrior and 11-year-old boarder Alexander Bjoroy of Bristol's Clifton College. The other victims included Arthur Coakley, a 61-year-old engineer from Whitby in North Yorkshire, and Graham Gardner, a 52-year-old oil worker from Gourock in Renfrewshire. The plane's wreckage, which was 13,000 feet below the surface, was located after two years. Remote-controlled submarine technology, among other things, was used to find it.
'Negligence and recklessness leading to manslaughter'
Judges dismissed the cases in August 2019 even though an investigation found that the crash was caused by an Air France pilot error and technical issues with the Airbus. The Paris Appeal Court overturned this ruling last year, so the two businesses will now face trial starting on Monday for "negligence and recklessness leading to manslaughter."
'Who will they arrest? No one'
Families of the victims, however, are still incensed that no company executives will be put on trial, Daily Mail reported. Nelson Marinho, who lost his son, stated, "They have changed various directors, both at Airbus and Air France, so who will they arrest? No one. There won't be justice. That's sadly the truth."
'Trial is absolutely essential'
Despite the fact that Air France and Airbus could be fined up to €225,000 (approx $2,19,103), no one will go to jail as a result of the trial. Daniele Lamy, president of a victims' support group, stated, "The trial will plunge us back into extremely painful moments, but this trial is absolutely essential for the memory of those who disappeared, and for the families."
'Pilots' actions were provably wrong. '
Daily Mail reports that Air France is accused by the prosecution of failing to adequately train pilots on what to do in the event that the Pitot tubes, which measure speed, malfunction. When the speed sensors froze over and the plane stalled, the pilots' actions were provably wrong. The 32-year-old junior pilot at the controls had pulled the nose up as the aircraft became unstable and produced an audible stall warning, according to the BEA crash investigation agency in France, which provided a detailed chronology of the crash. This deviated from the standard operating procedure, which dictates that the nose should be lowered in response to a warning that the plane was about to lose lift, or, in technical speak, "stall."
'Families seek truth'
The businesses claim that they are not criminally at fault, and Air France has already made compensation for damages to families. Unlikely judges overruled investigators' arguments for dropping the case and decided to take it to trial, ABC reports. Ophelie Toulliou, whose 27-year-old brother Nicolas was killed, said to The Associated Press. "We made a promise to our loved ones to have the truth for them and to ensure that they didn’t die for nothing. But we are also fighting for collective security, in fact, for all those who board an Airbus every day, or Air France, every day."
The trial is anticipated to concentrate on two crucial elements: pilot error and the icing over of external sensors known as pitot tubes.