Air crash scene
An investigation into the mysterious 2009 crash of Air France Flight 447 into
the southern Atlantic Ocean will also include a probe into Air France-KLM, the
airline's attorney said Friday.
A French magistrate already is investigating Airbus for involuntary
manslaughter in connection with the crash, according to the airline manufacturer and a court spokeswoman. However, Fernand Garnault, the attorney for Air France-KLM, said he doesn't know why the airline is part of the investigation.
He said the magistrate is looking into a problem involving pitot tubes, which
measure a plane's air speed. Still, "there is nothing new in this case
and there is no proof that the pitot tubes caused the crash," Garnault told CNN.
Judge Sylvie Zimmerman is presiding over the inquiry into the
court spokeswoman Sylvie Polack told CNN on Thursday. The plane fell into the
sea while traveling from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, killing all 228 people aboard.
Thomas Enders, CEO of Airbus, disagreed with the decision to commence the
"On behalf of Airbus, I have noted the absence of facts supporting
this step and
stated our strong disagreement," Enders said in a written statement.
"Airbus maintains that the focus should be on finding the cause of
and making sure it can never happen again. Airbus will continue to support the
investigation, including the continued search for the flight
recorders, which is
the only sure way to know the truth," he said.
Investigators have not yet established what caused the crash, and
large parts of
the plane -- including both flight recorders -- have never been found, despite
an extensive search operation that included a French navy submarine.
The plane went down in stormy weather, and most of the bodies were never
Studies of the debris and bodies that were found led France's air accident
investigation agency, the BEA, to conclude the plane hit the water belly first,
Oxygen masks were not deployed, indicating that the cabin did not depressurize,
the BEA revealed in a 2009 report.
Automated messages sent from the plane in the minutes before the crash showed there were problems measuring air speed, the investigators said, though they said that alone was not enough to cause the disaster.
The area where the plane went down is far out in the Atlantic -- two to four
days by ship from the nearest ports in Brazil or Senegal in West Africa. The
rough underwater terrain includes mountains and valleys, the BEA said.