Airbus Advises Airlines to Replace Pitot Tubes

According to a story in the New York Times, Airbus is recommending to all operators of its Airbus A330 and A340 wide-body planes replace the pitot tubes made by Thales with those from Goodrich. The move comes in anticipation of a safety directive from the European Air Safety Agency in the wake of the Air France flight 447 crash. Pitot tubes on Airbus 320 models were recommended to be replaced two years ago, the Times says.

Airbus and  EASA say that this is a precautionary measure since the exact cause of the crash of Air France Flight 447, while suspected to involve pitot tubes, is not yet proven.

Moisture problems with pitot tubes led to a crash of a US Air Force B-2 bomber on take-off at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam in 2008, and a near crash there the year before.

In other Air France 447-related news, Airbus indicated that it is willing to fund an extended search for the crash's flight data recorder and wreckage, the New York Times says.

According to the Times,

"Investigators this month abandoned the audio search for the flight recorders’ 'pingers,' which are designed to emit a signal for 30 to 40 days, but they have continued to hunt using diving equipment and sonar scanners towed by a French frigate. Those efforts are due to go on until Aug. 22."

The Airbus offer will help extend the search if nothing is found by the 22nd of August.

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