Airspeed systems failed on US planes - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Airspeed systems failed on US planes

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Investigators have discovered that on at least 12 recent flights by U.S. jetliners, equipment malfunctioned and pilots had no idea how fast they were flying.

A similar breakdown is believed to have contributed to the Air France crash in the Atlantic that killed 228 people in June. The discovery gives new urgency to airlines already scrambling to replace air sensors in the wake of that crash.

Transportation officials are investigating a series of similar malfunctions. The recent discovery was described by people close to that investigation who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

The equipment failures all involved Northwest Airlines Airbus A330s. The malfunctions were brief, and all flights landed safely. All involved sensors were made by European electronics giant Thales Corp.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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