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Electronics Production | June 08, 2009

Ice may have damaged sensors of Air France plane

Ice damages on the speed sensors - supplied by Thales SA - may have resulted in incorrect measurements, transmitted by the Air France plane that crashed on June 1.
Investigators will ask Thales to supply information, because damage to the three external sensors is a possible cause of “incoherent” speed data transmitted by the airliner, Bloomberg reports. The A330 is equiped with a Pitot probe (Thales speed sensor) and has an electrical heating system incorporated in the unit to “limit the risk of icing,” Thales documentation states.

The Air France plane was apparently awaiting to have its speed sensors replaced. Airbus SAS had advised airlines over a year ago to replace the sensors on A330 jets. France’s chief crash investigator told journalists, that "the failure of the air sensor to convey reliable speed data may have kicked off the chain of events", Bloomberg reports.

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