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Air France to replace airspeed monitors within days


MOSCOW, June 9 (RIA Novosti) - Air France has said it will replace all of its airspeed monitors on its A330s and A340s in the next few days over concerns that faulty instruments may have caused last week's crash in the Atlantic.

The airline made the announcement after pilots were told not to fly the two airliner models until they have been modified.

"The Air France management summoned pilots' unions on Monday night to inform them on work to replace pitot probes," said Erick Derivry, the spokesman for the SNPL, France's main pilots' union. He added that the task would be completed "within days."

Flight 447 disappeared on June 1 four hours after taking off from Rio de Janeiro for Paris. All the 228 passengers and crew on board are presumed dead.

Search and rescue workers have so far discovered 28 bodies and hundreds of airplane fragments hundreds of kilometers northeast of Brazil's Fernando de Noronha archipelago, which is being used as a base for search operations.

Brazilian and French warships and aircraft are searching for more bodies and debris from the plane, including the flight data recorders, or black boxes, that could hold clues as to what happened.

Experts said on Monday that the recovery of the largely intact tail fin suggested the airliner broke up in mid-flight before crashing into the water. Finding part of the tail section raised hopes of finding the black boxes, which are located in the rear of the aircraft.

Wing fragments, seats, LCD screens, oxygen masks and some personal effects of passengers have also been found in the water.

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