French airline Air France and European manufacturer Airbus will face “manslaughter” for the crash of the Rio-Paris flight in 2009, which left 228 dead after French courts dismissed their appeals in a ruling issued on Wednesday and consulted this Thursday (26) by AFP.
This decision “ends 12 years of procedures filled with hope, uncertainty, humiliation, but never resignation”, reacted Danièle Lamy, president of the French association Entraide et Solidarité AF447 (flight number that took the Rio-Paris route), in a statement sent to AFP.
The manufacturer and the airline had filed an appeal after the announcement, on May 12, that they would be brought back before a French correctional court for this accident.
“All light can finally be shed on (this) tragedy, the story of a downfall that has been announced since 2008,” added Lamy, who hopes for “a fair trial, one that does not forget any possible culprits”.
Process dates have not yet been set.
Flight AF447, which ran between Rio de Janeiro and Paris, crashed in the middle of the Atlantic on June 1, 2009.
The pilots, disoriented by a failure of the anemometric probes in the middle of an area of meteorological instability, were unable to compensate for the loss of altitude of the A330, causing the death of 216 passengers and 12 crew on board. The wreckage and black boxes were later found at about 4,000 meters deep.
After a 10-year trial, the French investigating judges had decided to close the case in 2019, anticipating that the investigations had not allowed to establish “an intentional infringement by Airbus or Air France linked (…) to pilot failures ( …) at the origin of the accident”.
The appeals court, on the contrary, found that the airline “refrained from adopting an adapted training (…) and the information of the crews that were necessary” in view of the technical failure found, “which prevented the pilots from reacting as necessary,” said a source close to the investigation.
Airbus, in turn, “underestimated the seriousness of the failures of the anemometric probes (…) by not taking all the necessary measures to urgently inform the crews (…) and contribute to training them effectively”, he said. the court, according to this source.