Air France and Airbus face trial for manslaughter over crash that saw 228 people die in 2009

[ad_1]

Air France and Airbus will go on trial for manslaughter this week over a crash in which 228 people – including five Britons – died after a flight from Rio to Paris plunged into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009.

It follows a 13-year fight for justice by the families of those who lost their lives in France‘s worst ever air disaster.

A victims’ support group, who know they will be plunged ‘back into extremely painful moments’ have branded the trial as ‘absolutely essential for the memory of those who disappeared, and for the families’.

Flight AF447 went crashing down into the Atlantic on June 1, 2009, on its way to the French capital after three pilots, including Captain Marc Dubois and Pierre-Cedric Bonin, panicked and failed to deal with malfunctioning equipment during a storm. 

Fatalities from the Airbus A330 flight included Alexander Bjoroy, an 11-year-old boarder at Clifton College in Bristol, and PR executive Neil Warrior, 48.

Among the other victims were Graham Gardner, a 52-year-old oil worker from Gourock, in Renfrewshire, and Arthur Coakley, 61, an engineer from Whitby in North Yorkshire.

It took two years to find the wreckage of the plane which was 13,000 feet deep. It was discovered by undersea technology including remote controlled submarines.

Air France and Airbus face trial for manslaughter over crash that saw 228 people die in 2009

Air France and Airbus will go on trial for manslaughter for the 2009 Rio to Paris crash in which 228 people including five British passengers died. Pictured: Rescuers retrieve debris from the jet in the Atlantic Ocean

Despite an enquiry concluding that the crash was caused by an Air France pilot error and technical problems with the Airbus, judges dismissed the cases in August 2019.

However, this decision was reversed last year by the Paris Appeal Court, meaning the two companies will go on trial from Monday for ‘negligence and recklessness leading to manslaughter’.

But grieving families are still furious that no company executives will be put on trial.

Nelson Marinho, whose son was among the victims, said: ‘They have changed various directors, both at Airbus and Air France, so who will they arrest? No one. There won’t be justice. That’s sadly the truth.’

AirFrance and Airbus face fines of up to €225,000, or just under £200,000, but no one will be jailed from the trial. 

Daniele Lamy, president of a victims’ support group, said: ‘The trial will plunge us back into extremely painful moments, but this trial is absolutely essential for the memory of those who disappeared, and for the families.’

Flight AF447 plunged into the Atlantic on June 1, 2009, after pilots panicked and failed to deal with malfunctioning equipment during a storm

Flight AF447 plunged into the Atlantic on June 1, 2009, after pilots panicked and failed to deal with malfunctioning equipment during a storm

The trial will take place following a 13-year fight for justice by families of those who lost their lives in the worst air disaster in French history. Pictured: Air France memorial

The trial will take place following a 13-year fight for justice by families of those who lost their lives in the worst air disaster in French history. Pictured: Air France memorial

Prosecutors accuse Air France of failing to provide sufficient training in how pilots should react in case of malfunction of the Pitot tubes, which monitor speed.

The pilots provably reacted incorrectly when the plane stalled after the speed sensors froze over.

See also  Jessica Alves wears corset with elegant ruffled train in Cappadocia

France’s BEA crash investigation agency said in a detailed chronology of the crash that commands from the controls of the 32-year-old junior pilot on board had pulled the nose up as the aircraft became unstable and generated an audible stall warning.

This action went against the normal procedures which call for the nose to be lowered in response to an alert that the plane was about to lose lift or, in technical parlance, ‘stall’.

Graham Gardner

Arthur Coakley

Among those who died on the Airbus was Graham Gardner, an oil worker from Gourock, in Renfrewshire (left), and Arthur Coakley, an engineer from Whitby in North Yorkshire (right)

Air France, which has paid out undisclosed compensation to the families of victims, said in a statement that it would prove ‘it has not committed a crime’.

Airbus also denies any wrongdoing, blaming pilot error for what happened.

Among the other victims were also three young Irish doctors, returning from a two-week holiday in Brazil.

Eithne Walls, 29 had been working at the Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin and was on a trip with Aisling Butler, 26, and Jane Deasy, 27. All had been friends since they were students at Trinity College Dublin.

Since the disaster, pilot training on dealing with technical breakdown is said to have been stepped up by Air France.

In all, the aircraft carried 216 passengers and 12 crew members of 32 nationalities, including 72 French people, 59 Brazilians, 26 Germans, nine Chinese, nine Italians and the five Britons.

The Airbus and Air France trial at the Paris Criminal Court starts on Monday and is due to conclude on December 8.

See also  Trans pharmacist was happy to reveal she still has a penis in interview

[ad_2]

Source link