FAA Orders Replacement of Thales Pitot Tubes

By Tish Drake | September 3, 2009
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FAA ordered U.S. airlines operating Airbus A330s and A340s to replace at least two of three pitot static tubes made by Thales with equipment made by Goodrich. According to an Airworthiness Directive (AD) notice filed in the Federal Register, the order is effective Sept. 9; FAA is receiving comments on the AD until Oct. 5. "We are issuing this AD to prevent airspeed discrepancies, which could lead to disconnection of the autopilot and/or auto-thrust functions, and reversion to flight control alternate law and consequent increased pilot workload. Depending on the prevailing airplane altitude and weather, this condition, if not corrected, could result in reduced control of the airplane," according to the notice. The order is connected to the ongoing investigation of Air France crash in June. European Aviation Safety Agency issued a similar order Aug. 31.

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