Air France probe focuses on airspeed instruments

Airspeed instruments on Air France Flight 447 were not replaced as the maker recommended before the plane crashed in turbulent weather, the French agency investigating the disaster said Saturday. The French accident investigation agency, BEA, found the doomed plane received inconsistent airspeed readings by different instruments as it struggled in a massive thunderstorm on its flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris with 228 people aboard. No confirmed debris from the aircraft has been found and without its black box recorders, aviation investigators have little information to help them determine what caused the crash. Airbus had recommended to all its airline customers that they replace speed-measuring instruments known as Pitot tubes on the A330, the model used for Flight 447, said Paul-Louis Arslanian, the head of the agency. "They hadn't yet been replaced" on the plane that crashed, said Alain Bouillard, head of the French investigation. Air France declined immediate comment.