September 6, 2019 / 4:05 PM / 14 days ago

Prosecutors appeal against dropping of Air France charges over 2009 crash

PARIS (Reuters) - French prosecutors appealed on Friday against a decision by magistrates not to prosecute Air France over the 2009 crash of a passenger aircraft flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in which all 228 on board died.

Prosecutors had recommended that Air France stand trial over the crash but magistrates overruled the prosecutors and dropped the charges.

Lawyers representing families of victims had also signaled their intention to appeal after the magistrates decision this week.

In their conclusions, seen by Reuters, the judges said the pilots of the Airbus A330 had failed to process all the warnings and instrument readings provided by the aircraft.

The accident was the deadliest in the history of both Air France and the A330.

The plane plunged into the Atlantic ocean en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris after entering an aerodynamic stall and falling from an altitude of 38,000 feet during a storm, its engines running but its wings losing lift.

It took salvage teams nearly two years to locate the A330’s flight recorders on the ocean floor.

A decade later, the aviation industry is still implementing lessons learned from the crash. Changes have focused on training, cockpit procedures and the tracking of aircraft in remote zones.

Reporting by Emmanuel Jarry; Writing by Matthias Blamont and Christian Lowe; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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