Air France and Airbus faced charges of involuntary manslaughter, which both companies denied and called for the lawsuit to be dismissed.
Companies were threatened with a fine of up to 225,000 euros (5.3 million crowns). The jury ultimately concluded that, if there had been misconduct, its connection to the accident was “uncertain” and could not be proven.
“Given the scientific knowledge at the time, it was not possible to establish any criminal misconduct,” said one of the judges, according to French television station BFM TV.
Airbus A330 flight AF447 crashed into the Atlantic on June 1, 2009. Passengers and crew members of three dozen nationalities died on board. It was the worst crash in the history of Air France.
The wreckage of the machine was found at the bottom of the ocean only two years later at a depth of almost four thousand meters, while the reason for the crash was unclear for a long time. The last bodies of the victims and one of the two black boxes that recorded the flight data were only recovered in 2011.
A 2012 investigative report concluded that deficiencies in the aircraft’s equipment and inappropriate reactions by stressed pilots contributed to the accident. A series of expert analyzes showed, among other things, that icing on the speed sensors confused the pilots.
Air France pilots got into a fight during the flight
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