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Formal Investigation Of Air France On Involuntary Manslaughter Charges Now Underway

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Air France A320 - Investigation Into Missing French PlaneAlmost two years after the deadly plane crash that killed 228 people over the Atlantic Ocean, Air France has been placed under formal investigation by a French judge on Friday.

The airliner faces involuntary manslaughter charges for the 2009 crash of one of its Airbus A330 jets.

Air France Flight 447 was en route to Paris from Rio de Janeiro when it disappeared.

Being put under investigation is a preliminary charge that opens the airliner up for a prolonged investigation of the crash. It’s one step short of being formally charged.

Airbus, the European builder of the fallen jet, was also charged yesterday by the same judge.

Despite the charges, there has been little evidence discovered that would shed light on what could have caused the crash.

Parts of the aircraft have been discovered, but none of them offers clues. The search for the jet’s flight recorders is set to continue on March 21.

Don’t miss the previous analysis of this tragedy: Experts Discuss Theories On Crash Of Air France Flight 447

Air France Logo - Investigation Into Flight's DisapperanceThree searches of the 6,600 square miles ocean bed near the crash site have failed to find the recorders or additional wreckage.

The lack of evidence has Air France calling foul, maintaining that without the flight recorders, culpability, or the lack of it, cannot be determined.

Aviation-safety experts have theorized that a faulty pitot tubes or speed sensor downed the plane. Others have argued that the plane’s fully computerized model made it hard to regain control.

The criminal investigation and a safety probe running parallel to the case may uncover these questions.

By Adriana Padilla for PeterGreenberg.com.

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