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Source: Reuters

Reuters Summit-Goodrich says sensor demand surged after crash

Published: 15 Dec 2009 10:28:17 PST

WASHINGTON, Dec 15 - Goodrich Corp has seen a surge in demand for its aircraft speed sensors after regulators clamped down on a competing model used by an Air France jet that crashed in the Atlantic, Goodrich's top financial executive said on Tuesday.

Potentially faulty speed readings from sensors made by France's Thales have been at the center of investigations into the crash of an Air France jet en route from Brazil to Paris on June 1.

In August, European regulators banned the model of Thales sensor installed on the crashed Airbus A330 and restricted the use of a newer Thales model.

"We have seen some surge in demand as a result because the authorities required that at least two of three probes on the aircraft need to be Goodrich sensors," Chief Financial Officer Scott Kuechle told the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit in Washington.

He said Goodrich had not noticed any problems with its own probes in checks carried out following the accident.

On Sept. 22, the European Aviation Safety Agency reported loose fittings on a number of Goodrich sensors, known as pitot probes, but the company denied supplying a faulty batch.

Pitot probes take pressure readings that can be used by aircraft systems to calculate speed. The value of each device is in the "thousands of dollars," Kuechle said.

All 228 people on board were killed when Air France flight AF447 crashed en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. It was the airline's worst accident ever and the worst globally in eight years.

Investigators say the cause of the crash remains a mystery.

France is due to issue a report on Thursday that will recommend ways to help locate black boxes more easily. But it is unlikely to recommend further action on speed sensors, sources familiar with the matter have said.

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