Plane crash inquest

An inquest into the death of Arthur Coakley, from North Yorkshire, has recorded a narrative verdict, stating that a combination of systematic failures and pilot error was to blame for the plane crash, in which he died.

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Widow fighting for apology from airline after her husband died in a plane crash

The widow of a man killed when an Air France flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris crashed into the sea said her family are still fighting for an apology from the airline.

Arthur Coakley was one of hundreds killed that night. His widow, Patricia, said everyone still grieving from the crash deserves to hear the company say sorry. An inquest heard that technological and pilot errors were to blame for the accident.

Gregg Easteal reports.

Airline expresses "sadness and sympathy" for crash death

An airline has responded the widow of one of its passengers, who was killed when a plane came down over the Atlantic Ocean. Patricia Coakley said she had never had an apology from Air France after her husband, Arthur, died in the crash in 2009.

The airline expressed its "sadness and sympathy".

Air France immediately put in place family support via counselling with doctors and psychologists as well as specially trained Air France volunteers whose role it was to help families with whichever need they had. A dedicated volunteer was assigned to Mr Coakley’s family and he was in regular contact with Mrs Coakley. Air France’s CEO and Chairman also wrote individually to all the families expressing their deep sadness and sympathy for the terrible ordeal that families were facing._

Since 2009, a dedicated team has been at the disposal of the families and still is today. Every year, on the anniversary date of the accident, Air France holds a remembrance ceremony in memory of the passengers and crew of flight AF447._

All through the searches which were funded by Air France to find the wreckage of flight AF447 and which lasted two years, Air France communicated with the families on a regular basis, reiterating its regrets and offering its total commitment and support._

– Spokesman, Air France


Coroner warns commercial pilots may rely too much on technology

A coroner has warned pilots may be overly reliant on technology, after a man died in a plane crash over the Atlantic Ocean.

Arthur Coakley, from North Yorkshire, was on an Air France flight between Rio de Janeiro and Paris, when it came down in 2009.

Arthur Coakley, from Sandsend, was a structural design engineer and a partner in an oil firm Credit: ITV

At an inquest into his death, at Northallerton County Hall, coroner Michael Oakley delivered a narrative verdict. He said the pilots involved were not adequately trained to handle the plane safely in the circumstances which had arisen.

He warned that the disaster highlighted a serious public concern, that pilots may not be retaining the skills required to fly commercial aircraft.

He also said there had been systematic failures and a blockage of the aircraft's pitot tubes, which measure fluid pressures.

He concluded his verdict by saying a number of factors compromised the flying ability of the pilots that day.

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