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Ten families of AirAsia crash victims sue Airbus in US

 | June 30, 2015

Attorney says suit against airline also likely as compensation on offer was lower than in other recent incidents.

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CHICAGO: The families of ten passengers who lost their lives in the AirAsia Flight QZ 8501 in December last year have commenced legal action in the United States against Airbus, the manufacturer of the ill-fated A320 aircraft involved in the incident, reports Business Times, with AirAsia also set to be included in the lawsuit.

Flight QZ8501 was plying the Surabaya-Singapore route when it crashed into the Java Sea killing all 162 on board, including seven crew members.

Investigators believe that just prior to the crash the plane had attempted a steep climb which was outside the capacity of the aircraft.

In a media release issued yesterday, Chicago-based US attorney Floyd A Wisner, principal of Wisnar Law Firm, claimed that while bad weather was one factor which contributed to the accident, the aircraft had also suffered a malfunction of its ‘fly-by-wire’ system.

According to Airbus, the ‘fly-by-wire’ system provides direct input through electrical signals for more precise commands. In addition, the control system monitors pilot commands to ensure the aircraft is kept within a safety margin called the ‘flight protection envelope.’

However, Wisner claims that Airbus’ fly-by-wire systems were prone to malfunction.

“Airbus and its supplier manufacturers are aware of problems that cause the fly-by-wire protection to malfunction, yet they appear to have done nothing about it, despite many incidents,” he was quoted as saying.

Wisner also criticised AirAsia, saying that the compensation they had offered families of victims was much lower than what was on offer in other current cases, including MH370, MH17 and the recent Germanwings crash.

As a result, he said that his firm intended to include the airline in the legal action.

Wisner also said that he was expecting more families of Indonesian victims to join the case.

Filed in Illinois, the lawsuit is also said to have named Honeywell International and Motorola Inc as defendants.


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