The number of U.S. airliners (Airbus 330s) with malfunctioning speed systems is up to 12, the Associated Press reports today. All of them involve Airbus jets operated by Northwest Airlines.
Transportation officials are investigating a series of similar malfunctions. The recent discovery was described by people close to that investigation who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
If pilots don’t know how fast they’re flying — and apparently the pilots on these flights didn’t — there’s a chance the jets could break apart by exceeding their structural limits. That is believed to have been a possible contributor to the Air France crash off the coast of Brazil in June.
Northwest and US Airways are the only (U.S.) airlines operating Airbus (330) jets.