Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Air Crash Widow Is Still Waiting for an Apology

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Air Crash Widow Is Still Waiting for an Apology

Article excerpt

Byline: Sophie Barley Reporter

THE widow of a Middlesbroughborn businessman who died when a plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean said she is still waiting for an apology from the airline, four years after the disaster.

Arthur Coakley, 61, was one of the 228 people who died after the Air France flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris crashed into the North Atlantic on June 1, 2009.

An inquest into the death of Mr Coakley and another passenger - Neil Warrier, 48, from London - was heard at Northallerton County Hall yesterday.

The inquest heard that the crash happened as a result of both technical failure and pilot errors.

Following a three-year investigation by French air accident investigation agency BEA, it was found that there had been systematic failures and a blockage of the aircraft's pitot tubes, used to measure fluid pressures.

The French investigators said that the pilots were not adequately trained to handle the aircraft safely in the particular high altitude emergency situation.

Recording a narrative verdict, Coroner Michael Oakley said the disaster "highlights serious public concern" of whether pilots are overly dependent on technology.

Speaking after the inquest, Mr Coakley's widow Patricia said: "We want an apology. It is very simple. I think everybody involved deserves an apology from Air France, but they have refused to give it."

Mr Coakley, from Sandsend, Whitby, was a structural design engineer and a founder and partner of PD&MS, based in Aberdeen.

He travelled the world with his job and in May 2009 he had been working in Rio de Janeiro.

In a statement written by Mrs Coakley and read to the court by Mr Oakley, she said that her husband was initially due to return home on May 19 but he had to delay the journey due to work problems. On May 31 he rang his wife from the departure lounge of Rio de Janeiro Galeao airport to say he was looking forward to returning home and excited for their upcoming holiday to Corfu. …

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