updated 7/28/2009 6:46:32 PM ET 2009-07-28T22:46:32

The pilot of an Air France plane flying from Rome to Paris this month spent a minute without information on the speed of the aircraft, which was equipped with new generation speed sensors installed after the June crash of another flight, the newspaper Le Figaro reported in an article for its Thursday edition.

The report said the lives of passengers on the July 13 flight were not in danger.

Deficient speed sensors, or Pitot tubes, were "a factor, but not the only one" in the June 1 of Air France Flight 447's crash into the Atlantic Ocean en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, chief crash investigator Alain Bouillard has said. That crash killed 228 people.

Air France had ordered the replacement of Pitot tubes on their Airbus aircraft and a new generation of sensors, located on the aircraft's exterior, are now being used. Both the old and new sensors are made by France's Thales Group.

Le Figaro cited an internal crew report on the Rome-Paris flight as saying there was a "brutal loss of speed indications," followed by the disappearance of information measuring wind force and other factors.

Telephone calls to Air France officials were not immediately answered. The airlines' offices were closed for the evening.

A spokesman for the main Air France pilots union confirmed the incident to The Associated Press, but said he did not have more information.

"We are aware of the incident. We are awaiting details," said Erick Derivry. If the problem is indeed with the Pitot tubes, the SNPL union will ask Air France "that planes be equipped with Goodrich sensors," he said.

The North Carolina-based Goodrich Corp. also makes Pitot tubes.

Le Figaro quoted an unnamed Air France official saying that "all necessary measures will be taken."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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