Inquests of two men who died in 2009 plane crash are finally to be held (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Inquests of two men who died in 2009 plane crash are finally to be held
THE INQUESTS of two men who were killed four years ago - when the ill-fated Air France flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris crashed into the sea - are finally to be held in October.
The two businessmen were plunged into the Atlantic Ocean, along with 228 other passengers and crew, on June 1, 2009, in an air disaster blamed on faulty equipment and inadequately-trained pilots.
One of the five Britons that died was Arthur Coakley, 61, from Sandsend, near Whitby.
His inquest will take place on October 1 in Northallerton’s County Hall, conducted by Coroner Michael Oakley – who will also be taking the inquest of Neil Warrier, another victim of the tragic crash.
Mr Warrier, originally from London, had been living and working in Cologne, Germany for around two years before the accident.
A spokeswoman from the coroner’s office in the eastern district of North Yorkshire said Mr Warrier did not necessarily have a connection to the area despite his inquest being held alongside Mr Coakley’s.
She said: “When an incident occurs abroad where there are deaths it is good practice for the coroner dealing with the first repatriated body to deal with all the inquests in that incident.”
After a three-year investigation by French air accident investigation agency BEA, calls were made for better training for pilots and stricter plane certification rules.
The airbus’ descent into the Atlantic lasted just three and a half minutes at a rate of 180ft a second.
The BEA report said the plane remained stalled throughout the descent, but that the engines were operating and responsive to commands.
In one fatal decision, the report says, one of the co-pilots nosed the Airbus A330 upward in a stall - instead of downward, as he should have - because of false data from sensors about the plane's position.
The plane crashed into the sea during a night-time thunderstorm in Air France's deadliest ever accident.
Middlesbrough-born Mr Coakley was a structural design engineer and partner in the PD&MS firm based at Aberdeen.
He had many working contacts on Teesside and was also a director at Wilton Engineering Services Ltd based in Middlesbrough.
Mr Warrier, 48, was European director of public relations for Mazda and had worked for the company since 2007.
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