Airbus is warning pilots about a dangerous potential malfunction of speed sensors on aircraft like the Air France A330 that crashed into the Atlantic last year, killing all 228 people aboard, including a Canadian.

The European jet maker has sent the warning over Pitot tubes to the roughly 100 operators of its A330 and A340-200 and A340-300 long-range, widebody aircraft.

Airbus spokesman Justin Dubon said Tuesday the warning advises pilots not to re-engage automatic pilot following false readings from airspeed indicators until they have double-checked the readings.

Airbus has discovered that in some cases two Pitots can give matching, incorrect speed data, which could lead pilots to re-engage autopilot prematurely.

Pitots are suspected of a role in the June 2009 Rio-to-Paris crash.

The aircraft went down after running into thunderstorms and turbulence over the ocean. Air France received an automatic message from Flight 447 signalling an electrical circuit malfunction about four hours into the flight.

The passengers who were killed included Canadian Brad Clemes, 49. The married father of two adult sons was originally from Guelph, Ont., but his family had been living in Belgium.