BEA investigators blame human error for the Air France crash in June 2009. They said the junior pilots were not properly trained to deal with an emergency while their Captain was on a rest break. Their summary findings can be found here. La version complète est disponible uniquement en français à partir d’aujourd’hui.
According to the findings of an initial inquiry, the pilots were unable to bring the A330 under control in a tropical thunderstorm. When their captain returned they were in too much of a panic to even tell him what the problem was. Analysis of two black box recorders unveiled a malfunction of airspeed sensors, most likely due to them freezing up. But according to France’s BEA air accident unit the situation was “salvageable”. Readers may remember this was the opinion shared with us by an A330 training captain in May.
As one would expect, these findings were immediately rejected by Air France. Air France and Airbus now face manslaughter charges. This news compounds threats of strikes by pilots and cabin crew, which are unrelated to the AF447 findings.