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Air France’s reaction to the publication of the BEA’s final report on the AF447 accident

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Thursday 5 July 2012

Today, Air France received the French Accident Investigation Bureau’s (BEA) final report on the accident to flight AF 447 Rio-Paris on 1 June 2009.

Air France’s reaction to the publication of the BEA’s final report on the AF447 accident

Air France would like once again to pay tribute to the memory of the passengers and crew members who lost their lives in this accident, and wishes to express its full solidarity with the victims’ families. 

The Company wishes to thank the BEA experts for their extensive work allowing to clarify the causes and contributing factors to this tragedy that has profoundly affected Air France and the entire air transport community. 

In its analysis and conclusions, the BEA underlines a sequence and combination of several factors – technical and human – that led to the loss of the aircraft in just over four minutes. It confirms that the crew was properly trained and qualified in accordance with regulations and that the aircraft systems were functioning in accordance with design and met the applicable certification criteria. 

The BEA report describes a crew who acted in line with the information provided by the cockpit instruments and systems, and the aircraft behaviour as it was perceptible in the cockpit: instrument indications, triggering and stoppage of the alarms, aerodynamic noise, aircraft vibrations, etc. The reading of the various data did not enable them to apply the appropriate action. 

In this deteriorated aircraft cockpit environment, the crew, with the skills of one flight captain and two first officers, were committed to carrying out their task of piloting the aircraft to the very end. 

Air France wishes to pay tribute to their courage and determination in these extreme conditions. 

The recommendations of the report set out a series of lines of improvement in several areas intended for all industry players:

  • organization of back-up and improvement of communication systems,
  • instrumentation, alarm systems and operational logic and aircraft protection laws,
  • crew training and information programmes and resources to be provided by the manufacturers, authorities and airlines, particularly in specific situations with an element of surprise, the stall recovery procedures having been modified since the accident, 
  • analysis and sharing of feedback within the aeronautical industry.

These recommendations are intended for all aeronautical and air transport players with a view to improving flight safety. 

Air France is currently involved in an ongoing process of improving flight safety procedures. This process has allowed the airline to anticipate the implementation of the majority of the report’s recommendations to be conducted on the operators’ initiative, such as changes to the crews’ training programmes, and to launch several innovative initiatives. 

Independently of the elements contained in the BEA’s final report and the legal inquiry underway, flight safety remains for Air France an absolute priority.

Watch the speech by Eric Schramm, Executive Vice President Flight Operations Air France

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