Friday 27 May 2011
On the eve of second anniversary of the AF447 tragedy, Air France and its staff are turning their thoughts to the families of the passengers and crew and wish to express their full solidarity.
The perserverance of the authorities, Airbus and Air France has led to the flight recorders and parts of the aircraft being found after a two-year search. The French Accident Investigation Bureau (BEA) is now able to reveal the sequence of events leading to the crash of flight AF447 from Rio to Paris on 1 June 2009. This description of the facts therefore replaces the assumptions that have been made over the past two years.
It appears that the flight deck crew was monitoring the changing weather conditions and thus altered the flight path, that the initial problem was the failure of the speed probes which led to the disconnection of the autopilot and the loss of the associated piloting protection systems, and that the aircraft stalled at high altitude. It also appears that the flight captain quickly interrupted his rest period to regain the cockpit. The crew, made up of three skilled pilots, demonstrated a totally professional attitude and were committed to carrying out their task to the very end and Air France wishes to pay tribute to them.
All the data collected must now be analyzed. It will only be at the end of this complex task, which requires patience and precision, that the BEA will be able to establish the causes that led to the disaster.
We can already see that the authorities, the manufacturer and the airline have taken measures to avoid the repetition of such an accident.
Air France hopes that everyone has the patience to wait for the interim report that the BEA will publish in a few weeks, no doubt along with additional recommendations. The safety of the global air transport industry will be even stronger.