Manual pilot skills need regular review: AF447 crash investigators

French investigators say the crew of Air France´s Rio-Paris flight 447 which crashed two years ago ignored repeated stall warnings and failed to follow procedures.
France´s BEA authority said an analysis of the history of the June 1, 2009 flight based on the readout of the flight recorders has led to the issuing of ten new safety recommendations.
Among the ten recommendations the BEA said regulatory authorities should re-examine the content of training and check programmes and in particular make mandatory the creation of regular specific exercises aimed at manual airplane handling in the approach to and recovery from stall, including at high altitude.
The latest BEA report found that pilots failed to discuss repeated “stall” alarms as their Airbus jet fell 38,000 feet and hit the ocean at 200 km (125 miles) per hour, killing all 228 people on board.
The updated account of the final minutes of Flight 447, based on recently recovered black boxes, confirmed a finding in May that the crew responded to stall warnings by inexplicably pointing the nose up instead of down.
In a statement, Air France said: “From the flight recorder data, it has been established that the combination of multiple improbable factors led to the disaster in less than four minutes: the icing of the pitot probes was the initial event that led to the disconnection of the autopilot, the loss of associated piloting control protections and considerable roll movements.”
“It should be noted that the misleading stopping and starting of the stall warning alarm, contradicting the actual state of the aircraft, greatly contributed to the crew’s difficulty in analyzing the situation.”
“At this stage, there is no reason to question the crew’s technical skills,” stated the airline.
It said work would continue to understand the causes and the various technical and human factors that contributed to the events leading to this disaster.
“It is important to understand whether the technical environment, systems and alarms hindered the crew’s understanding of the situation,” it said.
The BEA also recommended that regulatory authorities make mandatory the triggering of data transmission to facilitate localisation when an emergency situation is detected on board.
A further one recommends studying
the possibility of making mandatory the activation of the Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) when an emergency situation is detected on board.