French air accident investigators have today released their final report into what caused the crash of an Air France Airbus A330 flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in June 2009.
Pilot errors and faulty speed and other readings led to the crash which killed all 228 people aboard.
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Chief investigator Alain Bouillard of the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses said the two pilots at the controls never understood that the aircraft was in a stall and ‘were in a situation of near total loss of control’. The report lists a combination of “human and technical factors” behind the crash.
In a preliminary report into the crash last July, pilots were said to have failed to react correctly after the Airbus aircraft’s speed sensors froze.
That report by the BEA stated that the pilots could have saved the aircraft after it temporarily lost its speed readings, rather than pulling the aircraft up to a height at which it fatally stalled.
A separate judicial report, due to be presented to victims’ families next week, is understood likely to reiterate that both pilot error and malfunctioning speed sensors were responsible. Air France last year defended its pilots, saying the aircraft’s alert system had failed. Both Air France and Airbus are being investigated for alleged manslaughter in connection with the crash
The conclusions of today’s report end three years of investigation into what caused the crash and has already resulted in wide-ranging changes in the way pilots are trained to react when confronted with a high-altitude crisis.
BEA officials last year said they were bringing together a range of experts, from psychologists to physiologists, to try to reconstruct the scene from the crew’s perspective.
AF447 Final Accident Report
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