Air France Crash Proves More Pilot Training Needed

by nph | June 3rd, 2011

Air France Flight 447 wreckage

Air France Flight 447 wreckage

June 3, 2011

Answers about the cause of Air France Flight 447’s June 2009 crash have surfaced right along with the plane’s wreckage. Though the plane’s speed sensors iced over, French investigators say the pilots made things worse–causing the plane to enter an aerodynamic stall by jerking the nose of the plane upward instead of keeping the plane level.

By studying the plane’s recently discovered cockpit data and voice recorders, the French Bureau d’Enquetes et d’Analyses determined that the plane crash may have been avoided if the pilots had responded properly during the three-and-a-half minute descent into the Atlantic Ocean. The crash took the lives of 228 people who had been on their way from Brazil to France.

An article in The Sydney Morning Herald features an interview with Michael Barr, an instructor at the University of Southern California’s Aviation Safety and Security Program. Barr says that the crash should be blamed not on the pilots themselves but on the inadequate training they likely received.

“They’re sitting there happy, the autopilot is on,” said Barr. ”Next thing you know, lights are flashing, warning horns are on. There were probably 10 warnings or messages coming to the crew at the same time.”

In the midst of the chaos, the pilots were startled and confused and needed better tools to warn them of danger, says the article.

Read more.

If you or someone you know has had their safety compromised on a commercial or private aircraft, contact the aviation accident lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy.

Photo courtesy of Digital Journal