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Air France Boeing 777 That Went ‘Nuts’ Might Have Been Caused By Pilots Pulling Controls in Opposite Directions

Air France Boeing 777 That Went ‘Nuts’ Might Have Been Caused By Pilots Pulling Controls in Opposite Directions

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A ‘serious incident’ involving a Boeing 777-300 jet which went ‘nuts’ and veered off-course during an attempted landing may have been caused by the two Air France pilots pulling the controls in opposite directions, a preliminary report by air crash investigators has suggested.

Air France flight AF11 from New York JFK to Paris Charles de Gaulle on April 4 was placed under investigation by experts at the Bureau d’Enquetes et d’Analyses or BEA after the 17-year-old aircraft seemingly stopped reacting to the commands of the pilots during the final approach for landing.

It now seems, however, that pilot error may be the root cause of the erratic landing rather than any issue with the actual aircraft.

During the first landing approach, the aircraft veered to the left and started to fly in such an alarming way that one of the pilots could be heard shouting “Stop! Stop! Stop it!” in an audio recording with air traffic control.

“The airplane is pretty much going nuts,” one of the pilots told an air traffic controller as they regained control and discontinued the approach before safely landing the aircraft on the second attempt.

Attention immediately fell on the Boeing 777’s flight control systems but the BEA says initial analysis shows no “inconsistencies” between “movements of the controls and the movements of the aeroplane”.

The BEA says it will now try to replicate the actions of the two pilots on the flight controls to see if this will reproduce the behaviour of the aircraft. After abandoning the landing attempt, the Captain held the control column in a slightly nose down position, while the co-pilot made “more pronounced” nose-up inputs.

The control columns were “desynchronized” for 14-seconds during this period.

“At this stage, the analysis of the parameters does not show inconsistencies, in particular between the movements of the controls and the movements of the aeroplane,” the BEA said in a press release.

A spokesperson for Air France says the two pilots “mastered the situation and landed the aircraft normally after a second approach.”

“Air France understands and regrets the discomfort felt by customers,” a statement from the airline continued.

View Comments (3)
  • Air France is Europe’s counterpart to EgyptAir or Malaysia Airlines. Their long term record is not flattering as far as pilot skill is concerned. Personally, I would avoid them. Being in La Primiere isn’t so good if your flight ends up like AF447.

  • Didn’t the same issue happen when the Air France plane crash in the Atlantic from Rio??

    know a BA pilot who has repeatedly stated that Air France pilots are some of the worst in the world due to their arrogance. They often refuse to speak English leaving aircraft in the vicinity confused about their position etc and it is said that they drink wine with their meals onboard.

  • Stereotypes exist for a reason. They are based in truth. Does this mean that all French have a dangerous level of arrogance that can jeopardize flight safety, no. However, a significant number of French pilots may. These are the same people who put Macron back in office because Le Pen actually would represent French people instead of globalists. AF447 was disgraceful. Those pilots were fools and killed all those people.

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