|// (c) 2011 Air France|
Air France urged patience and said the industry to should wait for the interim report that the French Accident Investigation Bureau (BEA) will publish in a few weeks surrounding the 2009 crash of AF Flight 447, during which 228 people died. This comes as reports have surfaced suggesting that the captain of the plane was resting while the plane began its fateful descent into the ocean.
Since the crash, the flight and its ongoing investigation have sparked extensive media speculation on its causes. The BEA has also said that information on the causes of the crash was incomplete. The aircraft reportedly fell 38,000 feet in some three to four minutes.
The BEA is now able to reveal the sequence of events leading to the crash of flight AF447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on June 1, 2009, Air France said. “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,” Air France said.
“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.”