Air France Crash Caused By Human Error And Faulty Equipment, Investigators Conclude

Human error and faulty equipment are to blame for the doomed 2009 Air France flight 447, which disappeared during a storm on its route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, killing all 228 aboard.

Newser reports that ultimately, Air France’s worst flight disaster comes down to both human and technology error, because when the plane went into a stall, the two pilots behind the controls never even knew. They report that the two “were in a situation of near total loss of control.”

The BEA stated that the disaster began with the speed sensors (pitots) malfunctioning while the plane was going through turbulence. At the time, the captain was taking a break, leaving the co-pilots in control of the plane.

The BBC reports that once the captain returned, he was unable to reverse the “catastrophic course of events” that led to the crash, one of which being the co-pilots pointing the nose of the plane up after it stalled, instead of down.

BEA director Jean-Paul Troadec stated:

“This accident results from an aeroplane being taken out of its normal operating environment by a crew that had not understood the situation.”

The BBC notes that the report also makes 25 new safety recommendations, which come after the 25 called for during a preliminary report last year.

Following the crash of Flight 447, investigators have found both Airbus and Air France at fault for the crash, which has sparked a nasty row between the two as they point fingers at each other over accountability, reports the BBC. Now, however, it seems the final report claims both to be at fault, with the plane giving false readings and also operator error.

Both companies are currently under investigation for alleged manslaughter by French magistrates. A separate judicial report is expected next week, which is expected to echo the BEA’s report on Thursday. It took searchers 23 months to locate the plane’s “black boxes” at the bottom of the ocean, which allowed them to discern exactly what happened in the final moments of Air France flight 447.