Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Final Word on the Crash of Air France 447

The seemingly mysterious crash of Air France Flight 447 over the Atlantic on June 1, 2009, was a mystery to the aviation and meteorological professions. Now, a new book by an aviation expert has confirmed the plane crashed due to pilot errors. And, the first error was flying into a tropical weather system that other commercial flights were avoiding.

We now understand that, indeed, AF447 passed into clouds associated with a large system of thunderstorms, its speed sensors became iced over, and the autopilot disengaged. In the ensuing confusion, the pilots lost control of the airplane because they reacted incorrectly to the loss of instrumentation and then seemed unable to comprehend the nature of the problems they had caused. Neither weather nor malfunction doomed AF447, nor a complex chain of error, but a simple but persistent mistake on the part of one of the pilots. 

The full story is here.

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