Equipment and pilots blamed for Air France disaster
Probe finds two pilots were poorly-trained
MISTAKES by poorly-trained pilots and defective equipment caused the deaths of 228 people when an Air France jet crashed three years ago, accident investigators have concluded.
Two Aberdeen-based men were among those who died when Flight 447 plunged into the Atlantic en route to Paris from Rio de Janeiro on June 1, 2009, during a thunderstorm.
The crash killed Graham Gardner, 52, from Gourock, who worked for Subsea 7 at Westhill, and 61-year-old Arthur Coakley, founding director of PD&MS Energy, Aberdeen. Three other Britons also died.
The Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses (BEA) report revealed a co-pilot had steered the Airbus A330 upwards during a high-altitude stall, instead of downwards, because of inaccurate data about the plane’s position.
Chief investigator Alain Bouillard concluded the two pilots at the controls never understood the plane was in a stall.
Mr Bouillard said only an experienced crew, which would have realised what was happening, could have stabilised the plane.
He said: “In this case, the crew was in a state of near-total loss of control.”
BEA is recommending better training for pilots and stricter plane certification rules.