French Investigators Release Update After Serious Air France 777 Incident – Simple Flying

Following an investigation into a serious incident involving an Air France Boeing 777-300 earlier this month, the Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA) has released an update reviewing its current findings.

On April 5, officers onboard AF11 from New York to Paris Charles de Gaulle struggled with the aircraft for over a minute as it appeared to stop responding to flight controls. After initiating a go-around at 1,200 feet, the 17-year-old jet landed safely on runway 27R. No injuries were reported.

Panic on the flight deck

Audio of the incident published on social media revealed the panicked exchange between the flight deck and air traffic control as alarms blared in the background – something which BEA believes may be a key to solving the incident.

An initial review of flight data revealed a picture of both officers struggling to input controls into the aircraft, with BEA reporting an “instability of flight controls on final, go-around, hard controls, flight path oscillation.”

No failure warning was heard during the exchange between the crew and air traffic control. Photo: Air France

Early communication between Boeing and Air France uncovered by La Tribune indicated that no issues could be found with the aircraft, leading to speculation of pilot error. BEA’s findings appear to corroborate this analysis, having reported that no failure warning was activated during the incident and no anomalies could be found with the airplane.

Misunderstanding?

Several notable events through the short ordeal have been identified, with the flight parameters displaying the conflicting controls input by both officers as they battled with the aircraft.

Despite the chaotic exchange within the flight deck, both officers appeared to be unaware of each other’s inputs, leading the 777 to start banking 6 degrees towards the left.

At one point, the captain is reported to have held the control column down in a slightly nose-down position. At the same time, the co-pilot attempted several more pronounced nose-up inputs. Multiple episodes of desynchronization between various controls were also observed.

Analysis of the flight parameters between 07:50:08 to 07:52:03 displays the conflicting inputs made by both officers. Photo: BEA

While the BEA does not provide an explanation for a potential miscommunication, the information provided to La Tribune hypothesized that the incident could be a result of high stress, exhaustion, and poor weather conditions leading to confusion over the distribution of tasks.

The investigation is set to continue, with BEA noting it will be paying particular attention to reproducing the forces applied to the controls.

In response to a request for comment, a spokesperson for Air France said,

“Air France has taken note of the communication from the BEA concerning the ongoing investigation into the incident of flight AF011 on 4 April 2022. Air France continues to fully cooperate with the investigation and reminds that the go-around procedure is defined by aircraft manufacturers and Air France as a normal procedure, in the interests of safety.

The statement further added,

Pilots are trained and regularly practice these procedures, which are applied by all airlines. Air France reminds that the safety of its flights, customers and crews is its outmost priority.”

What do you think of BEA’s current findings? Let us know in the comments section.

Source: La Tribune

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French Investigators Release Update After Serious Air France 777 Incident – Simple Flying

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