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Pilot Errors Outlined In 2009 Air France Crash

The crew piloting a doomed Air France jet over the Atlantic did not appear to know that the plane was in a stall, despite repeated warning signals, and never informed the passengers that anything was wrong before the jet plunged into the sea, according to new findings released Friday.

Based on cockpit recordings from the crash, the French air accident investigation agency is recommending mandatory training for all pilots to help them fly planes manually and handle a high-altitude stall.

All 228 people were killed when the Airbus 330, route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, crashed amid thunderstorms over the Atlantic on June 1, 2009. It was the worst accident in Air France’s history.

The passengers were never told what was happening as Flight 447 went into an aerodynamic stall and then dived for 3 1/2 minutes into the sea, according to a summary of the BEA’s latest findings released Friday.

The pilots themselves may not have been aware they were in the stall even as it was dooming the flight, the summary says.

The BEA will release a fuller report later Friday, based on cockpit voice and data recorders retrieved from the ocean depths in May in an exceptionally long and costly search operation.


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