News Item

New facts on Airbus disaster

The French Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses (BEA) has published a note on the loss of A330 flight AF 447 in June 2009.

The Bureau says it wished to go public to inform families and public of initial findings established from the recovered flight data and cockpit flight recorders (FDR and CVR).

The note lists the following new findings:

At the time of the initial incident:
- Composition of the crew was in accordance with operator’s procedures.
- Weight and balance were within operational limits.
- The 2 co-pilots were seated in the cockpit and the captain resting - he returned to the cockpit about 1m 30s after the disengagement of the autopilot.
- There was inconsistency between the speeds displayed on the L side cockpit display and the integrated standby instrument system (ISIS) - this lasted for less than 1m.

The autopilot disengaged, after which:
- The airpcraft climbed to 38,000 ft.
- The stall warning was triggered and the aircraft stalled.
- Inputs made by the pilot flying were mainly nose-up.
- The descent lasted 3 min 30, during which the aircraft remained stalled - the angle of attack increased and remained >35º.
- The engines were operating and always responded to crew commands.
- The last recorded values were pitch 16.2º nose-up, roll 5.3º L and vertical speed -10,912 ft/min.

Initial analysis apparently will be developed in a further interim report, scheduled to be published by the end of July.

Details from BEA below.

  • 28 May 2011
  • CMAG

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