Air France 447: Why Did it Go Down? Investigators Have Answers! (Watch!)
In the beginning of May, investigators finally found the aircraft’s cockpit voice recorder and dlight data recorder. They have been able to analyze the data, and France’s Buerau of Investigation and Analysis (BEA) have been able to find out what happened to bring the flight from Rio de Janieror to Paris down.
Why did it happen?
The aircraft’s speed sensors were giving invalid readings. At around 1:33 GMT on June 1, 2009, AF 447 entered an area on its route known for severe turbulence. No further contact was made.
Findings suggest that the plan climbed to 38,000 feet before “the stall warning was triggered and the airplane stalled.” The plan then descended immediately, without deploying oxygen masks over a period of 3 minutes and 30 seconds and the engines remained operational, said the report.
Error messages report that the plane might have been going either too fast or too slow.
“The crash happened at around 2 am on a dark night when the error messages suddenly appeared and the autopilot tripped out.” David Learmont of Flight International told CNN before the report was released.
“This is a syndrome,” he said. “There have been lots of accidents where pilots have fixated on correcting a relatively minor problem and lose sight of the macro problem. Now we don’t know that, but we do know the aircraft acted as if it was not being controlled purposefully.
“Whether it was out of control — and I doubt this — it was not being controlled. Imagine it is 2 am and two sleepy pilots encounter a problem. They don’t have much to do so they decide to troubleshoot this problem. They fixate on it and forget the autopilot has tripped.
“The airplane meanwhile goes into a lazy spiral descent — the pilots don’t notice as it is all very gentle. And when they look up they don’t believe what their instruments tell them and they get disorientated and can’t recover.”
All 228 people on board died in the crash.
Check out the video of the interview below: