Air France Flight 447: Faulty Pitot Tubes & Pilot Error
Did Pilot Error Cause Air France 447 Crash?
Investigators are analyzing the black box recovered from the undersea wreckage of Air France Flight 447, and the the preliminary result is that the flight crew was not prepared to deal with a speed sensor failure.
- Air France Flight 447 Black Box Found
- Air France Flight 447: Airbus was Awaiting Anemometric Sensor Replacement
- No Hope for Survivors in Air France 447 Crash
Among the findings:
- The Pitot tubes (speed sensors) malfunctioned; it is likely that they iced over (a known problem with the Airbus fleet).
- The pilot was resting when the incident began; he returned to the cockpit aroudn a minute and a half later.
- The plane was stalled as it descended.
- The plane's engines did not fail.
- The descent lasted 3 1/2 minutes.
The final moments of Air France Flight 447 suggest that the failed Pitot tubes alone did not bring down the craft, but that the pilots were unable to correct the plane's attitude and trajectory in time to prevent the crash that killed all 228 aboard.