Air France Flight 447: Pilot Error? May Have Stalled at 35,000 ft
The fate of Air France Flight 447 is becoming a little clearer as new information suggests the plane may have stalled after pilots slowed down too much when they encountered turbulence.
Sources close to the inquiry say the Airbus A330, carrying 228 people, may have crashed due to pilot error while struggling with turbulence.
Airbus declined to comment on the report and the French air accident investigation agency, which has to validate any such recommendations, known as an Aircraft Information Telex, was not immediately available for comment.
Airbus is to send advice on flying in storms to operators of its A330 jets, Le Monde reported today. It would remind crews of the need to maintain adequate thrust from the engines and the correct attitude, or angle of flight, when entering heavy turbulence.
Pilots slow down aircraft when entering stormy zones of the type encountered by Air France Flight 447 early on Monday as it was flying from Rio to Paris. The fact that the manufacturer of the aircraft is issuing new advice indicates that investigators have evidence that the aircraft slowed down too much, causing a high-altitude aerodynamic stall. This would explain why the aircraft apparently broke up at altitude over the Atlantic.