Fatal Flight Air France 447: Chaos in the Cockpit

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On 31 May 2009, 228 passengers and crew boarded Flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, but within hours they would all be dead.

On board were passengers from 32 different countries, including five Britons as well as eight children. One of them was an 11-year-old boy travelling alone back to school in England.

It has remained a mystery how the Airbus 330, one of the world’s most technologically advanced planes, just dropped out of the sky and plummeted into the ocean, killing all on board.

Two years after the accident, following a painstaking search, the plane’s black box recorders were found at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

Miraculously, they had remained intact, preserving an extraordinary record of the conversations that took place between the pilots as a routine flight turned into disaster.

For the first time on television, this remarkable documentary reveals what really happened on board the doomed airliner.

On the day, Captain Mark Dubois and his co-pilots David Robert and Pierre Bonin were flying a state-of-the-art plane with built-in safety features and a computer system so highly automated some claim it could almost fly itself.

This documentary captures their shock and disbelief in a second-by-second account and reveals what happened in the cockpit during their final minutes as they struggled to understand the catastrophe unfolding before them.

Based around the black box recordings, Fatal Flight 447: Chaos in the Cockpit speaks to aviation experts, industry insiders and bereaved relatives to unlock the truth about one of the most infamous flights in aviation history, while asking what lessons have been learnt from the disaster.

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Air France Flight 447

Air France Flight 447 (AF447/AFR447) was a scheduled, international, long-haul passenger flight, operated by the French airline Air France from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. On 1 June 2009 the aircraft being flown, an Airbus A330, just after 02:14 UTC, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. All 228 passengers, aircrew and cabin crew aboard the plane were killed.

While the Brazilian Navy removed the first major wreckage and two bodies from the sea within five days of the accident, the BEA’s (Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation Civile) initial investigation was hampered because the aircraft’s black boxes were not recovered from the ocean floor until May 2011, nearly two years later.

BEA’s final report, released at a news conference on 5 July 2012, concluded that the aircraft crashed after temporary inconsistencies between the airspeed measurements – likely due to the aircraft’s pitot tubes being obstructed by ice crystals – caused the autopilot to disconnect, after which the crew reacted incorrectly and ultimately led the aircraft to an aerodynamic stall from which they did not recover. The accident is the deadliest in the history of Air France. It was also the Airbus A330’s second and deadliest accident, and its first in commercial passenger service.

Source: Wikipedia, YouTube

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