Co-pilot lacked training: Report

Added by on August 3, 2011

The copilot of the Air France jet that crashed off the coast of South America, killing 228, did not have adequate training to fly the troubled aircraft in manual mode, according to a report released late last week by French officials.

Experts said that such training is not part of standard industry training, resulting in a number of fundamental errors that lead to the aircraft’s disastrous stall.

Investigators recommended that French and European safety regulators add mandatory exercises to training programs that cover manual control of aircraft in situations that include manual approach and recovery from high-altitude stalls. Investigators also recommend more stringent requirements for co-pilot skills before they are permitted to replace the captain at any time during a flight. The crisis began shortly after the captain left the cockpit for a rest break.

Investigators found that valid speed readings where lost for less than a minute of the plane’s four minute descent. Experts felt that it may have been possible to recover from the stall, citing the fact that the jet continued to respond to control inputs until impact.

Since the accident Airbus and Boeing have modified stall-recovery procedures with guidance from worldwide regulators including the US and Europe.