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© AP-Michel Euler at the trial of the Rio-Paris crash, the court began to hear the representative of Air France, Wednesday 9 November 2022.
The airline, prosecuted for "manslaughter" after the death of the 228 people who were aboard AF447 who crashed in the Atlantic Ocean, on June 1, 2009, chose to defend herself Through the voice of one of his former pilots and instructors, Patrick Weil.
For more than six hours, the ex-framework of Air France, today retired, assured that the company had sufficiently formed and informed its crews concerning a possible frost of the Pitot speed probes at the origin of crash. "I will not have the fact that we say that we did everything well," repeats Patrick Weil at the helm.
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The airline has been tried since October 10 before the Paris Criminal Court with Airbus for manslaughter, more than thirteen years after the AF447 flight accident which killed 216 passengers and 12 crew members. That night, the A330 crossed the intertropical front (Fit), a difficult meteorological area around the equator, when three probes located outside the device, the Pitot probes, frozen, causing the loss of speed indications.
In the cockpit, this breakdown also caused a disconnection of the automatic driver, a switch to degraded piloting mode and many alarms. Surprised, the pilots lost control of the aircraft, which hit the Atlantic less than five minutes later.
However, the former Air France driver recognizes no error. The training concerning the procedure to follow in case of failures of Pitot probes? She was adapted, judges the sixty -something. So certainly, it was taught at low altitude when AF447 encountered this problem at 11,000 meters above sea level, but it was because it was more complicated to face this situation while flying. "Who can most, can the least," sums up the representative of the company who does not overwhelm the pilots of the Rio-Paris. On the contrary, he underlines that at Air France, the pilots are all "experienced professionals", whose profession requires exercising its "critical sense". "We cannot train them in all breakdowns, it's impossible," said Patrick Weil. Training is intended to "arm the pilots of a robust and declinable method in the real world," he said. And in any case, no training can fight the surprise effect.
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Crash of the Rio-Paris flight: exchanges in the cockpit before the crash, a "terrifying moment" The man does not load Airbus either, but unchecks a few arrows. When the incidents involving Pitot probes multiplied from 2008, "we relaunched Airbus, we accentuated our pressure," he said. But the manufacturer did not respond.
The interrogation of the representative of Air France will continue this Thursday. In particular, he will have to answer questions from Airbus lawyers.
Trial of the Rio -Paris flight: a siblings pay homage to the pilot who "did everything" to save the plane .
© AFP - Thomas Samson The civil parties arrived at the Paris courthouse on October 10, 2022 to attend the Airbus and Air France companies in the Rio-Paris Air France flight case on June 1, 2009 which had left 228 dead. The two sisters and the brother of David Robert, in command of AF447 who crashed in the Atlantic on June 1, 2009, said this Tuesday, November 29 at the court that he had made his maximum.