• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

15 years after, black box reveals pilots’ last conversations before Air France Flight 447 crashed

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As Air France Flight 447 tragically plunged into the Atlantic Ocean, a chilling cockpit recording unveiled the final moments of the 32-year old pilot, Pierre-Cedric Bonin and his co-pilots.

The Airbus A330 disappeared during a storm in 2009, claiming the lives of all 228 people on board.

The recovered black box revealed Bonin’s last nine words:

“I don’t have control of the aeroplane anymore now.

I don’t have control of the aeroplane at all!”

Technical failures and pilot errors, including a misunderstanding of stall warnings, led to the catastrophic crash.

Despite desperate attempts to regain control, the plane’s descent was irreversible. The aftermath prompted sweeping changes in aviation safety protocols.

According to reports, “As alarms screeched through the cockpit, 58-year-old Captain Marc Dubois asked the pair: “Er what are you [doing]?” Robert responded grimly as he admitted: “We’ve lost all control of the aeroplane, we don’t understand anything, we’ve tried everything.”

“Robert can be heard saying to himself: “Climb, climb, climb, climb.” Bonin replied: “But I’ve been at maximum nose-up for a while!” In a horrific moment, Dubois realised Bonin was causing the stall and yelled: “No no no, don’t climb! No No No!” Bonin handed the controls to Robert, but it was too late.

“The plane was too low to pull out of the stall. The black box revealed passengers were kept in the dark about the dire situation during the three-and-a-half-minute descent.

In a desperate attempt, Bonin yanked his side-stick back and cursed, before yelling: “We’re going to crash! This can’t be true. But what’s happening?” It’s unclear who spoke next, but a voice was heard saying: “F***, we’re dead.” In 2023, Airbus and Air France were cleared of manslaughter charges related to the flight.

“The aftermath of the crash brought significant changes to the aviation industry, including new regulations for airspeed sensors and pilot training methods.”