Investigators: Air France Jet Stalled, Plunged In Minutes
French investigators examining the 2009 crash of Air France flight 447 have released information on the accident taken from the flight data recorders. These were recently recovered from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. The jet apparently stalled after flying into a powerful thunderstorm and fell into the ocean with its nose still up.
All 228 people aboard were killed.
The report says the pilot had begun a scheduled rest break and was not in the cockpit when the disaster began. Two co-pilots had taken control but were getting two different speed readings from the plane; then the jet's autopilot switched off. One of the co-pilots took the controls and the captain quickly returned to the cockpit.
Investigators say the jet climbed to 38,000 feet before stalling. It plunged for three and a half minutes before crashing, according to Bloomberg News; the investigators say an interim report on the accident is due in July.
ABC has reported that icing on the plane's equipment may have caused the conflicting speed readings, and that the Air France pilots may have flown the jet too slowly as a result, compounding the crisis.