Report: Airbus design may have contributed to deadly crash
Telegraph reporter Nick Ross explains
- Duration 9:23
- Date May 1, 2012
Telegraph reporter Nick Ross explains
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We'll brand new information about one of the world's worst aviation disasters the deadly Air France plane crash back in June of 2009.
216 passengers and twelve crew members died when flight 443 vanished off the radar while flying to Paris from Brazil.
The official report set to be released by French investigators.
Raising new questions.
About a design flaw in the control stick that is used in all Airbus cockpits.
Keep in -- Airbus makes half the world airliners in the sky right now.
It took five days before recovery crews found the wreckage and some of the bodies on the ocean floor.
Between Brazil and Africa and now Trace has more.
Possible design flaw in the Airbus Trace.
And keep in -- -- -- it took two years before they found the black boxes the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder at the bottom of the ocean right so flight 447 was four hours into a ten hour flight from Rio to Paris.
It hit a thunderstorm the captain went on a scheduled break.
Leaving the deputy captain and a junior pilot in the cockpit both had years of experience the junior pilot was flying the plane.
The -- tubes which are cigar shape meters that measure air flow to measure airspeed.
Had frozen over so the playing.
And it showed that it would show those and Peter tubes that it was slowing down but it wasn't instead of letting the leveling the playing opera dropping the -- the pilot kept trying to climb.
This stall warning sounded 75.
The deputy captain finally realized what was going wrong and leveled the playing but for some reason.
The junior pilot pulled the plane back up not realizing they were plummeting 111000.
Feet per minute.
The captain finally came back into the -- that you could tell there was confusion from the cockpit voice recorder put this on the screen the deputy pilot says -- Cline cline -- The junior pilot comes back but I had to stick back the whole time the captain no no no don't climb -- now the deputy pilot.
This and then give me the controls give me the controls deputy pilot again dammit we're going to crash this can't be happening junior pilot.
But what's happening.
The pilot finally says ten degrees of pitch the plane hit the water.
About a second after that and now they're saying look now at that left hand side that's the control -- right that's the stick that's what controls Airbus's.
Airbus is different from Boeing because in bowling both the pilot.
And the co -- can feel the pressure on the stick -- in Airbus's the other pilot in the plane can't feel the pressure so one doesn't know what the other is doing.
That's part of it Airbus says absolutely not -- don't fly and millions of hours and aviation experts agree that it was not the stick but it's one thing they're looking.
-- thank -- details about -- factors that may have led to this tragedy are outlined in the telegraph newspaper.
Nick Ross is a freelance journalist who wrote his comprehensive article he is my guess now.
Nick thank you so much for being here so it looks like a joystick honing -- on the -- -- And is it you or is -- the crash investigators who are now raising serious questions.
About whether that mechanism is safe.
We don't yet know of the crash investigators are going to accept this theory is only a theory it is my theory but.
I have spent a lot of accident investigators not taking part in this French inquiry and -- -- pilots.
And a lot of them have these same concerns making -- -- to say -- buses are safe they are remarkably cool commercial airliners are remarkably safe subsidies and safer than the -- that they would argue these two about it.
But maybe we can make them even the safest still.
Because the issue is why was the confusion on the call that why was it not obvious to the senior pilots -- was junior pilot was doing.
The flight hit turbulence there was a stall warning used right near piece that when that happens they need to put the plane downward to.
To avoid the -- this junior pilot instead was pulling up.
He was pulling up and -- co pilot who was more experienced than he should've seen that and should have said.
Don't do that.
You say the reason potentially that that didn't happen the oversight is because the one pilot didn't know what the junior pilot was doing.
Yeah the junior pilot did mention he's in a -- wearing toga home.
I attended at least take -- and go around us what you do you got an emergency near ground level he -- lab so you picked the play not 1516 degrees nose up.
But they throttles on full and you fly away and go around them trying to land again.
The problem but with this crap at croft as he did this -- 36000 feet.
And it's very quickly ran out of and it was always flying into space which point although it's only the noses and -- sixty degrees out.
It's angle of attack on the area is actually is the plane was thirty degrees and then forty degrees -- the winds would damage and they asked.
Like bulldozer blades so their croft was relief -- in the fall in the falling throughout the three minutes to -- it hit the safe but the question is.
Why did the other pilots won't know and my view is this is unlikely to have happened I can't say it wouldn't but it's unlikely to pound and -- -- Airbus is going isn't nearly brand new -- behind in the Boeing mechanism is different I don't but -- point eight air Lansing it was pilot -- -- junior guy.
The mishandled it that this senior captain was out of the cockpit it was the junior guy in the middle guy who were at the Helm.
When this craft was going down and you could hear the pilot -- the -- that the cap senior captain as he came back into the cockpit at the very end you heard Trace report.
How aware -- what he said last.
Talking about the pitch that ten degrees of pitch and the recording ended.
They say was -- pilot error.
There's no question it was pilot error.
Was it all -- and I Lewis is -- something we condemn in future to make these at -- safer.
Hand it in a boating and you've got a great big stick in front of you like it like a steering wheel.
I must over the pilots who call it house -- house and take its its house.
Fool when you're climbing because these are right in your chest and it's house empty when you descending.
With -- and little -- -- that are used -- military -- -- and then have us.
You don't get that same cents a although it's there on the instruments and frankly the other two pilots should have noticed on the instruments -- didn't panic going on -- and wanted to touching -- mistress some -- the storm and you know falling.
And I don't look on his -- is really just isn't the only seconds are great I wanted to ask -- about the panic on board that flight.
And how they should've known right after this break stay with us.
It crosses would be still the date was June 1 2009.
You -- in your piece as the airliner during a thunderstorm.
-- -- the worst of the weather the junior pilot told the cabin crew to prepare for turbulence in fact eight minutes later.
Everyone on board would be dead.
You say that junior pilot himself seem spooked that night why neck.
-- there was some -- and elmo's fire which many people who work and -- -- certain airline pilots who who fly of their aloft all well aware of it's it's an electromagnetic field and it kind of look very disturbing.
Even have big commercial -- -- it looks so it's in the call that.
-- actually outside it looks in the -- some on far almost and you can often go to a smell of of learning as well he was pretty spooked by that by -- -- You talk about the people who are on board that flight including parents who travel separately who bring you know one pair brings one child one flight one parent brings a child and another flight.
There was such a couple's split up onboard that flight as -- as an eleven year old boy.
Alexander whose picture I believe we have talk about what you believe the one merciful aspect of this what you believe the people on board the flight went through.
The the pilot who was actually.
Hold find the plane at the time -- -- -- how the nose up sixteen degrees.
The plane hit the city level I'm -- -- was falling -- an incredible right at 111000 feet per second.
The compensation pressure compensation -- have us a -- that is is very very good.
I think what would have happened is people would have fit it would have felt like terrible turbulence the -- was -- going to one -- quite a lot.
I doubt even if some passages -- panic and I doubt that anybody was in -- in the horrendous.
Picture which I -- pictured in my own mind frankly which is the plane was colts going down through a full minutes and it was terrible.
I hope and pride that most of those people have no idea of them gonna crash until the impact and then they would have been killed instantly.
That the final take away as it is somebody who -- this crash on on what.
What was it combination pilot error plus design -- It was an -- the interim reports and efficient car -- it was fundamentally pilot error.
I'm hoping that's the final report when it comes out will include something about Airbus design.
All asking people to look again at these high stakes and saying should they give more feedback tactile sensory feedback to the other pundits tell -- -- see if that is part of Sarah.
What's going on immediately and not just rely on instrumentation we were checked Airbus for a statement so far -- forthcoming nick thank you.