France Opens Safety Probe of 'Serious' NY-Paris Flight Issue

Associated Press

Thursday April 7, 2022

Air France planes are parked on the tarmac at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, in Roissy, near Paris, on May 17, 2019
Air France planes are parked on the tarmac at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, in Roissy, near Paris, on May 17, 2019  (Source:AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

France's bureau that investigates air crashes and aviation safety said Wednesday it is looking into a "serious incident" involving an Air France flight from New York's JFK airport that suffered flight control problems on approach to its landing in Paris.

The BEA said it has opened a safety investigation and that information from the so-called "black box" flight data and cockpit voice recorders is being analyzed.

In a tweet, the bureau said the Boeing 777 suffered flight control issues on its final approach to Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport on Tuesday.

A website maintained by aviation enthusiasts, AIRLIVE.net, posted audio of what it said were exchanges between air traffic control and pilots wrestling with the aircraft before finally landing trans-Atlantic flight AF011.

In the recording, a person identified by the website as a pilot is heard saying to an air traffic controller that they had to abort their initial landing attempt because "the plane did just about anything" and had flight control problems.

Air France said it could not confirm the authenticity of the recording.

Flight tracking websites showed the plane made a loop around the airport before landing. It descended, climbed again and then finally came back down to land.

In a statement, Air France confirmed that the flight crew "aborted their landing sequence and performed a go-around."

"The go-around is defined by the authorities, aircraft manufacturers and Air France as a normal procedure. The crews are trained and regularly instructed in these procedures, which are used by all airlines to guarantee the safety of flights and passengers," it said.

The airline said the flight crew "landed the aircraft normally after a second approach."

Without specifying how many people were aboard the plane, it said: "Air France understands and regrets the discomfort felt by customers."

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