two air france pilots suspended after cockpit fight
France – Two Air France pilots, while in the cockpit of an A320, were involved in an in-flight altercation and exchanged inappropriate gestures. The plane was flying from Geneva to Paris when the incident occurred, the airline confirmed on Monday.
The quarrel led to the suspension of both pilots, who Air France did not name.
“The incident was quickly resolved without affecting the conduct or safety of the flight, which continued normally,” an airline spokesman said in a statement.
“The pilots concerned are currently suspended from flying and are awaiting a managerial decision on the outcome/treatment of the incident. Air France reminds that the safety of its customers and crew members is its absolute priority.”
The incident itself took place two months ago, but it became public thanks to an article last week in the French business newspaper La Tribune, which claimed that Air France had more serious structural problems.
The Bureau of Civil Aviation Safety Investigation and Analysis (BEA), which oversees the aviation industry, said it had issued a safety advisory regarding operator compliance with procedures.
The recommendation comes after an Air France A330 en route from Brazzaville to Paris suffered a fuel leak on 31 December 2021 and landed in Chad.
The BEA report said that the pilots did not follow fuel leak procedures that require shutting down the affected engine to reduce the risk of fire, resulting in a significant reduction in flight safety margin as the fire was avoided by accident.
This is not an isolated case, BEA notes “Through a certain number of recent investigations,” they observed “that the crews concerned had not, for various reasons, voluntarily or not, carried out certain procedures in a compliant manner,” the same agency report.
There was another incident this year when an Air France plane arriving at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport encountered technical problems and flight control instability during landing.
The Boeing 777, which took off from New York, landed successfully, passengers and crew members were not injured. Air France said its pilots responded appropriately to the situation by making a circle and making a second landing attempt.