For all the pilots out there, we have all had those late night flights. The flight that comes up at the last moment, late in the evening, on the worst weather night of the month. You know the thoughts and the feelings, right?
Well, that’s what it must have been like two and a half years ago for the passengers and crew of Air France Flight 447. The flight departs Rio de Janeiro at 22:03 (UTC) on May 31, 2009 with an expected arrival in Paris 11 hours later. The plane is loaded with 216 passengers and 12 crewmembers. The flight crew consists of Captain Marc Dubois, an experienced pilot with 11,000 hours and two first officers, Pierre-Cédric Bonin and David Robert the elder and more experienced of the two. About 3.5 hours into the flight the crew decides to go through an area of weather over the equator instead of going around it. The more experienced copilot, Robert enters the cockpit and relieves the Captain, who leaves and goes into crew rest. From all indications the Captain leaves the cockpit around 2am and within 15 minutes all 228 souls aboard Air France Flight 447 will be dead.
What happened? Why would a commercial airliner just disappear over the mid-Atlantic? The cockpit voice recorder, which was finally recovered after two years and from a depth of over two miles below the surface of he ocean, tells a chilling tale of incompetence and chaos in the cockpit. Read the transcript and see for yourself. Are you ready for what they experienced?