Photo Credit: Shandell Venegas
Two Pilots Suspended After Fighting In Cockpit Mid-Flight
The incident happened on an Air France flight from Geneva to Paris. One pilot reportedly slapped the other for refusing to follow orders.
Things quickly escalated, and the pilots grabbed each other by the collar before one clocked the other in the face with a briefcase.
Flight attendants heard the commotion and rushed into the cockpit to split up the fight. Fearing another skirmish would break out again, a flight attendant sat behind the pilots to babysit for the remainder of the flight.
A spokesperson confirms the tussle from June 2021, with The Sun stating there was a “dispute” with an exchange of “inappropriate gestures” on the Airbus A320.
The spokesperson described the incident as “totally inappropriate behavior.”
Luckily for everyone on board, the flight attendants could de-escalate the situation so the flight could operate as normal.
As for the pilots, they’ll have some time to think about their actions while off work. Air France suspended them until an investigation from France’s civil aviation safety authority is complete.
Trouble For Air France
The pilots’ actions come amid ongoing turmoil within the company as they face increasing scrutiny for reported “safety malpractices.”
Investigators with France’s civil aviation safety found the airline is a repeat offender when it comes to violating safety procedures. One of the most recent incidents dates back to 2020, when investigators found that an airplane’s tank was short about 1.4 tonnes of fuel.
The airline also faces manslaughter charges for a crash that killed 228 people in 2009.
Flight AF447 was traveling to Paris from Rio when the plane plunged into the Atlantic after the pilots panicked during a storm.
The Sun reports the pilots mistakenly pointed the nose of the plane upwards when it stalled instead of downwards because of the faulty air-speed readings.
It took two years to find the plane.
On the black box recording, one of the pilots can be heard saying, “Damn it, I don’t have control of the plane, I don’t have control of the plane at all!”
Investigators found the crash was caused by Air France pilot error and technical problems with the Airbus.