Two Pilots Suspended After Fighting in Air France Cockpit After Takeoff

Airline pilots in cockpit 6 photos
Photo: @kellymlacy on
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Flying in a modern airliner is the fastest and most affordable way of going from one place in the world to another. It may not be the greenest way to travel, or the most glamorous or adventurous, but it should do the trick. A big part of the safety part in airline travel is linked to the way it is all organized, and the strict procedures that are in place to ensure it stays that way.
A recent inquiry by France's air investigation agency, called BEA, revealed that pilots of the country's homonymous airline, Air France, have not respected protocol in all the possible situations that they encountered in recent times.

Initially, the inquiry focused on a crew that rerouted a plane that was leaking fuel without cutting the power to the engine that was malfunctioning. As the investigation noted, the move was against the official procedure, but the plane landed safely. It could have ended a lot worse, as the engine could have caught on fire due to the fuel leak.

Now, that investigation has revealed another incident on an Air France flight that may be even more concerning. As the BBC reported, a dispute between the pilot and the co-pilot of a flight from Geneva to Paris this June led to a loud exchange of words, and one of them allegedly hit the other.

Reports of the event are not entirely clear, though. Punches were allegedly thrown, and someone from the cabin crew had to spend the rest of the flight with the two pilots, in the cockpit, to ensure that they focus on their jobs. The flight continued and landed safely, despite the dispute, which was only heard near the cockpit door.

Both pilots have been suspended for the duration of the internal investigation, and the source of the dispute has not been revealed. Air France confirmed the incident on Sunday, but did not provide further information on the event.

In any case, this may be one of those moments when someone can say “you had one job,” and they would be entirely correct. While everyone has had their differences with colleagues at work, an airliner cockpit is not the place to solve them, and violence should never be the answer. One might say that a pilot's anger should be removed before flight.
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Editor's note: For illustration purposes, the photo gallery shows various airplanes, some of which may have the Air France livery.

About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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