Two Air France pilots suspended after cockpit fight

Two Air France pilots have been suspended after a fight in the cockpit forced the aircraft’s cabin crew to intervene.

The incident took place on a flight from Geneva to the French capital, Paris, in June.

According to the Swiss newspaper La Tribune, the pilot and co-pilot had a dispute shortly after takeoff and grabbed each other by their collars after one apparently hit the other.

The cabin crew intervened and one crew member spent the rest of the flight in the cockpit with the pilots, the newspaper added.

An Air France official has confirmed that the plane continued and landed safely, and added that the dispute didn’t affect the rest of the journey.

The reports come just days after a study by France’s air investigation agency (BEA) found that Air France pilots lack rigour in respecting procedures during safety incidents.

On a December 2020 flight to Paris from Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo, Air France pilots were found to have rerouted the plane after a fuel leak. The crew were criticised for not following procedure and cutting power to the engine or landing as soon as possible.

The plane landed safely in Chad, but the BEA report warned that the engine could have caught fire.

The report also referred to three other cases between 2017 and 2022 when some pilots acted on their own instincts instead of safety protocols.

Air France said it is carrying out a safety audit in response and has always been committed to air safety.

The airline pledged to follow the BEA’s recommendations, by allowing pilots to study their flights afterwards and making training manuals stricter about procedures.

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Air France also noted that the report mentioned only four such safety incidents and that it carries out thousands of flights each day.

The company’s pilots’ unions have also insisted that security is paramount to all its workers.

Source: AP