The reason this blogger is not responding to the new book on AF447 released last week is that the BEA (+ EASA now?) still has to determine what instruments were in fact available to the 3 pilots in the cockpit after the autopilot disconnect at cruising altitude, and to perform as well an in-depth analysis of so-called ‘Human Factors’ which is the hallmark of a comprehensive and professional investigation into aviation accidents and incidents.
Rumour has it now that the BEA might make a finding of ‘excessive workload’ on the flight crew as a result of the Airbus 330’s computers defaulting to ‘Alternate’ mode when the airspeed sensors became ice-clogged. There was a lot of confusion in the cockpit. That much we know from the beginning when the CVR and FDR were finally recovered from a depth of 4 km (nearly 6,000 feet).
The BEA (France’s equivalent to the American NTSB) might go as far as stating that the workload was excessive on the crew to the point of creating ‘unsafe conditions’, as a contributing factor in the AF447 crash. This finding, if confirmed by public authorities, would throw the ball back in Airbus’ court, as well as Air France and the Pitot tube manufacturer, all of whom were aware of the defective design of the Pitot tube and attendant consequences years before the fatal crash.
Despite outward appearances (as publicized in the damaging book on the AF447 flight crew performance released last week), the flight crew might not likely have to shoulder significant blame for the crash.
The point is the AF 447 flight crew was facing excessive workload from the aut0-pilot disconnect onward during the fatal crash of flight AF447.
Airbus Industries (now EADS) and Air France should have alledgedly been aware, long before the AF447 crash, of such foreseable consequences of ice-clogged Pitot tubes then in use on this model of Airbus aircraft.