I was wondering what your take is on the Air France 447 crash where a high altitude stall caused the plane to lose lift and plunge.
I would have thought that it is basic knowledge for all pilots that pulling out of a stall requires pointing the nose of the plane down to increase air speed and lift. However, they did the opposite and pointed the nose up, making the situation worse.
How could they have gotten it so wrong?
Also, I didn't think turbulence could cause the plane to stall. How did this happen?
The Air France Flight 447 crash was a tragedy that could have been prevented if pilots were given more training on recovery from a jet upset. Most pilots were trained on stall recovery technique during their basic flying school days but it appears that this exercise was no longer required because it was thought that modern planes have been designed to make it unnecessary. Well it appears to be a mistake.
In the instance case, it was unfortunate that besides getting into a high speed stall, the plane had unreliable airspeed due to the pitot tubes being blocked by ice. There were conflicting information of aural stall warning and erratic airspeed. The nose up was caused by the pilot applying full power - this was not the correct technique for initial recovery from a stall for a jet plane.
It is easy in hindsight to ask why it had gotten so wrong. It seems there were no good visual horizon for a proper recovery due to the weather and aggravated by conflicting aural and airspeed information.
Turbulence did not cause the plane to stall. It was the combination of many other unfortunate circumstances – mainly the loss of reliable airspeed caused by the frozen pitot tubes.
PS. To check for any latest updates or postings, you can follow my new Twitter at @CaptKHLim