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Major airline grounds pilots after cockpit scuffle

Two Air France pilots were suspended after duking it out during a Geneva-Paris flight

Air France has suspended two of its pilots after they started a physical altercation in the cockpit during a flight earlier this summer, according to the Swiss La Tribune news outlet, which spoke to airline officials on Saturday. The news comes as the carrier faces scrutiny over failing to adhere to safety guidelines.

As confirmed by a spokeswoman for Air France, the mid-air scuffle occurred during a Geneva-Paris flight in June when the captain and co-pilot of an Airbus jetliner had a dispute shortly after takeoff. The pilots grabbed each other by their collars after one apparently hit the other. The cabin crew eventually intervened and one of the crew members was left in the cockpit to watch over the two pilots, said the spokeswoman.

She noted that the incident “ended quickly” without affecting the safety of the flight, which proceeded in routine fashion after the altercation was resolved. The official told La Tribune that the pilots have since been grounded and are awaiting a decision from management. 

News of the fight follows a report issued last week by France’s air investigation agency, BEA, which accused some Air France pilots of failing to follow the correct procedures during safety incidents. 

The report focused on a fuel leak on an Air France flight from Brazzaville, Congo, to Paris in December 2020. During that flight pilots rerouted the plane but did not cut power to the engine or land as soon as possible, as dictated by fuel leak emergency procedures. The crew managed to land safely in Chad, but the BEA notes that the pilots had been incurring the risk of engine failure or combustion.

READ MORE: Los Angeles-bound plane catches fire (VIDEO)

The BEA surmises that in other similar cases between 2017 and 2022, Air France pilots acted based on their own analysis of the situation instead of strictly following safety protocols.

In response, Air France said it would be carrying out a safety audit and pledged to follow the BEA’s recommendations to advise pilots to review their flights afterward. The airline also vowed to make training manuals more strict about sticking to safety procedures.

https://ift.tt/H1EDvTC 29, 2022 at 07:09PM
from RT – Daily news

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