air france flight crash 2009On a storm-hit night in the month of June 2009 an Air France flight 447 plunged into the Atlantic Ocean and 228 lives were lost when the Airbus was on its regular overnight flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.

The flight data recorder reveals that the pilots were all dangerously sleep deprived. Captain of the flight could get barely one hour’s sleep the night before.

A new report obtained by the French news magazine Le Point reveals that the 58-year-old captain, Marc Debois, can be heard on a black box recording saying, “I didn’t sleep enough last night.

One hour, it’s not enough.” The report also found that Debois’ co-pilots were also feeling groggy after spending the night in Rio with their wives and girlfriends.

Debois was on a break when the Airbus flew into a tropical thunderstorm and took more than a minute to respond to calls for help from his co-pilots. The report found they were too agitated to properly communicate to him what had gone wrong.

While cruising at 35,000 feet, four hours into what seemed a routine overnight flight to Paris, the pilots got a stall warning. Acting on faulty data from the plane’s sensors, the pilots pulled the nose of the plane up, instead of pointing it down to gain essential speed.

Apparently confused by repeated stall warnings and reacting to wildly fluctuating airspeed indications, the pilots continued to pull back sharply on the controls, even as the Airbus A330 plummeted towards the water. The plunge lasted three and a half minutes, causing the plane to hit the water at a speed of 180 feet per second.

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Filed under: FatigueSleepSleep DeprivationSleep DisordersSleep Problems

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