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Two Air France pilots suspended after cockpit fights



Two Air France pilots have been suspended after fighting in the cockpit on a Geneva-Paris flight, an Air France official said Sunday.

The flight went through and landed safely, and the dispute did not affect the rest of the flight in June, the official said, highlighting the airline’s commitment to safety.

Switzerland’s La Tribune reported that the pilot and copilot had a dispute shortly after takeoff and grabbed each other by the collar after one apparently hit the other. The cabin crew intervened and a crew member spent the flight in the cockpit with the pilots, the report said.

News of the battle emerged after the French air research agency BEA released a report on Wednesday that some Air France pilots do not strictly adhere to procedures during security incidents.

It focused on a fuel leak on an Air France flight from Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo to Paris in December 2020, when pilots diverted the plane but failed to cut power to the engine or land as quickly as the leak procedure requires. The plane landed safely in Chad, but the BEA report warned that the engine could have caught fire.

It cited three similar cases between 2017 and 2022 and said some pilots are acting on their own analysis of the situation rather than safety protocols.

Air France said it is conducting a safety audit as a result. It pledged to follow the BEA’s recommendations, including allowing pilots to study their flights afterwards and making training manuals stricter on how to follow procedures.

The airline noted that it operates thousands of flights daily and the report lists only four such safety incidents.

Air France pilots’ unions have insisted that safety is paramount for all pilots and have defended pilots’ actions during emergencies.

The BEA also investigated an April incident involving an Air France flight from New York’s JFK Airport that had flight control problems approaching its landing in Paris.



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