GENEVA: Two Air France pilots broke into a fistfight inside the cockpit over Africa, resulting in crew members to intervene and one attendant flew inside the cockpit for the rest of the pilot to stop and misadventures from the pilots.
Both the Air France pilots were under scrutiny after the incident was reported in June 2022 that have prompted French investigators to suspend the pilots after the investigation was over. However, as per the Aviation authorities, the fight didn't hamper the flight and the it landed safely later. The pilots were suspended after physically fighting in the cockpit on a Geneva-Paris flight, said an Air France official.
Switzerland's La Tribune reported that the pilot and co-pilot had a dispute shortly after the takeoff, and grabbed each other by their collars after one apparently hit the other. Cabin crew intervened and one crew member spent the flight in the cockpit with the pilots, the report said.
The flight continued and landed safely, and the dispute didn't affect the rest of the flight, the official said, stressing the airline's commitment to safety. News of the fight emerged after France's air investigation agency, BEA, issued a report saying that some Air France pilots lack rigor in respecting procedures during safety incidents.
It focused on a fuel leak on an Air France flight from Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo to Paris in December 2020, when pilots rerouted the plane but didn't cut power to the engine or land as soon as possible, as leak procedure requires. The plane landed safely in Chad, but the BEA report warned that the engine could have caught fire.
It mentioned three similar cases between 2017 and 2022, and said some pilots are acting based on their own analysis of the situation instead of safety protocols. Air France said it is carrying out a safety audit in response. It pledged to follow the BEA's recommendations, which include allowing pilots to study their flights afterward and making training manuals stricter about sticking to procedure.
The airline noted that it flies thousands of flights daily and the report mentions only four such safety incidents. Air France pilots unions have insisted that security is paramount to all pilots and defended pilot actions during emergency situations.
The BEA also investigated an incident in April involving an Air France flight from New York's JFK airport that suffered flight control problems on approach to its landing in Paris.