File Photo: Air France airplane

By Efosa Taiwo

Air France has suspended two of its pilots for physically fighting in the cockpit during a Geneva-Paris flight in June.

The airline said on Sunday that despite the fistfight, the flight landed safely.

According to Swiss La Tribune, the pilot and the co-pilot had a squabble shortly after takeoff, grabbing each other by the collars after one of them had hit the other.

The cabin crew intervened to separate the two pilots from the squabble with one of them spending the rest of the flight in the cockpit with the pilots for peace to prevail.

The fight would, however, be made known to the public after France’s air investigation agency, BEA released a report on Wednesday, pointing out that some Air France pilots disregarded safety protocols.

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The report concentrated on a fuel leak on an Air France flight from Brazzaville to Paris in December 2020, when pilots rerouted the plane but did not cut power to the engine or land as soon as possible, as the procedure requires.

Although the plane landed safely in Chad, the BEA report warned the engine could have caught fire.

It mentioned three similar cases between 2017 and 2022 and said some pilots are reacting by personally analysing the situation instead of following safety procedures.

The BEA also investigated an incident in April involving an Air France flight from New York City’s JFK airport that suffered flight control problems on approach to its landing in Paris.

In reaction, Air France said that it is carrying out a safety audit with respect to the report.

It promised to follow the recommendations from BEA, study their flights and make training manuals stricter on adhering to procedure.

The airline highlighted that it has thousands of flights every day and the report only mentioned only four incidents.

The Air France Pilot Unions, on their part, reiterated the importance of security to pilots while defending the actions of pilots during emergency situations.

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