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Air France Suspends Two Pilots After Fight Breaks Out Midflight

Air France stressed its commitment to safety, but the details here are concerning, going far beyond the one flight

Air France Suspends Two Pilots After Fight Breaks Out Midflight

Two Air France pilots were suspended after they began fighting shortly after takeoff from Paris on their way to Geneva. Flight attendants intervened—though details on exactly what they did to stop the fight is not clear.

According to a French air safety agency report, the fight broke out aboard the Airbus A320 after one of the pilots, neither of whom was publicly identified, disagreed about a procedure on departure. The two reportedly exchanged crude gestures before grabbing each other by the collars and proceeding to scuffle, while the plane was on autopilot, we are hoping.

Cabin crew quickly intervened, and one flight attendant babysat the two quarreling pilots as they flew the jet to Geneva, where it landed without further incident.

The fight is thought to be part of a larger culture issue at Air France, according to the French BEA (the rough equivalent of the United States’ NTSB), which said that some crews at the airline have a dismissive attitude about some safety procedures and are lax in following standard procedures for crewing the aircraft Air France operates.

BEA linked an incident in 2020 to the poor safety culture some Air France pilots follow. On that flight, from the Republic of Congo to Paris, fuel began leaking from one of the plane’s engines, which the pilots failed to shut down, which, the BEA wrote, increased the risk of a fire breaking out. Luckily, no fire ensued, and that flight landed safely in Paris.


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