Paris (CNN) — French air safety investigators have opened an investigation after an Air France Boeing 777 approaching Paris Charles de Gaulle airport was involved in a “serious incident”, according to the BEA, the French office which air accident investigation and aviation safety.
In an air traffic control audio recording which French authorities say relates to the incident, a pilot says the “plane was just kind of out of control”.
But he authenticated an audio recording posted online of the communication between the pilot of the flight and the control tower.
The recording was edited to isolate audio from the flight and posted online by private aviation-focused website AIRLIVE, which tells CNN it had direct access to Paris Air Traffic Control recordings Charles deGaulle.
Air France’s response
Air France said on Wednesday that it “understands and regrets the discomfort experienced by customers”. Spokesman Mathieu Guillot said the pilots responded appropriately to the situation by circling and making a second landing attempt.
“Air France confirms that the crew of flight AF011 on April 4, 2022 from New York JFK to Paris-CDG interrupted their landing sequence and performed a go-around during approach.
“The crew landed the aircraft normally after a second approach. Air France understands and regrets the inconvenience felt by customers,” Air France said.
The go-around is defined by the authorities, the aircraft manufacturers and Air France as a normal procedure. Crews are trained and regularly made aware of these procedures, which are used by all airlines to guarantee the safety of flights and passengers, which is Air France’s top priority.”
What we hear in the BEA recording
In the BEA recording, a voice that is apparently that of a pilot is heard saying “stop, stop” as an alarm sounds in the cockpit.
“I’ll call you back, I’ll call you back,” hears the male voice say to the air traffic controllers, who order him to “stop the approach…immediately.”
The pilot is then heard signaling to the controllers the decision to abandon the landing.
“We did the trick following a problem with the controls. The plane was just a little out of control,” we heard. “We are ready to resume the final approach with radar guidance. Give us time to manage the situation, then guide us with the tailwind.”
Description of a passenger
As the plane approached the airport, there were “two or three sudden jolts,” passenger Pierre-Loïc Jacquemin told CNN’s French affiliate BFMTV.
“There were people screaming in the cabin” at the time of the incident, he said.
“Afterwards, the plane came back. We circled for 10 minutes above the airport, and the second attempt was very gentle. We weren’t jostled like the first,” added the passenger.
The flight came from JFK International
The nearly seven-hour Air France Flight 11 from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport was aboard a French-registered Boeing 777, according to tracking data from aviation websites FlightAware and FlightRadar24. , which show the landing of the 17-year-old plane. after the second attempt.
Boeing spokesman Paul Lewis referred questions about the incident to the BEA.
As an American-made aircraft, a formal investigation into the incident would involve the involvement of the US National Transportation Safety Board.
The board has appointed an official to assist in the French-led investigation, NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson told CNN. He said the French BEA had been in contact with the NTSB.
This development does not necessarily mean that NTSB officials will physically travel to Paris.
The US Federal Aviation Administration also had no immediate comment on the incident.
It is not known how many people were on board the flight when the incident occurred.
Top image: an archive photo of Paris Charles de Gaulle airport