It was revealed that the captain of an Air France plane which crashed into the ocean and killed all 228 on board had only slept one hour the night before taking off.
This information was obtained after listening to the black box recordings. It also revealed the co-pilots were sleep deprived.
Flight AF447 plummeted from the sky as it traveled from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to Paris in June 2009.
It went through a tropical thunderstorm over the Atlantic ocean and started rolling from side to side. Pierre-Cedric Bonin, 32, and David Robert, 37, could not control the Airbus A330.
Captain Marc Dubois, 58, returned from his break when the plane started experiencing problems, but the co-pilots were unable to tell him what was happening because they were in a panic.
An analysis of the black box recorders established that the cause of the crash was a malfunction in the airspeed sensors, likely because they had frozen up.
But now many are speculating that the pilots also had a role in it, as a statement heard by Dubois during the flight indicated he had not slept enough.
“I didn’t sleep enough last night. One hour - it’s not enough,” he said.
Even before the plane started having problems, Dubois was already “grumbling” from his exhaustion.
When the problems started, they ignored normal procedures and raised, instead of lowered, the plane’s nose when it lost lift.
Aerodynamic stall is not related to the engines, and investigators said the engines operated and responded throughout the flight.
Their error led to a three-and-a-half minute dive into the ocean.
All on board, from 32 nations, including five from Britain, three from Ireland and two from America, died after it hit the sea going down 180ft per second.
In a report by the French aviation safety authority, they agree that the “captain had failed in his duties and prevented the co-pilot from reacting appropriately.”