Air France pilots come to blows while taking off from Geneva Airport

Air France pilots come to blows while taking off from Geneva Airport

While it is common to experience turbulence when going through bad weather, you may not expect stormy conditions to come from within the cockpit. However, according to La Tribune, that’s exactly what happened in Geneva when two Air France pilots exchanged blows on takeoff.

Air France pilots fighting when taking off from Swiss city

According to La Tribune, the incident occurred on an Air France flight between Geneva Airport and Paris Charles de Gaul in June 2022. The paper said that the two had come to blows as they were taking off from the Swiss city towards the French capital.

According to a report published by the French Bureau of Investigation and Analysis (BEA), the incident began when the co-pilot refused to carry out an instruction given by the captain during the climb phase after takeoff. After an “inadvertent blow” and a “slap,” the two grabbed each other while remaining in their seats.

The two were soon calmed by the flight attendants, with one remaining in the cockpit for the remainder of the flight. According to a statement by Air France, at no time was “the safety of the flight compromised,” but they did announce that the two pilots had been suspended until a “managerial decision” was made.

French authorities criticise Air France's safety culture

In their report, the BEA said that they were concerned about "a certain culture installed among certain Air France crews which favours a tendency to underestimate the contribution of a strict application of procedures for safety." They cited an incident in December 2020, where a suspected fuel leak had been detected but the crew had “deliberately omitted” the requirement to "cut off" the affected engine, with a "fire having been avoided by chance."

The BEA called on Air France to "put compliance with procedures back at the centre of the company's safety culture." In response, Air France said that it had accepted the report and started to implement its findings, and that they would be performing an audit in order to "complete, if necessary, certain analyses of this report."

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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