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Final Words Of Air France Flight 447 Crew Revealed In New Book

Air France 447

First Posted: 10/14/11 01:44 PM ET Updated: 12/14/11 05:12 AM ET

A new book has revealed the final words of the cockpit crew of doomed Air France Flight 447, which crashed into the South Atlantic off the coast of Brazil in 2009, killing all 228 passengers and crew on board.

The final minutes of the flight recordings were published Friday for the first time and reveal confusion and shock in the cockpit as the Airbus A330 plunged into the sea.

The final exchange on the tapes includes pilot David Robert saying, "Damn it! We’re going to crash. It can’t be true!" Pilot Pierre-Cedric Bonin replies "But what’s happening?" before the recording ends.

The Daily Mail published the transcript, which now appears in a book by a French flight instructor who questions whether Airbus and Air France properly trained pilots to respond to the emergency.

This summer, accident investigators said the pilots were not sufficiently trained to manually control the jet in the event of a high-altitude stall, which occurred after an air-speed gauge became obstructed by ice.

That same report could not explain why the pilots continued to keep the plane's nose up, contrary to usual procedure during a stall. The newly revealed cockpit conversations also provide few answers to that question. It's hardly a moot point: The Mail reports that "Both Air France and Airbus are facing manslaughter charges, with a judicial investigation led by Paris judges already under way."

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Filed by Paul Brady  |