Safety experts said they were stunned that the pilots had been unable to recover from the stall.
“It is mind-boggling that an aircraft can stay stalled for that long,” said William R. Voss, president of the Flight Safety Foundation in Alexandria, Va. “This was a perfectly flyable aircraft that was mishandled from 35,000 feet all the way down to the surface.”
Nonetheless, Mr. Voss, who has no involvement in the French investigation, said he was hesitant to blame the crew.
“Those pilots did not plan to die that night,” he said. But their apparent focus on responding to the alarms and system failures, while failing to keep the plane at the proper attitude and power settings, suggests “there might be something either in their experience or their training that caused it to happen,” he said.
Mind-boggling : qui défie l'imagination, extraordinaire. C'est le mot approprié. Il n'y a aucune explication, pour le moment, au fait que les pilotes n'aient pu rattraper l'avion engagé dans un décrochage à plat à haute altitude, alors que les commandes répondaient et que les moteurs fonctionnaient normalement et répondaient aux commandes.