The French prosecutors had wanted to charge Air France but not Airbus, but the judges decided to overrule them saying the pilots were essentially at fault. The judges said pilots in similar situations had been able to deal successfully with the glitch, the computer passing control over to the pilots because the pitot tubes measuring airspeed had iced up.
Our book, Air Crashes and Miracle Landings explains not only the technical aspects but also the many human ones including the captain having having brought his “companion” from Paris for the layover in Rio de Janeiro and had only had an hour’s sleep, which he admitted on the CVR, but the investigators did not mention until it was revealed in the course of the judicial inquiry and was seemingly not in his bunk next to the cockpit when needed. The relationship between the two first officers left at the controls was not good, and so on.
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