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This is what happens when pilots pull controls in opposite directions at same time

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What happens when two pilots inadvertently pull their joysticks in opposite directions at the same time?

The pilots of Air France flight AF011 from New York to Paris, which was carrying 192 passengers and crew, were just 1,000 feet from the ground on their final approach to Charles de Gaulle airport when they encountered technical difficulties and had to abandon the landing.

The captain and co-pilot can be heard wrestling with the Boeing 777’s controls during the incident, while emergency alarms can be heard in the cockpit footage.

Investigators now believe the problem was caused by the two pilots inadvertently pulling their joysticks in opposite directions at the same time, resulting in a “serious incident,” which means it may have resulted in an accident.

One pilot reported the crisis on board the transatlantic flight to air traffic control, saying:

“The airplane is pretty much going nuts.”

The ATC responded: “I’ve seen on the radar, it swayed to the left.”

The two pilots “simultaneously made inputs on the controls” during a go-around for a second attempt, according to a preliminary study released Wednesday by France’s BEA air accident investigation agency.

The report says: “The captain held the control column in a slightly nose-down position while the co-pilot made several, more pronounced, nose-up inputs.”

A spokesman for Air France adds: “Our crew are trained and regularly rehearse procedures that are practised by all airlines.”

To enhance coordination, the Boeing 777 has control columns that move in sync with one another.

According to experts, no more than one pilot should be operating at any given moment.

When opposing forces on the two columns exceed a particular threshold, they are said to be “desynchronized.”

The pilots examined the situation after the landing fear, but did not detect that they had provided inconsistent inputs or that the columns had become disconnected, according to the BEA.

According to FlightRadar24, the plane landed successfully from New York on the second try and resumed operation around two weeks later.

Image Credit: Getty

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