Understanding Air France 447 with Capt. Bill Palmer

Air France AF447

A330 captain Bill Palmer joins me to discuss his book Understanding Air France 447. Many factors contributed to the crash of this A330, which went down in the Atlantic in 2009. Bill walks us through the factors involved in the crash including aircraft systems, pilot fatigue, pilot proficiency, and the state of professional pilot training.

This podcast has been retired but you can get Understanding Air France 447 via link the below

  • Flight control laws – computer controlled flight control modes that are capable of determining the operational mode (computational law) of the aircraft.
  • Flight Director – The flight director displays the proper pitch and bank angles required for the aircraft to follow a selected path. it is generally used in direct connection with the Autopilot.
  • GliderSource.com – Bill’s soaring classifieds website.


Bill Palmer’s book on Air France 447 walks us through the actions of the crew, how they failed to understand and control the problem, how the airplane works and the part it played in the crews inability to recover their stalled airplane.
Excerpt from the book Understanding Air France 447
“Pilots, ask yourselves: How is your instrument scan? How well can you hold and make changes to heading, altitude, and airspeed without the flight director? Will your hand flying skills be ready on your next flight when it is dark and bumpy, you are half tired, and things stop working?”

Did the podcast change your perspective on AF 447? Leave a comment below.

2 thoughts on “Understanding Air France 447 with Capt. Bill Palmer

  1. Dave Goodwin says:

    Ice can indeed block heated tubes and there is proof of this.
    There was no loss of cabin pressure recorded.
    There is no evidence the tail came off before the crash.
    Escaping cabin gas does not have sufficient energy to propel an airliner up, down, or sideways.

  2. James Venetti says:

    I believe Bill is mistaken due: to the first telemetry was a loss of Cabin Pressure caused when the tail was torn off in severe turbulence. See photos of tail that floated & recovered with no damaged to leading edge. The aircraft’s aft section was pushed downward via escaping gas as the nose shot up climbing at 9k/min until stalling at 38k ft. There is no tail-off indication for the bewildered crew by the events, alarms, & speed loss. There was no ice on the pitot tubes at 38K ft and no record of any evidence that ice can form on 125C hot pitots, NONE.. ICE can not form on hot tubes, the theory is BS & Airbus excuse. The A300s have a weak tail and when that tail comes off all 5 Airbus aircraft have crashed and clogged tubes did not cause the crash the Tail OFF did.

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