Search icon


19th Apr 2024

Haunting final words of pilot before plane crashed killing 228 people confirmed

Ryan Price

Recordings of the tragic final moments were retrieved from the wreckage.

On 1st June 2009, Air France flight 447 disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean while en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris with 228 people onboard.

The cause of the tragic incident was attributed to a mix of technical failure made worse by a storm, and the pilots’ inability to respond appropriately to the plane stalling.

Investigators concluded that it plummeted at a rate of 11,000 feet per minute, killing all on board upon impact.

It took two years to locate and recover the wreckage and, astonishingly, the black box containing audio recordings from the cockpit in the moments before impact were found still in working order.

The recordings revealed that the pilots were stumped by an error in the air-speed ratings and made the fatal decision to tilt the plane’s nose upwards instead of downwards when it stalled.

The black box picked up the panicked voice of first officer and co-pilot Pierre-Cedric Bonin who exclaimed: “I don’t have control of the aeroplane anymore now. I don’t have control of the aeroplane at all!”

The situation occurring in the cockpit was kept from the passengers in the cabin, as the pilots attempted to get the plane back on track.

Co-pilot David Robert can be heard shouting to Bonin “controls to the left” before taking control himself. However, Bonin continued to hold his side-stick back, thus negating Robert’s attempt to put the aircraft back on track.

Alarms can then be heard blaring in the cockpit, and the voice of Captain Marc Dubois can just about be made out as he asks the pilots: “Er what are you doing?”.

Robert responds: “We’ve lost all control of the aeroplane, we don’t understand anything, we’ve tried everything.

Next, Robert can be heard saying to himself: “Climb, climb, climb, climb.” Bonin replies: “But I’ve been at maximum nose-up for a while!”

Dubois then comes to the realisation that Bonin is causing the stall and yells: “No, no, no, don’t climb! No, no, no!”

In a last ditch attempt to save the quickly descending aircraft, Bonin handled the controls to Robert. However, it was too late.

Lastly, Bonin can be heard declaring: “We’re going to crash! This can’t be true. But what’s happening?” It’s unclear who spoke next, but a voice can be heard saying: “F***, we’re dead.”

That was the last bit of speech picked up by the black box. From then on, it went to silence.

Related Links:

Airline starts weighing passengers along with their luggage

Airline praised for ‘customer of size’ policy that lets you get an extra seat for free

Terrifying footage emerges from inside Japan Airlines plane crash

easyJet flight from Tenerife to UK cancelled after passenger ‘defecated on floor’