Passenger jet narrowly misses volcano as another falls 13,000 feet after engines cut
French accident investigators have opened an inquiry into a near accident involving an Air France Boeing 777 which narrowly missed one of Africa’s highest volcanoes with 37 people on board.
An automatic “pull up” alarm went off when the plane, travelling from Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, to Douala, Cameroon’s largest city on 2 May, diverted from its normal route “to avoid storms”, the BEA accident investigators said.
That manoeuvre had put it on course to hit the 4,040m (13,255ft) Mount Cameroon before the alarm prompted the pilots to swiftly gain altitude and miss the mountain.
No one was injured and the plane continued its flight without further incident.
Air France confirmed the incident, saying that it would be carrying out its own internal inquiry.
“A route to avoid a storm brought the plane toward the side of Mount Cameroon,” it said in a statement.
The enhanced ground proximity warning system went off in the plane’s cockpit and “the pilots to respond immediately by executing the appropriate manoeuvre,” Air France added.
Elsewhere, a Singapore Airlines Airbus with 182 passengers and 12 crew on board lost power to both engines en route to Shanghai - falling 3,962m (13,000ft) - the airline said on Wednesday as it announced an investigation into the incident.
The airline, along with its subsidiaries SilkAir, Scoot, and Tiger Airways, flies to 119 destinations across 35 countries. Last week Airbus warned of a technical bug potentially affecting the engines of its A400M military planes that was discovered during an internal test after one crashed in Spain.