Aviation Officials Investigating Air France Flight's Near Miss with Volcano
French aviation authorities are looking into what led to an Air France flight's near miss with an active volcano in Africa earlier this month.
According to CNN, the Boeing 777 was carrying 37 passengers from Equatorial Guinea to Cameroon on May 2 when it had a close encounter with the region's highest mountain, Mount Cameroon, which is currently an active volcano.
The plane "was flying at cruising altitude between Malabo and Douala in stormy conditions," said Air France in a statement. "The route they took to avoid the storm took their trajectory close to Mount Cameroon."
France's air accident investigation agency, BEA, said that the plane's "pull-up" alarm came on as a result and the pilots responded by ascending the aircraft from 9,000 feet to 13,000 feet.
"This proximity was detected by the EGPWS system (enhanced ground proximity warning system, that gives more detailed information than the GPWS)," added the airline. "This system generated an alarm in the cockpit to which the pilots responded immediately by applying the appropriate procedure."
"Pilots receive regular training in this type of maneuver," said Air France.
The flight landed safely in Douala, Cameroon and an airline official told CNN affiliate BFMTV that passengers aboard the flight were unaware of the close encounter at the time.
Nonetheless, the BEA described the situation as "a serious incident" involving "controlled flight into or toward terrain."
Air France stated that it will investigate the incident internally.
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