Panic as plane malfunctions just 1,100ft from the ground while landing in Paris as pilots lose control and it drifts off course
- Plane flying in from New York encountered malfunction just 1,100ft from ground
- Pilot told Paris air traffic controllers the plane was not responding to commands
- Radar showed plane drifted off course to the left and pilots had to abort landing
Pilots of an Air France flight coming into Paris were forced to abort their landing after a technical malfunction onboard which lead the plane to drift off course.
In communications with air traffic control, the pilots were audibly panicked at low altitude when they realised the plane deviated to the left and failed to respond to commands.
Air France confirmed there was a ‘technical incident’ onboard and said it ‘understands and regrets the discomfort felt by customers’.
The Boeing 777 AF11 flight – which left New York’s JFK Airport on Monday night – was below 4,000ft (1,000m) coming into Charles de Gaulle airport on Tuesday morning when it encountered the glitch.
In audio shared by Air Live, the pilot can be heard physically struggling with the commands as he attempts to keep the plane on course.
Several alarm noises can be heard in the background as the pilot yells ‘stop, stop’ and then tells the air traffic control tower he will call them back.
Pilots of an Air France flight coming into Paris this morning were forced to abort their landing after a technical malfunction onboard which lead the plane to drift off course (stock image)
Radar data shows the plane deviated to the left while making its approach to Charles de Gaulle
Air traffic controllers in Paris instruct another flight to stop its approach to the runway ‘immediately’ while the issue with AF11 was ongoing.
The pilot of the affected plane sounds audibly out of breath before he tells the tower they aborted their landing and performed a ‘go-around’ – a manoeuvre where the pilot pulls up and prepares for another approach.
Flight tracking data shows the plane went as low as 1,100ft (343m) before aborting the landing and going back up to an altitude of 4,000ft.
In French, the pilot advises the control tower that they are maintaining an altitude of 4,000ft and will call them back when the issue is resolved.
Minutes later, the pilot then calls the tower and says: ‘We went around following an issue with commands. The airplane didn’t respond.
‘We are ready to resume final approach with radar guidance. Give us time to manage the situation, then guide us with downwind.’
Data from Flight Aware shows that the plane aborted its landing and made a second attempt
Radar showed the plane deviated to the left, according to the air traffic controller who then clears an alternative runway for the flight at the request of the pilot.
Air France confirmed the incident in a statement and described the malfunction as ‘a technical incident’.
It said: ‘Air France confirms that the crew of flight AF011 from New York JFK to Paris-CDG aborted their landing sequence and performed a go-around due to a technical incident during the approach.
‘The crew mastered the situation and landed the aircraft normally after a second approach.
‘Air France understands and regrets the discomfort felt by customers.
‘The go-around is defined by the authorities, aircraft manufacturers and Air France as a normal procedure.
‘The crews are trained and regularly instructed in these procedures, which are used by all airlines to guarantee the safety of flights and passengers, which is an absolute necessity for Air France.’
The flight landed safely at 10.30am in Paris.