An Air France Boeing 777 with 37 people on board narrowly missed hitting one of central Africa’s highest volcanoes in early May.
French accident investigators will examine a near accident, involving an Air France jet in a diverted flight towards Cameroon, following an encounter with storm clouds.
The planes ‘enhanced ground proximity warning system’ came into effect by warning the cockpit to “pull up”. These types of inquiries only occur when there would have been a good chance of a fatal accident. Accident investigators reported the automatic “pull up” alarm went off when the 777 was on its way to Douala, Cameroon, from Equatorial Guinea. The jet was diverted from its normal flight path after the pilots encountered storm clouds. It was on a collision course with Mount Cameroon, an active volcano and central Africa’s highest mountain.
The Local France reports:
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 May 2, diverted from its normal route “to avoid storms,” the BEA accident investigators said.
That manoeuvre had put it on course to hit the 4,040-metre (13,255-foot) 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 EGPWS (enhanced ground proximity warning system) went off in the plane’s cockpit and “the pilots to respond immediately by executing the appropriate manouevre,” Air France added.
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