Talk:Air France Flight 296

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YouTube links[edit]

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This article is one of thousands on Wikipedia that have a link to YouTube in it. Based on the External links policy, most of these should probably be removed. I'm putting this message here, on this talk page, to request the regular editors take a look at the link and make sure it doesn't violate policy. In short: 1. 99% of the time YouTube should not be used as a source. 2. We must not link to material that violates someones copyright. If you are not sure if the link on this article should be removed, feel free to ask me on my talk page and I'll review it personally. Thanks. ---J.S (t|c) 07:37, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

reply to j.s. The external links policy does not ban YouTube links. It is debatable that the Youtube clip falls under the fair use definition. because it's only 42 seconds long compared to the hour long show, is not used for profit, and is educational despite the fact the narrator does not mention that the plane actually has passengers and crew on board. -24.84.*.* —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) in January 2007
Nope. The uploader has to assert fair use in each particular circumstance, and a third party can't free-ride on another person's fair use claim. So if the clip was uploaded to Wikipedia and fair use was claimed, you would have an argument. Even if the YouTube uploader claimed fair use on YouTube, which he does not, we can't link to it since he is not the copyright holder. - BanyanTree 02:52, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Is it OK to state in the article that the incident can be viewed on YouTube without giving the URL? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:02, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
I know this is a late reply but I'd say "no, it's not ok" as we'd be using Wikipedia to advertise the availability of a copyright violation. If TLC were to put a copy of the episode up on their own web site then we could link to that as then we could establish that it's the copyright owner that's making the video available for pubic viewing. --Marc Kupper|talk 17:09, 3 November 2011 (UTC)


what happened? Did the plane hit the ground after the trees? How did the 3 passengers die? What happened to the Captain's appeal? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:38, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Yes, the plane did hit the ground, and the 3 passengers where killed by the smoke that came up as a result of the post crash fire. As for the Captain's appeal it is still ongoing (Sk8er boi6000 (talk) 03:01, 12 March 2010 (UTC))

22 years later? Really??? Captain Quirk (talk) 20:48, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

A yo what

this is da unmaned ting init. you know dem real ones der. a fam dis be wiki so u know it be true

Didn't quite catch that, but it was manned as the wikipedia article makes clear —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:50, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

I thought this article used to be a big and comprehensive one ? Now it is small and sparse. The name of the Captain appears without prior introduction. Am I imagining it ? Didn't it used to be a much bigger and more comprehensive entry ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:43, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

You can view the history of any article (and often find useful but deleted information there). This article's history is here. From a quick glance, the article was never any longer than it is now. (I didn't page through individual versions to see if it ever had any more information about the pilot.) -- (talk) 11:28, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

unsubstantiated claim of proof of flight recorder switch[edit]

I took out the following sentence from the "Disputed account" section: "The doubts were finally proven on May 1998, that the Flight Data Recorder confiscated was not the one which was taken from the aircraft after the crash." The reference given was I left the reference in, but attached to the previous sentence: "Due to these anomalies, the authenticity of the recorders had been questioned."

That article claims that it has been proven that the flight recorders have been switched, but it only backs this up with a set of photos which it claims prove that the flight recorders taken from the site were not the same as the ones presented at the trial. But it's quite clear from looking at the photo that it proves no such thing. They could very well be the same boxes.

The only other evidence given by the article are two links, both of which are dead. So at best the article proves that some people claim that the flight data recorders have been switched (which is why I left the reference in). (talk) 23:43, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

I have removed the "Investigation anomalies" section of this article. The entire article has been tagged as needing citations since Nov 2009, and none have been forthcoming. (Here is a permalink to the section at the time I removed it.) I took it upon myself to find citations for this content, spent about 30 minutes searching, and lo and behold, could find absolutely nothing besides the one page, which does not even remotely meet our requirements for reliable sources and does not cite any sources itself. I tried finding sources for each individual claim and could not. Reviewing the official webpage of the University of Lausanne IPS, I could find neither hide nor hare of a report detailing any of the sorts of claims suggested by this article (Original French English translation). The link for the report on the website, while it wouldn't have qualified as reliable anyway, doesn't even exist at this time.
If someone is much more successful than I in finding verifiable, reliable sources for the serious claims made by this section, by all means please edit accordingly. —bbatsell ¿? 18:29, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I managed to track down an article from Le Monde (in French from here: and also available as a scanned image at that seems to indicate that Pierre Margot, a professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Lausanne and Director of the Institute of Forensic Science and Criminology, believed that the flight recorders were swapped at the wreckage site. Does Le Monde meet the criteria of a verifiable source, or has Pierre Margot been disproven? -- (talk) 20:47, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Put back the Investigation Anomalies section. It is an important part of the event and was the subject of significant media scrutiny. You must recognize this fact unless you are an Airbus shill or something. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:32, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

So, unless we adopt a POV against the Captain of the flight we should put back the Investigation Anomalies. The french version of Wikipedia about this subject seems to be more accurate according to a NPOV Ppaulojr (talk) 01:25, 13 June 2011 (UTC)


The TLC link in the article leads to a disambigutation page where none of the TLC subjects seems to be of any relevance! Q43 (talk) 04:00, 23 January 2011 (UTC) Oh yea? Cry about it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:06, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

Someone fixed this. --Marc Kupper|talk 20:52, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Accident Summary[edit]

In the accident summary in the field type we have in this current version: Pilot Error (disputed). I believe the fair treatment in this case according to NPOV would be mark as Pilot Error / System Failure (disputed) Ppaulojr (talk) 01:20, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

"Only" three dead.[edit]

I recall seeing this clip on the news when it first happened all those years ago, and on seeing the giant ball of flame and smoke, agreeing with the commentators: how could anyone survive this? The fact that "almost" everyone did survive, (and not taking anything away from the three who died), and HOW they survived (if that is known) is surely worth including in this article if someone has some supported data for it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Old wombat (talkcontribs) 09:52, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Aha. Having seen the ACI show about it tonite, this is now clear. The starboard wing was wrenched off, and being full of fuel, exploded. THe fuselage landed essentially intact some way away. Maybe this should be in the main article? Old_Wombat (talk) 11:47, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Poorly Written[edit]

This article is very poorly written, some of which appears to be written by someone whose first language is not English. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Brprivate (talkcontribs) 13:46, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Agree very much - the use of "those" instead of "these", for instance, and perhaps more importantly, I would say (engine) "thrust" where this guy says "power" - it's the correct aviation term. The article is (just about) understandable, though, which is not always the case, i.e., I've seen much worse. I do think it's a shame, though, that people who only think they know English (i.e., most everyone who's ever sat in an EFL class!) write and edit Wiki articles, because it lowers the standard of the English encyclopeda as a whole - hey folks, English is NOT an easy language (you hear that all the time where I live [Germany], and it's a curse for those of us working with languages, because they think they know better) - in fact there's no such such thing as an easy language! I'm pleased to see that someone else cares, though! Maelli (talk) 21:07, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

This article is currently not balanced. It provides only a cursory summary of the official report, and then an excessively long section on the disputed account. This gives the (incorrect) impression that the official account is inadequate or wrong.
Ultimately, there is one fact that is not disputed - Captain Asseline flew the aircraft into a stall. This is a very bad thing for a pilot to do at any time, and a cardinal sin when done 30 ft above the ground. The evidence is clear – the plane was at alphamax (high angle of attack), at very low airspeed, and with engine set to idle. Asseline has nobody else to blame for putting the plane into such a dangerous configuration, he was in command. All the other distracting issues, eg. precise altitude, wearing a headset, engine lag in responding to throttle-up command, etc etc, are little more than red herrings because none of them excuse the fact that the plane stalled due to pilot error.
There is a lot of evidence in the official report (I haven’t been able to find a version translated into English), it’s pretty clear what actually happened. Oh, and reference 3 is a bit dubious; full of wacky conspiracy theories with no evidence to back them up. I propose that the article needs a major overhaul, trimming a lot out of the disputed account and providing more information from the official report. Logicman1966 (talk) 11:12, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree that this article is poorly written, but for a different reason. First, it is not Wikipedia's role to judge who's right. Unless we want to be treated as reliable source of information, we need to provide an information about alternative points of views than the official report without any words suggesting, that it only a riddiculus claim and it's not even worth mentioning. Or do you expect to rewarded by Airbus for writing it this way?
Also - the official report puts a lot of blame on Air France too. Not even a single word in an article about that, it's so POV that it's not even funny.
Also - in "Pilot vs. Plane" episode were statements of french journalist Jean-Claude Boetsch and british aircraft accidents consultant Ray Davis. Both of them supported Asselin's version of events. Like it or not - we are OBLIGUED to say such things in order to stay NPOV.
If there are doubts, there must be information that there are and an info must be included who exacly raises them. A small statement suggesting that it's only some madmen's talk is not even nearly enough.LunarBird (talk) 19:26, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

I have drastically improved the quality of this article with the help of Macarthur Job's book. It is not my style to simply parrot what someone else has written—I read, digest, then rewrite. Job's book delves into this story with intricate detail—far more detail than is necessary or warranted in this wiki page. The accepted wisdom is that the flight deck crew rushed the approach and the accident quickly became inevitable. The term "Pilot Error" falls under 'human error'. The crew simply got it wrong and a penalty was paid. Conspiracy theorists can babble about anything that takes their fancy, but where are the credible whistle-blowers? Where is the evidence?--Boiler Room 4 (talk) 10:54, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

Cause of Air France Flight 296 Disaster "Disputed" By Who?[edit]

I notice that this article lists the "Accident Type" of Air France Flight 296 disaster as "disputed", even though the French investigators were very clear in their findings: the cause was pilot error. This article implies that several entities are disputing this, but the only person it actually lists as "disputing" it (as far as I can see) is Captain Michel Asseline and his friends and attorneys. But of *course* he's disputing it; he and his copilot were found guilty of criminal misconduct in this matter. So no, I don't think the cause is "disputed". That is misleading, implying that the experts are in disagreement. But the experts are *not* in disagreement. The only person to disagree is the guilty part, and his arguments have all been thoroughly refuted.

Let's put it this way: If I posted a message in the "talk" page for the article on John F. Kennedy, "disputing" the fact of his death, saying that he's actually alive and well and living in Venezuela, are the keepers of that article going to mark JFK's alleged death as "disputed"? No? Why not? After all, I "disputed" it!

You get the point. One person's "disputing" something doesn't mean that the thing "is disputed". Only if multiple knowledgeable experts "dispute" it is the thing in question actually "disputed".

So if Michel Asseline is the only person disputing this, I move that "(disputed)" be removed from the "Type" heading in "Accident Summary", and that the section titled "Disputed Account" be retitled "Michel Asseline Disputes Official Account". (Not only would those changed improve accuracy and specificity, they would improve style by using active voice instead of passive voice.)LoneWolfiNTj (talk) 11:14, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Yes I agree - I have removed the word 'disputed' from the 'Accident Summary' box. As I stated in the previous section, the article currently gives too much credence to the conspiracy theories, which quite frankly don't stand up to scrutiny.
I intend to prune out most of the material currently in the 'disputed' section, leaving just a summary along the lines of "Asseline disputes the official findings", and move that material to a new section called (for example) 'evidence'. Here, the facts and claims can be laid out logically. The topics to cover are (i) altitude (ii) aircraft speed (iii) engine power (iv) pitch angle (v) flight controls (vi) OEB's (vii)Black Boxes. Logicman1966 (talk) 11:03, 6 March 2012 (UTC).

I'm a commercial pilot and I have to say that for the aviation community, the main cause for this accident is not human error but a problem with flight controls in A320. This is what is thought in flight schools. Furthermore, I got to this page trying to find some more information about the crash after reading a text from the MacMillan Aeronautical English Book (a reference) which states clearly that was an issue with built-in-limits in the Airbus what led to the disaster. It's not only Michel Asseline who is disputing something about this matter.

While I don't particularly care which way this goes, at the moment the article is inconsistent. There's a large section on the official findings, and a small section entitled "alternative explanation" ("alternative" rather implying it's not the commonly accepted one), with only a single line saying the pilot claims it was a fly-by-wire error. Then despite the main article having a massive emphasis towards the official finding of pilot error, the infobox says it was a fly-by-wire error, almost out of nowhere (with a comment saying this is the concensus view, which from a reading of this talk page is an exaggeration at best). Binkyuk (talk) 13:54, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Another take on the data recorders[edit]

http: // z15 . invisionfree . com/Loose_Change_Forum/ar/t11121.htm

This seems to be on the web in only one place, but it is an interesting account of the initial data checks. The website is blacklisted by wikipedia, apparently, so do not click on it. Fotoguzzi (talk) 19:10, 12 July 2012 (UTC)