European Pilots Express Deepest Sympathy for Friends and Family of Colleagues and Passengers of AF447

Following the tragic loss of an Air France Airbus 330-200, en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris today, the European Cockpit Association offered on behalf of all 38,000+ professional pilot colleagues from 36 Country Member Associations, their deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences on the tragic loss of friends, colleagues and passengers on board flight AF447.

In such unusual circumstances, and given the normally exemplary safety record of both this aircraft and the airline; ECA President Martin Chalk said: "Our hearts and thoughts are with those affected by this disaster. In their name – and in the name of every pilot, crew member and passenger of the future – we urge the press, politicians and public to support the official safety investigators and allow the time, resources and patience for a comprehensive ICAO annex 13 investigation. This is the only way to protect future travellers and provide the necessary answers for those who have suffered the most grievous loss."

"Although there is an inevitable thirst for knowledge of the fate of loved ones, the truth is that the safety investigation is often undermined by wild speculation from so-called experts, public figures and the media." added ECA Secretary General, Philip von Schöppenthau. "Real experts in this area know that the best course of action, given such a tragedy, is to comprehensively discover every contributing factor to prevent future potential accidents. We support the EU Institutions in seeking to bring European regulation up to the best standards in the world as they plan to revise the EU Accident Investigation Directive later this year."

For further information, please contact:
Philip von Schöppenthau, ECA Secretary General, Tel: +32-2-705.32.93

Download the ECA statement (PDF)