What could or should have been done when Pitot Tube Froze in Air France Flight 447 in June 2009? What can pilots learn from that blunder?…
Answer by Thomas Zerbarini:
The pilot should have configured the aircraft for a standard power and pitch setting that is established for that particular aircraft in case all airspeed and or altitude information is completely lost. This would provide a stable straight and level flight configuration and safe target speed.
Check out this NOVA episode covering the AF447 accident…go to about 40 minutes into the episode and they discuss the configuration and the fact that "Flying the Airplane" is the first priority…the pilots ignore all warnings and alerts and maintain aircraft control first.
From what I understand, Captains at Air France were trained for this procedure but not the First Officers.
This documentary also discusses what was learned and recommendations going forward.