The accident occurred aboard an Air France Boeing 777-300ER (F-GSQL) departing from Mauritius for Paris Charles de Gaulle on September 16, 2018.
The French investigating authority, BEA, said the device was replacing a device with a different configuration. Although there are procedures to notify and prepare for such a change, the investigation found that the operations control center had transmitted incorrect configuration data.
This incorrect configuration not only involved changes, including a significant number of upgrades in business class – with about four times more professional seats than the normal cabin layout on the route – and changes in the crew. and catering. However, the information could not be accessed early enough on the crew tablets, which disrupted flight preparation and the boarding process.
“In order to limit the impact on on-board service during the flight, the cabin crew made numerous adjustments within the cabin,” explains BEA, adding that these additional tasks led the cabin crew to discard ”roles normally assigned to them.
The disturbance meant a final check of the kitchen before takeoff and, during departure, an unrestrained cart left its accommodation in the front kitchen and drove quickly along the right aisle, traveling three-quarters of the way length. from the plane and injuring eight passengers.
Among them was the passenger in seat 25K, who was leaning in the aisle and was hit in the face and seriously injured. The cart, approximately 1 m high and 0.8 m long, continued to roll until it reached seat 39J in the economy class cabin.
The passenger was treated by medical personnel on board and cabin crew, and the flight continued to Paris without diversion.
BEA claims that the crew’s late receipt of cabin preparation information meant that they had to “adapt quickly to an unexpected situation” and did not consider the advisability of rescheduling certain services on board – with the result that they focused on the commercial desire to satisfy passengers. to the “detriment” of certain security actions.