The BEA air accident investigation agency released its final report Thursday on the crash, which killed all 228 people aboard and was the airline's deadliest accident.
Chief investigator Alain Bouillard said the two pilots at the controls never understood that the plane was in a stall and "were in a situation of near total loss of control."
The report lists a combination of "human and technical factors" behind the crash.
The BEA says it has made many safety recommendations including better training for pilots based on the Flight 447 probe.
The passengers who died in the crash included Guelph, Ont., native Brad Clemes, who lived in Belgium for 14 years as an executive with Coca-Cola.