AF447 (Merged)

Profile picture for user Bmused55

Member for

16 years 7 months

Posts: 10,625

Qantas #72 on October 7 last year was ADIRU wasn't it, or at least cited as something to do with what happened? That was a 330 aswell.

Yup, thats the story I was thinking of

Member for

11 years

Posts: 50

Looking at the map, its just a huge area to seach, especially since in all likelihood the boxes will be on the sea bed somewhere. Needle in haystack with only the EPERB's to guide them...

Attachments
Profile picture for user PMN

Member for

14 years 9 months

Posts: 5,530

Looking at the map, its just a huge area to seach, especially since in all likelihood the boxes will be on the sea bed somewhere.

That was one of my first thoughts. How on Earth are they going to find it? :(

Paul

Member for

13 years 10 months

Posts: 66

RE to FalkeEins's last post:

a dozen news sites have got it wrong then

..no surprise there then ..how many have fluent French speakers on tap...beginning to understand board policy on these types of events...my quotes were from the AF chairman's news conf..

Profile picture for user Bmused55

Member for

16 years 7 months

Posts: 10,625

Like I said earlier. Its incredibly frustrating that this has happened over water.
It will make finding it very difficult if not impossible, to say nothing about finding out what happened.

Member for

11 years

Posts: 50

IIRC they have 30 days til the EPERB's die off, not long when you consider the square miles that will be covered in the search for the plane. Afterall, just cos it stopped contact at a certain point does not mean it fell out of the sky at that point, it may have flown on for several miles off radar range before finally going down altogether.

As was said before it will be like the AdamAir flight and the Gol flight that collided with the exec jet...they sort of know roughly where to look but aren't 100% certain.

Member for

11 years

Posts: 50

Like I said earlier. Its incredibly frustrating that this has happened over water.
It will make finding it very difficult if not impossible, to say nothing about finding out what happened.

Worst case scenario they could draw on the experiences from the Helderberg crash in 1987, took 2 months to find the boxes on that one and that was only after specialist sonar teams were brought in. Technology is much better now, so perhaps they will have a better fighting chance of finding the plane or at least the boxes within a reasonable amount of time.

Either way it will doubtless be a very difficult investigation since all of the evidence is probably at the bottom of the Atlantic and only very small amounts, if anything, will be floating.

Profile picture for user Bmused55

Member for

16 years 7 months

Posts: 10,625

Helderberg? Was that the name of the SAA 747 that vanished, cause being a fire in the cargo compartment?

Member for

13 years 7 months

Posts: 796

A couple thoughts:
1. The references to disappearing off the radar. They would be drifting out of radar range in that area anyway...may already have been out of radar area.

2. Terrorism. In today's world, I always think of a bomb in a situation like this. When an airplane crashes so suddenly, with little or no communication, my first thought is either a massive structural failure or a bomb.

Member for

11 years

Posts: 50

Helderberg? Was that the name of the SAA 747 that vanished, cause being a fire in the cargo compartment?

Yep, the 747 combi inflight fire.

Member for

11 years

Posts: 50

Air France have given a 3rd statement in French on their website, appears that they along with Airbus and the BEA will be joining the Brazilian authorities in dealing with this accident, which is to be expected in a case like this.

Air France a communiqué au Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité de l’aviation civile (BEA), organisme chargé pour la France des enquêtes techniques sur les accidents et incidents dans l'aviation civile, et à Airbus, constructeur de l’avion, l’ensemble des informations en sa possession après la disparition du vol AF 447 effectuant la liaison Rio de Janeiro – Paris-Charles de Gaulle : la compagnie est en contact permanent avec le BEA et Airbus.

Member for

11 years

Posts: 50

And Airbus have just this minute placed a press release on their website...

AIR FRANCE FLIGHT AF 447
Media Information on Air France AF 447
1 June 2009

Airbus regrets to confirm that an Airbus A330-200 operated by Air France has been lost about 3.5 hours after departure. The aircraft was operating a scheduled service, Flight AF 447, from Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) to Paris (France).

The missing aircraft, registered under the number F-GZCP, was MSN (Manufacturer Serial Number) 660, delivered to Air France from the production line in April 2005. The aircraft had accumulated approximately 18,800 flight hours in some 2,500 flights. It was powered by CF6-80E1 engines. At this time no further factual information is available.

In line with ICAO Annex 13 international convention, Airbus has offered full technical assistance to the investigation board. The investigation remains the entire responsibility of the relevant board and it would be inappropriate for Airbus to enter into any form of speculation.

The concerns and sympathy of the Airbus employees go to the families, friends and loved ones affected.

* * *

For further information, please contact:

AIRBUS - MEDIA RELATIONS
Tel.: +33 (0)5.61.93.10.00

http://www.airbus.com/crisis/index.html

Profile picture for user Bmused55

Member for

16 years 7 months

Posts: 10,625

I've just read that apparently a Brazilian Airforce Hercules is flying the same track AF447 should have been on in an attempt to locate... well... anything.

Member for

11 years 7 months

Posts: 1

Is possible for an airliner to encounter some hale storm in that altitude that may take the wingshield (and the ufortunate pilots ) out

Profile picture for user Bmused55

Member for

16 years 7 months

Posts: 10,625

Worst case scenario they could draw on the experiences from the Helderberg crash in 1987, took 2 months to find the boxes on that one and that was only after specialist sonar teams were brought in. Technology is much better now, so perhaps they will have a better fighting chance of finding the plane or at least the boxes within a reasonable amount of time.

Either way it will doubtless be a very difficult investigation since all of the evidence is probably at the bottom of the Atlantic and only very small amounts, if anything, will be floating.


If I'm reading charts correctly. The ocean around the area in question is up to 2 miles deep. It's going to be hard to get a signal from the locator beacons on the boxes at that depth.

Member for

11 years

Posts: 50

If I'm reading charts correctly. The ocean around the area in question is up to 2 miles deep. It's going to be hard to get a signal from the locator beacons on the boxes at that depth.

The depth of the water might cause a problem, but having said that, in 1987 when Helderberg went down, it was in very deep water that was said to be out of reach by almost everything available at that time. Twenty two years on, there would be better technology, I'm sure, that if the wreckage was found in deep water, there would be ways and means available to retrieve as much of it as possible, wouldn't there?

I would hope that a cost factor would not be a stumbling block, they need to find out what happened to the plane one way or another.

Member for

15 years

Posts: 1,082

If I'm reading charts correctly. The ocean around the area in question is up to 2 miles deep. It's going to be hard to get a signal from the locator beacons on the boxes at that depth.

Yes, at times we tend to forget just how remote and inhospitable some areas of our planet remain. And we also forget that many long haul flights criss cross these "difficult" areas every day without any problem.

Modern jet engines are so reliable these days that we think nothing of allowing ETOPs/long hauls over some pretty barren/uninhabitted/unforgiving areas of the planet. Maybe we forget at our peril that factors other than engines can fail, and that many of the flight paths take airliners across areas that are many, many, hours overland-drive or maybe even many days deep-water sailing from habitation should the worst ever happen.

What surprises me is the fact that there does indeed seem to be a long delay between automated messages being received by AF (possibly suggesting things might be going awry), and any sort of public announcement - but then I have to remind myself of the distances and timescales involved in trying to verify/investigate the matter before making any statement. Imagine the problems if AF released a statement too early, causing unncessary distress to all involved, only to have the flight turn up safe and sound somewhere. I guess they did need time to verify that it was not simply a major comms problem they were seeing - so until the flight missed it's next radio/radar checkpoint etc they had nothing much to go on. A tough call for all concerned.

Hoping for the best, but fearing the worst....

Member for

15 years

Posts: 1,082

I would hope that a cost factor would not be a stumbling block, they need to find out what happened to the plane one way or another.

As a one-off (to date) incident of this type on this type of aircraft, someone somewhere has to make a difficult decision, as the recovery costs will be massive if it really has come down in water that deep, esp if the area to be combed is large too. IIRC the trail from the Lockerbie 747 spread from Lockerbie right across the the East coast - try covering a trail of that length in mid ocean at two miles deep, especially after factoring in effects of ocean current(s) at varying depths, any wind effects on airborne debris etc etc....and in Lockerbie case they had radar returns from the larger pieces which helped them map the spread.... now try doing the same beyond radar coverage..

I'm not suggesting they won't, nor that they shouldn't, but just try getting your heads around the sheer scale of the task involved :(. Mind numbing!

Member for

14 years 7 months

Posts: 326

very tragic and mystifying at the same time! :S

of related interest there are ROVs capible of operating in up to 6000 meters, so depending on how fast the debris field can be guesstimated - might be a chance to find the boxes!

pity it didn't end like air transat 236 :(

Member for

11 years

Posts: 50

The BBC have put together a timeline for the flight, the intial encounter with the storm being 0200 GMT and the automated message about the short circuit at 0214 GMT, 5 hours later the airline instigated the crisis center to be organised. It doesn't take into consideration the time zone differences though, if that would make a difference tween AF receiving the message and starting the plane overdue ball rolling. Then again, the BBC do not have all the information at their disposal as to what went on behind the scenes when the message was received...something the CVR, FDR and the radar controllers should be able to fill in the various gaps (hopefully).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8077304.stm

The UKFO are looking into whether or not there were any British passengers on the plane.

One thing has crossed my mind in relation to the Brazilian controllers, wasn't there a problem with this in the Gol 737/exec ject collision a couple of years ago when the controllers and the exec jet lost contact with each other for a time. I seem to remember there being a bit of a furore about the reliability of Brazil's radar/ATC infrastructure at the time of that accident due to it being run solely by the military and very short staffed or something?