AF447 (Merged)

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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!

They did the needle in the haystack ocean search for Air India 747 and although maybe not so deep as this Air France plane is likely to be, it is something that I get the feeling that Sarkozy will demand is done, money no object.

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Another very sad incident in the history of aviation. As is always the case, hopefully a small positive will come from this in that something may be learnt from and improved on. Thoughts to all families.

Is this the first A330 loss?

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Is this the first A330 loss?

No, F-WWKH crashed on a test flight in 1994 at Toulouse, killing seven. This was the only other crash.

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A Brazilian online newspaper has this article, which one paragraph does lend itself to something going wrong with the pressurisation...

Shortly afterwards, to 23h20m, he was waited new return of the airplane of the Air France, but it was not made. The pilot only sent message through an internal system of the company informing that he was with problems of loss of pressurization and fails in the electrical system. The pilot sent message only through an internal system of the company informing that he was with problems of loss of pressurization and fails electric in the system.

Paragraph taken from...(and translated from Portugese)

http://209.85.227.132/translate_c?hl=en&sl=fr&u=http://jbonline.terra.com.br/pextra/2009/06/01/e010611988.asp&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dla%2Bmonde%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-GB:official%26hs%3DG4T&rurl=translate.google.co.uk&usg=ALkJrhivS5zzqWEWpKtmGqDqnlITugEjpQ

Da redação - A Força Aérea Brasileira (FAB) acaba de divulgar o nota sobre Desaparecimento do avião A330, em que estavam a bordo 228 pessoas, sendo 216 passageiros, com sete crianças e um bebê. Segundo a FAB, às 22h33m de domingo a aeronave entrou em contato com a torre de controle e estava a 565km de Natal, capital do Rio Grande do Norte, a 11km de altitude ea 400km por hora. Segundo a FAB, às 22h33m de domingo a aeronave entrou em contato com a torre de controle e estava a 565km from Natal, capital do Rio Grande do Norte, a 11km altitude of 400 km por hora ea. O voo transcorria normalmente. O voo transcorria normalmente.

Pouco depois, às 23h20m, era aguardado novo retorno do avião da Air France, mas não foi feito. Pouco depois, às 23h20m, era aguardado novo retorno do avião da Air France, mas não foi feito. O piloto apenas enviou mensagem através de um sistema interno da companhia informando que estava com problemas de perda de pressurização e falha no sistema elétrico. O piloto enviou mensagem apenas através de um sistema interno da companhia informando que estava com problemas de perda de pressurização e falha elétrico no sistema.

Sem mais sinal, as buscas começaram às 2h com duas aeronaves, informou Antonio Carlos Moreti Bermudes, da Aeronáutica. Sem sinal but, as buscas começaram às 2h com duas aeronaves, Antonio Carlos Moretti informou Bermuda, da Aeronáutica. A Anac está atendendo os parentes dos passageiros em dois postos: no aeroporto do Galeão do Rio de Janeiro e também no hotel Windsor, na Barra da Tijuca. A Anac atendendo está os parentes dos dois em passageiros postos: Galeão no aeroporto do Rio de Janeiro e também no hotel Windsor, na Barra da Tijuca. Nos locais, as equipes são formadas por médicos e psicólogos Nos locais, as equipes são por médicos e formadas psicólogos

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They did the needle in the haystack ocean search for Air India 747 and although maybe not so deep as this Air France plane is likely to be, it is something that I get the feeling that Sarkozy will demand is done, money no object.

Indeed Shamrock, I was just trying to point out the nature and scale of the task, we are just so used to having facts at our fingertips within moments these days that some of us tend to forget that the planet is still a large and often hostile place in which to start looking for needles in haystacks, esp when we aren't even sure where the haystack may be. As I fly long hauls on A330s as a pax I'm as keen as anyone for the cause(s) to be established.

I face a short hop back to LGW from GCI tomorrow - water's not so deep, or so cold en route, as the south Atlantic, and Cherbourg peninsula is only an hour or so away by boat at worst, but I still wouldn't fancy my chances if I had to take an unexpected swim. And no I'm not being flippant - I'll get on board the flight without worrying about it too much, but it makes you realise that even short hauls over water carry a (very small) finite risk that I conventiently ignore every week.

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Indeed Shamrock, I was just trying to point out the nature and scale of the task, we are just so used to having facts at our fingertips within moments these days that some of us tend to forget that the planet is still a large and often hostile place in which to start looking for needles in haystacks, esp when we aren't even sure where the haystack may be. As I fly long hauls on A330s as a pax I'm as keen as anyone for the cause(s) to be established.

I face a short hop back to LGW from GCI tomorrow - water's not so deep, or so cold en route, as the south Atlantic, and Cherbourg peninsula is only an hour or so away by boat at worst, but I still wouldn't fancy my chances if I had to take an unexpected swim. And no I'm not being flippant - I'll get on board the flight without worrying about it too much, but it makes you realise that even short hauls over water carry a (very small) finite risk that I conventiently ignore every week.

hmmm...too true..there by the grace of god....:o

I guess we all just fly without giving it a second thought that it might happen...the 'what if' syndrome. Although if we all did that, no-one would fly at all. It doesn't matter how many times the pundits tell us how safe it is to fly, its days like this that make you sit back, take a deep breath and think...just so utterly devastating for all the families and friends affected :(

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hmmm...too true..there by the grace of god....:o

I guess we all just fly without giving it a second thought that it might happen...the 'what if' syndrome. Although if we all did that, no-one would fly at all.

Every time I fly commercial, I think of all the people putting blind faith into technologies and the physics of flight they don't understand.

Condolences to all.

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The latest statement from Air France

Paris, 01 June 2009 - 16:44 local time
Press release N° 4

Air France expresses its deepest sympathy to the relatives and friends of the passengers and crew who were on board AF flight 447 on 31 May 2009, which disappeared somewhere between Rio de Janeiro and Paris-Charles de Gaulle.

Air France is doing its utmost to provide support to relatives and friends: counselling with physicians and psychologists as well as specially trained Air France volunteers has been set up at the airports of Paris-Charles de Gaulle 2 and Rio de Janeiro.

Air France has also established a special toll-free number for the attention of relatives and friends of passengers who may have been on board. They can use this number to obtain information on whether or not a member of their family or friends were on board.

Phone number reserved for relatives and friends

0800 800 812 in France,

0800 881 20 20 in Brazil,

and + 33 1 57 02 10 55 for calls from all other countries.

Air France will release further information as soon as it is available.

NB: We ask journalists not to call this number, which is reserved for relatives and close friends.

President Sarkozy has reportedly arrived at CDG airport to be with the families of those on board the plane. Initial reports yet to be confirmed relating to the nationalities on board are as follows..

Most of those aboard were Brazilians while the others included 40 French people and at least 20 Germans, the French government said.

Six Danes, five Italians, three Moroccans and two Libyans are also believed to have been aboard, while the UK fears that some of its citizens were also passengers.

More details regarding the timeline have emerged too...

last radio contact at 0133 GMT (2233 Brazilian time) when it was 565km (360m) off Brazil's north-eastern coast, Brazil's air force said.

The crew said they were planning to enter Senegalese airspace at 0220 GMT and that the plane was flying normally at an altitude of 10,670m (35,000ft) and a speed of 840km/h (520mph).

At 0220, when Brazilian air traffic controllers saw the plane had not made its required radio call saying it was crossing into Senegalese airspace, air traffic control in the Senegalese capital was contacted.

At 0530 GMT, Brazil's air force launched a search-and-rescue mission, sending out a coast guard patrol plane and a specialised air force rescue aircraft.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8076848.stm

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Really really devastating. :(

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More details...

Brazilian ministry details last track of missing Air France A330
David Kaminski-Morrow, London (01Jun09, 15:53 GMT, 256 words)

Brazil's defence ministry has detailed the last known track of the missing Air France Airbus A330-200, and indicated that the jet may have reported a pressurisation problem as well as an electrical fault.

Flight AF447 had been en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris Charles de Gaulle with 228 occupants when it disappeared.

At 22:33 Brasilia local time, says the ministry, the aircraft made final radio contact with the eastern Brazilian Cindacta-3 Atlantic area control centre at Recife, one of four en route centres that oversee Brazilian airspace.

The aircraft contacted Cindacta-3 at the INTOL waypoint, some 350nm (565km) from Natal, a city on the Brazilian coast. It indicated that it would enter Dakar airspace, Senegal, at the TASIL waypoint - about 663nm (1,228km) from Natal just under 50min later, at 23:20 Brasilia time.

AF447 left Cindacta-3 radar surveillance from the island of Fernando de Noronha, at 22:48. At this time it was cruising at 35,000ft at 453kt, says the defence ministry, with indications that the flight was "normal".

The aircraft did not contact air traffic control around the time of the expected transit of TASIL.

The ministry says that Air France has informed Cindacta-3 that, about 54nm (100km) from TASIL the flight transmitted a technical message concerning loss of pressurisation and an electrical failure.

Brazilian Air Force rescue teams from Recife initiated a search at 02:30 Brasilia time, involving a Lockheed C-130 Hercules and Embraer P-95 Bandeirante.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news

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I'm curious what type of electrical failure the message contained. A loss of pressurization would lead them to decend to a much lower altitude and divert to a nearby alternate airport. I don't have any experience with long range nav. but I would guess that along any particular segment the flight plan would have a list of diversionary airports should such an emergency arise. Did they possibly lose their nav. system? I'm sure the crews training covered these such situations. Without knowing any details I'm sure the crew worked tiredlessly to get to a safe landing point no matter how dire their situation may have been.

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What do the tech people here think of the multiple lightning strike theory? Can it lead to electrical failure which in turn may lead to loss of cabin pressure.

It is very clear that the aircraft went down very quickly. Somehow the theories being suggested so far don't seem to be convincing.

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A few of those on board have been named....

The Michelin tyre company said three of its executives were on the flight, including the president of its South American operations, Luiz Roberto Anastacio.

It is also believed that Erich Heine, an executive board member at the German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp, was on board.

He is also the chairman of the company's Brazilian unit - Companhia Siderurgica do Atlantico - a joint venture between ThyssenKrupp and a Brazilian mining company.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8077858.stm

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With this loss of pressurization now coming into play, if true, perhaps the crew were incapacitated? Perhaps even everyone on board, like the Hela flight a few years back.

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The full list of nationalities on board the aircraft has now been released by Air France via their French website..

Communiqué N° 5

Air France est en mesure de confirmer les nationalités des passagers qui se trouvaient à bord du vol AF 447 du 31 mai 2009, disparu entre Rio de Janeiro et Paris-Charles de Gaulle. Cette liste a été constituée sur la base des informations fournies par les autorités brésiliennes.

* 1 Africain du Sud
* 26 Allemands
* 2 Américains
* 1 Argentin
* 1 Autrichien
* 1 Belge
* 58 Brésiliens
* 5 Britanniques
* 1 Canadien
* 9 Chinois
* 1 Croate
* 1 Danois
* 2 Espagnols
* 1 Estonien
* 61 Français
* 1 Gambien
* 4 Hongrois
* 3 Irlandais
* 1 Islandais
* 9 Italiens
* 5 Libanais
* 2 Marocains
* 1 Néerlandais
* 3 Norvégiens
* 1 Philippin
* 2 Polonais
* 1 Roumain
* 1 Russe
* 3 Slovaques
* 1 Suédois
* 6 Suisses
* 1 Turc

Air France adresse ses sincères condoléances aux familles et aux proches des passagers et membres d’équipage.

Air France met tout en œuvre pour soutenir les familles et les proches : une assistance médicale et psychologique a été mise en place aux aéroports de Paris-Charles de Gaulle 2 et de Rio de Janeiro.

La compagnie a également mis en place un numéro d’appel spécial à l’attention des familles des passagers. Elle les informe, à leur demande, de l’éventuelle présence à bord d’un proche.

Numéros de téléphone réservés aux familles et aux proches

0800 800 812 depuis la France,

0800 881 20 20 depuis le Brésil,

et + 33 1 57 02 10 55 depuis les autres pays.

Air France communiquera d’autres informations dès que celles-ci seront disponibles.

NB : Nous demandons aux journalistes de ne pas appeler ces numéros réservés aux familles et aux proches.

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Nationalities in English incase anyone is unsure of their French..

This list was made up on the basis of the furnished informations by the Brazilian authorities. * 1 South African * 26 Germans * 2 Americans * 1 Argentinian * 1 Austrian * 1 Belgian * 58 Brazilian * 5 British * 1 Canadian * 9 Chinese * 1 Croat * 1 Dane * 2 Spaniards * 1 Estonian * 61 French * 1 Gambian * 4 Hungarians * 3 Irishmen * 1 Icelander * 9 Italians * 5 Lebanese * 2 Morrocans * 1 Dutch * 3 Norwegians * 1 Filipino * 2 Poles * 1 Romanian * 1 Russian * 3 Slovak * 1 Swede * 6 Swiss * 1 Turk

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With this loss of pressurization now coming into play, if true, perhaps the crew were incapacitated? Perhaps even everyone on board, like the Hela flight a few years back.

That's exactely what I thought too when I heard about the circumstances.
Something weird must have happend for a big airliner to disapeare like this without a single mayday. Horrible news indeed. R.I.P

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I really don't understand the need for all this speculation. Especially when the majority of those doing the speculating really do not have the knowledge base to do so. All that is known is that it took off, experienced a problem and failed to reach its destination. Surely the loss of the aircraft is secondary to the loss of the 228 passengers and crew? Right now, the fact that they are missing, and it has to be said, almost certainly dead, means that thousands of people are grieving for the loss of their loved ones. There will be time for the apportioning of blame later. Now, it is the people that are of primary concern.

What does the speculation do? On here and countless other internet fora around the globe people will be discussing this loss. But their discussions mean nothing. They do not progress air safety one little bit. They do not assist in the recovery of the aircraft or in the determination of the cause. All it does is to allow people to flex their IQ's, so that one day, in the fullness of time, they can say 'I was right.'

regards,

kev35

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RIP to all in the tragedy.

Nobody has mentioned the possibility of terrorism. In these days of cowardice, it can't be ruled out.

No mayday, no mobile calls from pax. It was an immediate catastrophic event.

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And I suppose people mulling over their teams defeat in the previous nights game of footie should also be discouraged from doing so?

Speculation is as much human nature as discussion and the sharing of ideas.
Us wishing our condolences to those effected will also do very little for the cause.
I do not see why we cannot discuss this incident.

For the record, my thoughts have been with those affected since I first heard about the flight being missing. They are constantly on my mind.