AF447 (Merged)

Profile picture for user Boxman

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15 years 4 months

Posts: 58

What a horrible and frustrating tragedy. Prayers to the souls on board and their families. :(

The report of depressurization and electrical faults is especially ominous. So many years we have come to assume to that a modern airliner could handle turbulence and lightning strikes without incident - and that has indeed been the case for the most part for the past almost 50 years. I have a hard time believing either cold have brought this flight down. Again, this is just gut feeling and perhaps denial in light of whatever facts may come to light over the coming weeks and months.

However, who would have ever thought wake turbulence and rudder correction could overstress a modern airliner's structure to such a point causing the rudder to snap off and leading to its in-flight break-up and loss of control albeit at far lower altitude (see American Airlines Flight 587 - November 2001)? Who knows what findings will result from this investigation, but I wouldn't be shocked if it isn't anything that could be surmised at this point in time.

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12 years 7 months

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For what's worth, I heard an air safety expert (I didn't catch his name) state on the PBS program The News Hour that the noise unit on the black box has a range of about 2 miles and that its battery has a life of about a month.

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11 years

Posts: 50

At 2am this morning BST a report had been made on Sky news TV that a TAM crew spotted 'lights in the water' on or around the area where the Air France jet would have been.

I don't understand why this crew did not say something about this sighting (if true) at the time, as it would have aided the search parties, ie co-ordinates etc. Why wait 24 hours before speaking up about it?

As for the plane itself, it was in the hangar having routine maintenance in mid April, maybe the maintenance records will throw something up that could point in a possible direction, who knows?

Still no reports of wreckage sightings or slicks as yet...and I agree about the woman from Whitby who believes her husband was on the flight, I personally feel that it serves no purpose to hear her complain about the lack of information or the problems Air France are having with their emergency contact number. At times like this even the world best technology can break down...we could all spare a thought to those on the phones at Air France who are dealing with relatives who need to know about their loved ones, the job of telling someone that their relative was on the plane and that they are missing presumed dead has to be as harrowing for the staff to tell as it is for the family to hear.

Profile picture for user kevinwm

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15 years 11 months

Posts: 1,105

when I heard about this I hope that it was just a electrical fault that had knocked the radios out but as the day drew on my worst fears were confirmed
My condolances go out to all those who have lost some on this flight
It makes you realise how vunrable you are espcially when you are about to cross the Atlantic the day after this terrible disaster

My own thoughts about what has been reported makes me wonder if one of the engines may have become detached during the trubulance , I wouldnt say it is impossible for lighting to puncture the fusalge,Just find it hard to belive that it did

As for finding the wreckage the US navy have in the past had great sucess in finding lost Subs, and Nuclear bombs that were lost in mid air crashes during the 60s if you have the chance read the book Blind Mans Bluff ( the cold war Submarine war)and the process is explained ,

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11 years

Posts: 50

I would not be surprised if the Akademik Keldysh and her two Mir submersibles were not called in to assist in the recovery of the CVR/FDR, both subs can go to extreme depths and have ROV's too. They also have a great deal of experience in underwater excavation, which would be very useful in this case.

The fact that nothing has been found and it's over 24 hours since last contact pretty much rules out the plane going down anywhere in the proximity of coastal regions on the flightplan.

In the past when planes have gone down in the sea, there has been landfall fairly close nearby for relatives to go to and have a memorial built, somewhere for them to just sit and contemplate or think of those lost at Christmas & birthdays...with this being in the middle of the Atlantic somewhere, this is what makes this accident all the harder for the relatives, and to think that a storm could have brought down what is a state of the art airliner just beggars belief...uncomprehensible :(

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11 years

Posts: 50

Crew details have been published on the Air France website, no names released, just experience & time with the airline. It is in French but easy enough to get the gist of the information...

Paris, 01 juin 2009 - 23h28 heure locale
Communiqué N° 7
Personnel navigant technique

Commandant de bord :

* Nationalité française
* 58 ans
* Entré à la compagnie en 1988
* Qualifié sur Airbus A330/A340 en février 2007
* 11 000 heures de vol dont 1 700 sur Airbus A330/A340

2 officiers pilotes de ligne (copilotes) :

* Nationalité française
* 37 ans et 32 ans
* Entrés à la compagnie en 1999 et 2004
* Qualifiés sur Airbus A330/A340 en avril 2002 et en juin 2008
* 6 600 heures de vol dont 2 600 sur Airbus A330/A340
* 3 000 heures de vol dont 800 sur Airbus A330/A340

Personnel navigant commercial

Chef de cabine principal :

* Nationalité française
* 49 ans
* Entré à la compagnie en 1985

2 chefs de cabine :

* Nationalité française
* 54 et 46 ans
* Entrés à la compagnie en 1981 et en 1989

6 hôtesses et stewards

* 5 de nationalité française et 1 de nationalité brésilienne
* Entre 24 et 44 ans
* Entrés à la compagnie entre 1996 et 2007

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.

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

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11 years

Posts: 50

A Portugese newspaper in Rio de Janeiro has an interesting article regarding the relatives who saw the passengers off. Some seem to have received phone calls and text messages from passengers on the plane shortly before it vanished off the radar screens..

Within this office, I knew then JN, showed amazing things. "Alguns familiares e amigos de vítimas contam que receberam mensagem, por telemóvel, com frases como 'eu te amo' ou 'estou com medo', e até telefonemas avisando que algo errado estava acontecendo e que temiam pelo pior", disse o presidente do Sindicato das Empresas Aéreas, Ronaldo Jenkins. "Some relatives and friends of victims have received that message, by phone, with phrases like 'I love you' or 'I'm afraid', and even telephone calls warning that something wrong was happening and feared the worst," said the chairman of Union of Airline, Ronaldo Jenkins.

No exterior do gabinete improvisado, uma dentista, com cerca de 40 anos, contou que os pais estavam no avião e nem conseguira despedir-se deles. Outside the makeshift office, a dentist, with about 40 years, said that parents were on the plane and not get off from them. Outra senhora, Ester, lembrou os últimos momentos com a filha. Another woman, Esther, recalled the last moments with his daughter. Sem saber que seriam as últimas palavras, tinha-lhe dito, ao telefone: "Posso dizer que nenhuma mãe tem uma filha melhor do que você", ao que a jovem, em tom jocoso, respondeu "ámen, ámen, ámén". Without knowing who would be the last words, had told on the phone: "I can say that no parent has a child better than you," to the young, in jocular tone, said "amen, amen, amen."

http://jn.sapo.pt/PaginaInicial/Mundo/Interior.aspx?content_id=1250904

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14 years

Posts: 168

I feel confident that something will be found today, especialy after reports of fire on the sea from other pilots.

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17 years 1 month

Posts: 12,842

Sounds like some catastrophic in flight failure...God bless all the poor unfortunate souls on board

Profile picture for user Giblets

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12 years 2 months

Posts: 455

A Portugese newspaper in Rio de Janeiro has an interesting article regarding the relatives who saw the passengers off. Some seem to have received phone calls and text messages from passengers on the plane shortly before it vanished off the radar screens..

http://jn.sapo.pt/PaginaInicial/Mundo/Interior.aspx?content_id=1250904

Surely any mobile phones would have been well out of range to send any text messages (mobiles have a max range of about 60km when there are no obstacles (such as airframes) in the way. The aircraft was said to be in radar contact over 300km from land. I suspect this story may be a red herring from news agencies trying to make a story.

Profile picture for user Bmused55

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16 years 7 months

Posts: 10,625

Don't some mobiles have direct satellite links now?

Profile picture for user Giblets

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12 years 2 months

Posts: 455

If you were going off to Antratica or the Namib desert you might buy one (several hundred $), but the likelyhood of anyone on the flight having one is minimal. Unless they used the inflight phones, which can't text.

Profile picture for user Bmused55

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16 years 7 months

Posts: 10,625

Business men might have them, so as to remain in contact with their office.
It's all possible and not something we should dismiss, just because of the price.

I know some people who will ditch a brand new £150 phone as soon as one with more gadgets comes to market.

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14 years

Posts: 168

But that woman says her husbands phone is still ringing???

The chances of the phone:
1. Surviving the impact
2. Not dead through water damage
Are how likely??

Profile picture for user Bmused55

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16 years 7 months

Posts: 10,625

sometimes, when a mobile is out of range of a network, it will ring out

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11 years

Posts: 50

The BBC report states that up to a dozen error messages came from the plane prior to it's vanishing.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8078147.stm

Vessels from France, Spain, Senegal and Brazil are involved in the search, while the United States is said to be offering help with satellite reconnaissance.

US President Barack Obama said Washington would provide "any help necessary" to find out what had happened to the plane.

Plane crews have narrowed their search to a zone half-way between Brazil and west Africa, said Pierre-Henry Gourgeon, chief executive of Air France, late on Monday.

Their work may be aided by the Airbus's Argos beacons, which will emit signals for several days, he added.

Up to a dozen reports of electrical failures were sent from the plane before it vanished over the ocean.

French officials believe it may have been disabled by a storm. French and US sources have ruled out terrorism as the cause of the plane's loss.

In relation to mobile phone texts and calls, that was something that happened alot during the 9/11 Shanksville hijack, the calls were not just via the aircraft's own satellite phone systems, they were from passengers personal cellphones too. I believe something such as a Blackberry can work perfectly well whilst on board an airliner and many airlines do now allow use of cellphones during flights...obviously not during landing or take-off.

Given the weather conditions the very use of the cellphones may even have a bearing on what happened to this plane. From my flights with Air France last year to/from Asia there were people using cellphones quite freely and they didn't appear to be having any connection problems.

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11 years

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Incase anyone was wondering how the Air France crisis center works, the airline have put this on their website...

Paris, 02 June 2009 - 10:12 local time
Press release N° 8
How are Air France’s volunteers trained to assist relatives and friends of victims?

Overall, 4,000 Air France staff members are part of the voluntary programme to help in case of a crisis.

These volunteers have four main tasks: contact with relatives and friends, logistical assistance, back-up at airports and telephone assistance.

This programme was launched in November 1998 by the Chairman of Air France.

Air France offers these volunteers three one-day training modules:

- Theory (explaining what it means to be a volunteer and the commitments involved etc.) and practical training with a psychiatrist,

- Theoretical and practical courses to train leaders whose role is to lead a group of volunteers and liaise with the Air France crisis centre,

- Training on how to handle telephone calls when the Air France toll-free number is available.

Yesterday, as soon as the news of flight AF 447 was announced, around one hundred volunteers were contacted to provide back-up to Air France teams in Paris and Rio. Others will be taking over later.

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The Brazilian air force has been handing out the diagram below to journalists to show where the plane was effectively lost from radar screens...pretty much right in the middle of the Atlantic and far away from landfall...

(Click to enlarge)

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Profile picture for user Ren Frew

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20 years 5 months

Posts: 11,159

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.

If that's true then at least those onboard would not have known a thing about it. It does sound as if the severe weather and turbulence has caused some sort of of massive electrical failure, perhaps even some massive structural failure. Time will tell (we hope) I daresay it's entirely possible they'll never see that plane again. :(

My condolences to all involved, I only found out about this late last night, haven driven home from Ireland, the irony of the situation was I was sitting on a beach north of Dublin watching Aer Lingus A330's pulling up out of Collinstown and heading out across the Atlantic around the alleged time of the accident.