Air France Flight 447

I just found out about this news today. An Air France Airbus A330 went missing over the Atlantic. 

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Search planes scoured the waters of the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday, looking for the remains of an Air France jetliner that disappeared in a storm with 228 people on board.

Passengers wait at the Air France check-in counter at the Tom Jobim International airport in Rio de Janeiro June 1, 2009. Search planes scoured the waters of the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday, looking for the remains of an Air France jetliner that disappeared in a storm with 228 people on board. (REUTERS/Sergio Moraes)

The Airbus A330 went missing on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said there was little chance of finding any survivors.

France and Brazil sent military aircraft and ships to try to locate wreckage between Brazil and West Africa.

Brazilian carrier TAM said the crew of one of its planes saw “bright spots” on the surface of the ocean. But Brazil’s air force said a merchant ship in the area found no signs of burning debris from the Air France jet.

“We will search all night long and keep going through dawn,” said Colonel Jorge Amaral of the Brazilian air force. “We have to work as if it were possible to find survivors.”

If none are found, it would be the worst disaster in Air France’s 75-year history, more deadly than the crash of one of the company’s supersonic Concorde planes in 2000.

Air France flight 447 left Brazil on Sunday night and lost contact with air traffic controllers in the early hours of Monday morning.

It was carrying 216 passengers of 32 nationalities, including seven children and one baby, Air France said. Sixty-one were French citizens, 58 Brazilian and 26 German. Twelve crew members were also on board.

Tearful relatives in Paris and Rio were attended to by teams of psychologists.

One of the Brazilians on board was Pedro Luis de Orleans e Braganca, a direct descendant of Dom Pedro II, the last emperor of Brazil, a spokesman for the royal family told Reuters.

Executives from French tire company Michelin, the Brazilian unit of German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp, and Brazilian mining giant Vale were also among the passengers, said company officials and family members.


The Air France plane flew into turbulent weather four hours after taking off from Rio and 15 minutes later sent an automatic message reporting electrical faults, the airline said.

The company said a lightning strike could be to blame and that several of the mechanisms on the Airbus 330-200, which has a good safety record, had malfunctioned.

But aviation experts said lightning strikes on planes were common and could not alone explain a disaster.

They also said the plane could have suffered an electrical failure, effectively leaving the pilots “blind” and making the plane vulnerable in an area notorious for bad weather.

French Defence Minister Herve Morin said on Europe 1 radio that while no scenario could be ruled out, there was no evidence pointing to an attack on the plane.

Brazil’s air force, which last had contact with the plane at 0133 GMT on Monday when it was 565 km (350 miles) from Brazil’s coast, sent six jets to look for it and the navy dispatched three ships.

Morin said France had sent one jet from Senegal, two from France, as well as two naval vessels. The United States agreed to assist in locating the crash site using satellite data.

Air France said the plane, which was powered with General Electric engines, went into service in April 2005. It last underwent maintenance in a hangar in April this year.

Source : The Star Online

It is really bizarre that such a modern airliner can just vanish like that. I can’t really think of reason for this except that the emergency must have happened so fast that the crew didn’t even have the time to sent out a distress message. Maybe an explosive decompression?

This news shocked the hell out of me because last Saturday, I dreamt about a Concorde crashing at an airport. It was very vivid and I can still remember I was standing just about 100 feet way. >.< 



3 Responses to “Air France Flight 447”

  1. 1 Gyee June 3, 2009 at 1:50 am

    Another Bermuda triangle….>.<

    • 2 クリンソン ドリーム June 4, 2009 at 2:16 pm

      If I am not wrong the Bermuda triangle is due to unusual magnetic fields which confuses the magnetic compass, but since modern airliners doesn’t totally navigate according to magnetic compass, I guess its quite unlikely that Bermuda triangle ‘got’ them? Plus the flight path is very far off from the Bermuda triangle >.< >.<

  2. 3 迷你倉 June 4, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Navy ships are speeding toward a patch of ocean in the Atlantic that is littered with debris from an Air France plane that crashed with 228 people on board, seeking to recover clues to the jet’s mysterious tragedy.

    The naval operation, a day after the debris was spotted off Brazil’s coast, included two mini-submarines to recover the plane’s black box flight recorders if they can be found in the depths of the Atlantic.

    Both Brazil’s defense minister and a French military official have said there is no doubt the debris came from the mysterious crash.

    The first ships to arrive will be Brazilian, joining three cargo ships from France and the Netherlands that were rerouted to the area after debris from Air France flight AF447 was spotted.

    Brazil has announced three days of national mourning. Catholic and Muslim services are to be held in Paris, including one in Notre-Dame cathedral to be attended by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

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