PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - Air France A330-200 missing
View Single Post
Old 3rd Jun 2009, 19:40
  #751 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 286
The report said the pilot sent a manual signal at 11 p.m. local time saying he was flying through an area of "CBs" black, electrically charged cumulo-nimbus clouds that come with violent winds and lightning. Satellite data has shown that towering thunderheads were sending 100 mph (160 kph) winds straight into the jet's flight path at that time.
Ten minutes later, the plane sent a burst of automatic messages, indicating the autopilot had disengaged, the "fly-by-wire" computer system had been switched to alternative power, and controls needed to keep the plane stable had been damaged. An alarm also sounded, indicating the deterioration of flight systems, according to the report.
Three minutes after that, more automatic messages indicated the failure of two other fundamental systems pilots use to monitor air speed, altitude and direction. Then, a cascade of other electrical failures in systems that control the main flight computer and wing spoilers.
The report repeats a detail previously released by Brazil's Air Force: that the last message came at 11:14 pm, indicating loss of air pressure and electrical failure.
This is what I was trying to get to in my earlier post. It would seem that the ACARS transmitted painted a grim picture of what was going on with the airplane. Since all my flying was in Boeing equipment, and that sometime back, thanks to the info provided thus far, I am beginning to understand the potentially poor conditions during this time frame, and the integrity of the airplane is certainly in question. No doubt, cabin pressure was showing an acceleration in altitude, not a loss.

I also think there is a good chance the airplane may have gone down more intact. An in-flight breakup at altitude would have made for a very large footprint of debris, not what has been found and reported.
wes_wall is offline