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Air France A330-200 missing

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Air France A330-200 missing

Old 1st Jun 2009, 12:33
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It was quoted as F-GZCP not F-GZCB.
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Old 1st Jun 2009, 12:35
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an airbus spokesman has said "the plane was probably struck by lightning"

Air France jet goes missing | The Sun |News

not good...
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Old 1st Jun 2009, 12:35
  #63 (permalink)  
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msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 8:28 a.m. ET June 1, 2009
SAO PAULO, Brazil - An Air France jet that disappeared Monday en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris sent an automatic signal indicating electrical problems while going through an area of strong turbulence, the airline said.

The plane was most likely hit by lightning during its flight, Air France's director said at a news conference, according to an NBC News producer.

Aviation experts said it was clear the plane was not in the air any longer, due to the amount of fuel it would have been carrying.

"It's nearly three hours overdue. There has been no receipt of a mayday call. The conclusion to be drawn is that something catastrophic happened on board that has caused this airplane to ditch in a controlled or an uncontrolled fashion," Jane's Aviation analyst Chris Yates told The Associated Press.

Air France said in a statement the plane that carried 228 on board "crossed through a thunderous zone with strong turbulence" at 0200 GMT Monday (10:00 p.m. ET Sunday).

It said "an automatic message was received at 0214 GMT (10:14 p.m. EDT Sunday) signaling electrical circuit malfunction."

It said the 216 passengers included one infant, seven children, 82 women and 126 men.
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Old 1st Jun 2009, 12:40
  #64 (permalink)  
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Hit by lightning?
That's a stretch considering there are no reports of such an occurrence...
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Old 1st Jun 2009, 12:49
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Any news coming out yet of what Nationalities on board?
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Old 1st Jun 2009, 12:50
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Just to make it clear: the aircraft involved was indeed F-GZCP. It was picked on ACARS by a friend of mine while inbound Rio de Janeiro.
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Old 1st Jun 2009, 12:53
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The a/c quoted as being involved had an incident in 2006 in which it's wing hit the tail of a 320 on the ground. Is there a possiblity of latent structural failure induced by severe turbulence?
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Old 1st Jun 2009, 13:01
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Air France said that there were a total of 12 crew aboard the plane, including three technicians.
"three technicians" most likely refers to the cockpit crew.
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Old 1st Jun 2009, 13:07
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The a/c quoted as being involved had an incident in 2006 in which it's wing hit the tail of a 320 on the ground. Is there a possiblity of latent structural failure induced by severe turbulence?
Yes its possibly. Not very likely but possible. Then again there are so many possibilities and none should really carry much in the way of speculative weight until more hard and firm info becomes available.
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Old 1st Jun 2009, 13:08
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Blonde Bimbo 'News' notwithstanding - why did it take so long for the news to be published on the media?
The incident appears to have occurred some 2-3 hours into the flight. It was a lot longer than that before news started coming out of our TV's and radios. Air France must have known that one of theirs was down long before anyone got to hear about it. Hopefully, the reason was so they could inform relatives.
Post #45 (SAM1191) is interesting. How accurate can we assume that to be?
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Old 1st Jun 2009, 13:08
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SIGMET for the area;


Last edited by LYKA; 4th Jun 2009 at 09:08.
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Old 1st Jun 2009, 13:12
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There was severe turbulence on the weather chart at FL410 off the West African coast at around the time the aircraft would have crossed the region.

I would assume the aircraft would have been pretty close to that flight level at that point of the flight.
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Old 1st Jun 2009, 13:13
  #73 (permalink)  
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Was the turbulence perhaps software generated rather than weather?


My thought also, just looking for the reference which is 2nd last entry
Old 1st Jun 2009, 13:15
  #74 (permalink)  
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Air France

One is minded to think of the great history that Air France has in pioneering South Atlantic routes and the huge number of people they have carried safely over these routes. It is far too early to start questioning ETOPS or anything else as we have no meaningful data to even begin speculating.

Those who can should pray for the passengers and crew as well as those who are looking for them. At this stage there is nothing else to do but wait for data from the reconnaissance people.
Old 1st Jun 2009, 13:18
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Is there any useful point in speculating as to the cause?

I do not doubt that everyone will have their own view as to the reason for this catastrophe but, I'm again lost as to the purpose of wild speculation. In the vast majority of cases it is not one single event that results in the demise of an aircraft and souls aboard but, often a a complicated matrix of seemingly unconnected events.

The likeliehood of any one aircraft suffering from any incident, fatal or otherwise, is actually very small. Reading the posts here might suggest the opposite - given the seemingly endless list of probable causes given by correspondents. No matter how plausible each theory may indeed be.

Simply reporting what news is made available may be boring but, it does avoid the creation of a vicariuos rumour mill.
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Old 1st Jun 2009, 13:19
  #76 (permalink)  
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Latest Update from Air France

Update from Air France: Vol Air France 447 Rio de Janeiro - Paris-Charles de Gaulle

Brief translation

Air France regrets to announce the loss of flight AF 447 from Rio de Janeiro - Paris-Charles de Gaulle, expected arrival this morning at 11.10 am local, as just announced to the press by the Director General of Air France, Pierre-Henri Gourgeon.

AF447 Aircraft F-GZCP A330-200 departed Rio de Janeiro on the 31st May 2009 at 19:03 Local time (00:03 paris time).

The aircraft went through a thunderstorm with strong turbulence at 2 am (universal time) or 4:00 GMT. An automated message was received at 2:14 (4:14 GMT) indicating a failure of electrical system in a remote area off the coast.

All civilian air traffic control Brazilian, African, Spanish and french have tried in vain to make contact with the flight AF447. The french military air traffic control tried to detect the aircraft without success.

216 pax onboard, 126 men, 82 women, 7 infants and babies.

12 crew (3 pilots, 9 cabin crew)

Captain 11,000 hrs TT (1700 on Airbus A330/A340)
Copilot 3,000 hrs TT (800 on Airbus A330/A340)
Copilot 6,600 hrs TT (2600 on Airbus A330/A340)

Aircraft equipped with engines General Electric CF6-80E.

Airframe had 18,870 flight hours since commencing service on 18 April 2005.

Last visit maintenance hangar dated 16 April 2009.
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Old 1st Jun 2009, 13:28
  #77 (permalink)  
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some additional thoughts:

- "why Brazil air force bothering to fly out if incident happened off African coast" ? well to me its clear: its a methodical tracing of the route followed, as for the moment and until debris is spotted, we actually have no idea apart from loss from radar and reports of electrical faults

- AF pioneering South Atlantic routes - absolutely agree and some of you will remember that AF's first SSC service was not to Washington or NY, it was to Rio ! so a very important and historical route for AF

- AF quality; let no one criticise AF's protocols and maintenance quality, as they are equal to BA and LH and better than most other Euro airlines (to be honest when I heard the news and before the company was announced, my instinct was to think this was a TAM flight...); last big crash from AF was the Concorde crash, now known to be caused by a chunk of metal falling off a preceding CO....
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Old 1st Jun 2009, 13:29
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AFAIK, but maybe out of date, flts entering airspace out of FIR announce their location, entry and exit points. Is there any ATC guru who can confirm/deny/update this? If so where would AF447 have made such an announcement?

IMO, the lack of info from Sal would seem significant; the first FIR after Brazilian airspace?

Bye, Barry
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Old 1st Jun 2009, 13:35
  #79 (permalink)  
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While tests by NASA have indicated that the highest risk of lightning strike is at or near the tops of thunderstorms with low lightning strike rates, this is the least reported area of strikes by pilots, as the storm tops are so easy to avoid. Aircraft are highly protected against lightning, in any case, although damage does occur.

The worst risk is of fuel explosion - although there has never been a verified lightning induced fuel explosion on an aircraft using Jet A. (8/12/63 a Pan Am 707 was bought down by lightning strike, a Iranian Air Force 747 on 9/5/76, a US AIr Force C-130 in 1978 and an F-4 and KC-135 - however all were fuelled with, or partially fuelled with Jet B (JP-4) ).

It is far more probable that the "lightning" comment was a rushed conclusion from a non-expert from the "short circuit" ACARS message.

This would be the first fatal in-service accident for the A330 (an A330-300 was lost on a test flight.)
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Old 1st Jun 2009, 13:35
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Turbulence and CB forecasted in the area.

06 UTC

12 UTC

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