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AF422 Emergency Landing Azores

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AF422 Emergency Landing Azores

Old 6th Mar 2012, 12:03
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AF422 Emergency Landing Azores

Seems like the cabin crew were unprepared for this incident and did nothing to calm the terrified passengers. Given the AF447 tragedy I don't suppose this will help the Air France image in Latin America.

This from the UK Guardian Newspaper

Air France passengers speak of terror on plane that plummeted towards sea
Passengers on flight from Paris to Bogotá say they thought they were going to die as burning smell filled cabin

The Guardian, Tuesday 6 March 2012

Air France passengers say they thought they were going to die after the plane they were travelling on plummeted towards the sea.
Passengers on an Air France flight travelling from Paris to Bogotá have told how they thought they were going to die when the plane they were on plummeted towards the Atlantic ocean after a burning smell filled the cabin.

Euclides and Rosa Montes, Colombians with British nationality travelling from London to Bogotá via Paris, told the Guardian people on board were "saying their goodbyes to one another" as the plane rapidly descended to within 2,000 feet of the sea to offload fuel.

"We looked out of the window and the sea was directly below us. Fuel was pouring out over the wings. We thought we were going to die."

Swedish newspaper Expressen quotes Eden Victoria Erlandsson, a passenger on the plane, as saying "panic took over, the cabin crew were sweating and shouting, and people were crying and praying. It was total panic."

The flight with hundreds of passengers on board made an emergency landing on the Azores island of Terceira at about 1.30pm on Monday afternoon.

After landing on a runway at Lajes airport on the tiny Azorian island, passengers were evacuated via emergency slides amid general chaos. Fire brigades and ambulances were scrambled to the scene. At least 50 of the Colombian nationals on board have been refused permission to enter the Azores as they do not hold the required Shengen visa documentation. They have been told they will have to spend the night sleeping on the floor of the arrivals lounge.

After the incident passengers raised concerns about the flight taking off in the first place, after it had been delayed due to unspecified technical problems at Charles de Gaulle airport.

After a delay of 34 minutes the flight, AF422, took off from Charles de Gaulle at 11.24am with the smell of burning already apparent upon take off. Two hours into the flight the plane rapidly diverted, turning back to the nearest landing point available.
The Aviation Herald has the detail.


Incident: Air France A343 over Atlantic on Mar 5th 2012, smoke caused by short circuit

By Simon Hradecky, created Monday, Mar 5th 2012 21:41Z, last updated Tuesday, Mar 6th 2012 12:33Z
An Air France Airbus A340-300, registration F-GLZJ performing flight AF-422 from Paris Charles de Gaulle (France) to Bogota (Colombia) with 274 passengers and 14 crew, was enroute over the Atlantic when the crew received a smoke indication for the lower mobile deck, crew rest area. The flight crew decided to divert to Lajes Airport on Terceira Island, Azores (Portugal) for a safe overweight landing. The passengers disembarked via mobile stairs.

Examination revealed the smoke indication was caused by smoke emanating from a short circuit.

A replacement Airbus A340-300 registration F-GLZR has been dispatched to Lajes on Mar 6th and is currently estimated to depart Terceira Island at 14:40L Mar 6th and reach Bogota with a delay of 26 hours.

The airline's press office said, the fire indication was false, there was no smoke, an investigation is underway to determine why the alarm went off for no reason.

Passengers reported an unusual burning odour shortly after takeoff, that had been delayed by about 30 minutes due to some technical issue. About 3 hours into the flight the odour intensified and smoke became visible in the cabin, seemingly emanating from a lavatory. The aircraft dumped fuel while descending towards the Azores Islands.

Last edited by Ye Olde Pilot; 6th Mar 2012 at 12:19.
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 12:43
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"panic took over, the cabin crew were sweating and shouting, and people were crying and praying. It was total panic."
'Seems like the cabin crew were unprepared for this incident and did nothing to calm the terrified passengers.'
Bit hard on the cabin crew there.You would not have been sweating in the same situation of course!The shouting may have been an attempt to regain some order!Maybe they had not be given any information from the flight deck.Pretty scary stuff for all concerned anyway!
And how would you go about trying to calm a bunch of fear struck passengers who don,t speak your language ,hence have understood nothing of the P.A.s,who assume that they are going to crash into the atlantic?

Last edited by tomkins; 6th Mar 2012 at 12:55.
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 12:55
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How can anyone give an accurate account when in a total panic? That bit always puzzles me.
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 13:04
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Everything is possible when mass-media are involved. Except telling the difference between the mobile stairs and evacuation slides.

We looked out of the window and the sea was directly below us
Dang! It happens to me regularly! I had no idea it is dangerous!
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 13:10
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'We looked out of the window and the sea was directly below us'
a lot more comforting than having the sky directly below us;
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 13:30
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Examination revealed the smoke indication was caused by smoke emanating from a short circuit.



The airline's press office said, the fire indication was false, there was no smoke, an investigation is underway to determine why the alarm went off for no reason.


So what was it? Smoke or no smoke?
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 13:31
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Reminds me of Monty Python's Flying Sheep - 'they do not so much fly as ... plummet'
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 14:20
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Smoke/Fire warning over the Atlantic on ETOPS. That would certainly get MY sphincter twitching....
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 14:25
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Smoke/Fire warning over the Atlantic on ETOPS
What difference does ETOPS make?
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 14:27
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Nothing if you're on an A340.
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 14:43
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I think bracebrace means ECAM.
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 14:56
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Fairly tricky to cross the Atlantic without at some point having 'sea directly below' you. Maybe they should have taken the bus/train instead
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 15:12
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What difference does ETOPS make?
Not really my area of knowledge but.....I guess it does tend to reduce the likelihood of there being a conveniently locate runway (or even flat piece of ground) nearby.
 
Old 6th Mar 2012, 15:16
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Good to see journos still using....

The Lazy Journalists Plane Story Generator

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Old 6th Mar 2012, 15:17
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I thought it was a A330 so my mistake. I was inferring that smoke/fire over the Atlantic (or any other Ocean) miles from the nearest airport must be one of the worst scenarios ever. At least this time they were reasonably close to a diversion airport.
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 15:46
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Quote:
What difference does ETOPS make?

Not really my area of knowledge but.....I guess it does tend to reduce the likelihood of there being a conveniently locate runway (or even flat piece of ground) nearby.
No clearly not your area, (nor presumably that of brace brace!) since ETOPS REQUIRES a suitable diversion to be within a prescribed distance at all times. Thereby INCREASING the likelihood!

Non ETOPS has no such restriction, and could fly much further away from 'a conveniently locate runway'

Why the number of engines on this a/c was even thought worthy of comment (330/340) is completely beyond me!
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 16:26
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Extended range Twin Operations. 330 or 340? It makes a massive difference as aircraft with multiple donks ie A340, have far less restrictions impossed on their additional equipment and maintenance practices. Not to mention the distance that they can be from a suitable diversionary airfield. ETOPS refers to twins, not quads. This is therfor not an ETOPS flight.

Last edited by chuzwuza; 6th Mar 2012 at 16:38.
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 16:38
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I only wrote ETOPS because it was I thought it had been an A330. WHICHEVER aircraft you're in a Smoke/Fire ECAM plus burning smell is not a nice place to be when you're over the Atlantic miles from an alternate.

Let's get back to the topic shall we?
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 17:16
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According to the Guardian (London) 'Two hours into the flight the plane rapidly diverted, turning back to the nearest landing point available.'

As TCE is some 1626 statute miles from CDG, this aircraft was obviously a Concorde, so why all the talk of A330/340 ?
 
Old 6th Mar 2012, 17:52
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I know what it is

emergency slides amid general chaos
I can tell the difference between getting off via a slide and getting off by other means. But as a former civil servant I might not recognise general chaos.

More seriously, this is where language skills count. Can't cover all bases but surely one flight attendant should be available to speak the languages expected to be used by most of the passengers?

Last edited by 911slf; 6th Mar 2012 at 17:55. Reason: added sensible point
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