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-   -   Air France A330-200 missing (https://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/375937-air-france-a330-200-missing.html)

XPMorten 1st Jun 2009 19:46

150-300Mb Divergence for 03:00 UTC, Jun 01


Menorcaman 1st Jun 2009 19:49

Fly it - if you can!
Of all that Ive read in this very long thread - this is the most likely scenario!. The dreaded UP following loss of spatial awareness following a CB entry, at night (and violent turb.) with everything possible going wrong with instruments/electrics/systems - nightmare! All the hours of experience in the world wont mean a thing if you cant "fly the beast" .
Sounds a bit doomsayerish I know - but it has and, no doubt will continue, to happen in both civil and military aviation globally.

ECAM_Actions 1st Jun 2009 19:50

Another IRU fault resulting in sudden departure from controlled flight?

Several months ago an A330 transiting across Australia suffered a transient electrical fault in IRU1. It caused AP1 to think the aircraft had pitched down ~40 degrees. Needless to say it pitched up in response. Fortunately they recovered and the aircraft landed safely after diverting.

I wonder if this did similar, only in the opposite sense? :eek:

ECAM Actions.

cavok73 1st Jun 2009 20:03

According CNN
But about 4:15 a.m. Paris time, Flight 447's automatic system began afour-minute exchange of messages to the company's maintenancecomputers, indicating that "several pieces of aircraft equipment wereat fault or had broken down," he said."This succession of messages signals a totally unforeseeable, greatdifficulty," he said. "Something quite new within the plane.""It was probable that it was a little bit after those messages thatthe impact of the plane took place in the Atlantic," he added.4 minutes broadcast! :bored:

dixi188 1st Jun 2009 20:03


"Without eletrical power the hydraulics pumps do not pump, the plane looses control."


EDPs still work without electrics.

Non "FLY BY WIRE" aircraft can still be flown without any electrics.

Airbuses from A320 onwards need some electrics to operate flying controls.

Lost in Saigon 1st Jun 2009 20:05

Originally Posted by wes_wall (Post 4966817)
Retuers reports-"Air France (AIRF.PA) said the Airbus (EAD.PA) A330 plane had hit stormy weather and "strong turbulence" and a spokesman said it could have been hit by lightning."

How does AF know this to be true. Was there any report from the airplane prior to gone missing? The cockpit is the only one who knows about turbulence.

It is curious to see Air France giving all these details and yet they give no evidence to back up all these "theories".

Most Airlines would express their condolences and then decline further comment until the facts were more clear.

What's up with Air France?

Airbubba 1st Jun 2009 20:05

_ 7:03 p.m. Sunday: Air France says plane left Rio de Janeiro. Brazilian Air Force says plane left at 7:30 p.m.
Possibly a numerical transposition error or more likely the usual confusion of 'out' versus 'off' time. Years ago some wacko wrote a conspiracy theory book about the Lockerbie crash and used this discrepancy to help 'prove' his conjecture.

The final ACARS messages were sent well out of VHF range it appears, they would be sent with HFDL or Satcomm. HFDL messages can be read thousands of miles away and normally contain position data, I've used Charles Brain's PC-HFDL program to track planes off the coast of Africa from the U.S. with a computer and HF receiver.

win_faa 1st Jun 2009 20:10

Jesus Christ! CNN has pprune already in the news!:{

Huck 1st Jun 2009 20:16

Beware, fellows.

CNN World literally has PPrune pulled up on a computer, reading posts off this very thread, live.

Incredible. Tread carefully.

MM6473 1st Jun 2009 20:21

Worrying thought that the media use Pprune for info, considering that most people on here will be as ill informed as themselves. I do hope that they don't use any speculation as fact, but my faith in the media can't stretch that far.

Until the plane is found or the FDR all we can do is speculate, which I think is certainly interesting to see all the many various scenarios that are played out on here and the media. I am in no way an expert (still only a humble student of the sky) but watching some of the muppets that they have standing outside the airport reporting you do wonder what planet they are from and where on earth they grab some of the cod s*it.......

Looking forward to many an interesting theory,


Doors to Automatic 1st Jun 2009 20:21

I would put my money on a +ve lightning strike? Anyone agree?

Sgnr de L'Atlantique 1st Jun 2009 20:27

In cases like this, unfounded speculation can be dangerous, especially with CNN quoting this site!

Many of us here have 1000s of hours in A330. Many of us have been in the middle of squall lines, thunderstorms and the ITCZ.

While these weather phenomena are to be respected by pilots, only very few cases are known whereby they bring down an airliner.

Myself I have witnessed several cases of being hit by a lightning strike in Airbus FBW aircraft (A320/330/340). I lost a radome, I had holes larger than a watermelon burned in my stabiliser, on one incident I had 56 entry and exit holes in the fuselage.

But NEVER ever did I loose control of the aircraft! Sure, you will get a transient power glitch but that is it! Screens come back in a matter of seconds, computers stay on line.

Remember, an airplane acts as a FARADAYS cage whereby the electronic loads stay on the outside of the cage!

The same goes for turbulence. An aircraft like the A330 can withstand a tremendous amount of stress. Just go and look on youtube and search for stress test airplane wing. So in order to have a modern airliner breaking up by turbulence you really need extreme forces, forces very very rarely encountered.

So please, give the crew as well as the manufacturer some credit. Millions of people have flown these aircraft for thousands of hours without incident.

AF pilots are very well trained and this crew had lots of experience.

So something catastrophically happened here, that's for sure, but please refrain from jumping to conclusions too fast. The world is watching!

For those of you using this incident as another Boeing vs Airbus bashing, you should think again. This is not the time nor the place to do so!

Pinkman 1st Jun 2009 20:30

The French are an intensely proud nation and can be very determined in something like this. They also have a fine engineering & technology tradition and in previous air accidents where French nationals were involved (eg Flash Airlines 604 - Egypt) have gone to extreme lengths to recover the FDR & CVR. In that case they had a Navy salvage ship and ROV on site and the recorders recovered within two weeks - pretty impressive, although the depth was 'only' 1000m.

If the debris field is found, they will be on the case faster than you can say 'Jacques Cousteau' and if there is even a remote chance the DRs can be recovered, they will get them.

MM6473 1st Jun 2009 20:31

Sgnr de L'Atlantique :D

q100 1st Jun 2009 20:31

Does the A330 ACARS used by AF (or whatever equipment that was sending the MX messages to company) include position info in its transmissions? I've done some pretty significant (100+ mile) deviations around WX, and it occurs to me that if AF447 was doing the same, unless the A/C was sending position info via satellite, the potential search area could be pretty big indeed.

Not good.


Harolds 1st Jun 2009 20:32

Can somebody tell what system on the aircraft detects a system failure (ie pressuraization, electrical etc) and then sends an off-airrcraft message? Is this via ACARS? Are all fault messages sent from the aircraft?

Confabulous 1st Jun 2009 20:32

If thunderstorms were present in the area, then why did the crew decide to fly through them? Aren't crews briefed about thunderstorms during the pre-flight briefing? I thought pilots have been advised not to fly through thunderstorms as it may jeopardize the safety and operation of the flight and aircraft?
The WX radar might not have been functioning, the brightness might have been turned down. Thunderstorms can form in 30 minutes or less.

eagle21 1st Jun 2009 20:33


Another IRU fault resulting in sudden departure from controlled flight?

Several months ago an A330 transiting across Australia suffered a transient electrical fault in IRU1. It caused AP1 to think the aircraft had pitched down ~40 degrees. Needless to say it pitched up in response. Fortunately they recovered and the aircraft landed safely after diverting.

I wonder if this did similar, only in the opposite sense
Very valid observation.

Could anyone comment on the chances of a lighting strike affecting an ADIRU?

Also FCOM specifies that pressure system controllers on this type get information from the ADIRU , could a malfunction on one of the ADIRU's lead to a decompression?

G-BHEN 1st Jun 2009 20:35

CB = Cumulonimbus, in layman's terms it's one of those massive storm clouds that tower into the sky. They can contain all sorts of nasties, hail, windshear, rain, all in the space of seconds.

Take a look at Cumulonimbus cloud - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia for some pics.


q100 1st Jun 2009 20:38

Also, should a really big area of T-Storms form rapidly, sometimes you can find yourself in the middle of what was a clear path, only now you are surrounded by huge CBs (cumulo nimbus clouds).

My first lightning strike was in a cloud (at night) that the radar was only showing as green (light precip.). After the lightning it got pretty rough. We figured we must have run into a cell that was just going from build-up to mature stage.

Onboard weather radar is a useful tool, but certainly has its limitations.


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