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

Sgnr de L'Atlantique 1st Jun 2009 20:38

To assume that the AF crew was operating this flight, transatlantic and during night, with the WX radar turned of or without monitoring any WX radar returns is an insult for the crew, an insult for all of us professional pilots!

These pilots where professionals, trained for 100s of hours with a vast experience.

So NO, the WX radar off theory does not FLY!

What happened here is a domino effect of events, leading to a disaster! You can be sure of that!

Lost in Saigon 1st Jun 2009 20:40


Originally Posted by dqb (Post 4966897)

Just have a look at the timeline, first radar contact was lost, afterwards the maintenance messages were sent.

Radar contact was not "Lost". AF447 simply transitioned to an area of non-Radar coverage. They did not make the proper radio calls to report their position, but there are many possible reasons for this.

Checkboard 1st Jun 2009 20:43

Four minutes from 35,000 feet is over 8,000 feet per minute. If the report was triggered by the same event that caused the aircraft loss, that's a rate of descent faster than would be achieved by the pilots in an intact aircraft in an emergency descent.

It would also be no surprise that no radio calls were received, as the pilots wouldn't be wearing radio headsets in HF airspace (you only put them on if you are called over SELCAL, or intend to transmit a position report.)

peter we 1st Jun 2009 20:45

Well, nobody here knows what was the cause. Idol speculation is pretty harmless, but the only clue, until the aircraft is found, is the ACARS messages.

The CEO of AF says its to early to know what happened.

I think it will take years to find out for sure.

win_faa 1st Jun 2009 20:47

PPRuNe is again shown on the background screen of CNN news anchor Richard Quest, I guess he's reading it, I wonder what his username is? :}

i-Robot 1st Jun 2009 20:51

If the AF 330 had a SATCOM system then they would be utilising FANS am I right. The entire Atlantic is covered by a FANS system from Santa Maria, Atlantico, SAL and New York area.

Otherwise it would be only an HF/VHF system. but, if technical information is sent via the aircraft AIMS to maintenance then I'm assuming that there was a satellite link up or ACARS link up. Then from the last ACARS message or FANS position the aircraft's last position can be fixed within an hour flying radius...

Any ideas?

Airbubba 1st Jun 2009 20:57


It would also be no surprise that no radio calls were received, as the pilots wouldn't be wearing radio headsets in HF airspace (you only put them on if you are called over SELCAL, or intend to transmit a position report.)
Depends on where you work I suppose. I and many of my colleagues wear those designer noise cancelling headsets out over the water. Also, a hand mike is readily available at each crew station. We normally have 121.5 in one VHF, 123.45 in the other and ACARS on the third one.

We have ATC on one HF, HFDL on the other one.

DC-ATE 1st Jun 2009 20:58

Thunderstorms. IF (big IF) this was the cause (we'll probably never know for sure) of this, it's a shame. When will pilots EVER learn to respect thunderstorms ?!?! Thunderstorms have claimed far too many aircraft and lives already. There is absolutely NO excuse to be anywhere near those things.....especially in the middle of an ocean!

The Actuator 1st Jun 2009 20:59

Checkboard

It would also be no surprise that no radio calls were received, as the pilots wouldn't be wearing radio headsets in HF airspace (you only put them on if you are called over SELCAL, or intend to transmit a position report.)
This is just an example of silly, misinformed posts on this thread. Pilots still listen out even in HF airspace by means of a loudspeaker and making a transmission is as simple as grabbing a hand held mike. They would have been tuned to 123.45 and 121.5 and able to transmit on both at any time.

I am not sure my priority when dealing with a malfunctioning aircraft in these particular airspaces would be communicating with a difficult to reach ATCO. Comms with Atlantico are notoriously poor and they would have been out of range of both SAL and Dakar (VHF), the latter sharing the poor comms status. HF contact with most of these ATC centres is problematic due congestion and various other factors. CPDLC is available now on a trial basis with Dakar, whether it was used, or if it was, whether it was being monitored will be investigated I am sure.

Unless one is sure of what one is writing here why on earth would one bother to post?

This is a sad event - no doubt not caused by one isolated fact.

Sgnr de L'Atlantique 1st Jun 2009 21:01

Pilots DO respect thunderstorms, believe you me!

emjanssen 1st Jun 2009 21:06

Sat picture
 
http://weather.msfc.nasa.gov/GOES/IFG12-02452009152.jpg

EchoIndiaFoxtrot 1st Jun 2009 21:10

According to the BBC, it would appear that the French have asked the Americans if their super spy satellites managed to pick up the last known position and also to see what the wx position was.

mercurydancer 1st Jun 2009 21:12

AF appear to be very professional in their response to this awful catastrophe. Good disaster management is being shown by AF and the French government.

I know the server is struggling at the moment so I wont elaborate but AF's approach is highly professional

Mephistopheles 1st Jun 2009 21:17

The A330 can be flown quite well on the RAT, especially in it is being powered by the hydraulic engine pumps i.e. you will still have AP1, WX radar. Unfortunately, as is usual whatever occurred will have been a seris of events.
Are AF330's fitted with Northrop Grummon-Litton ADIRUs?

private777 1st Jun 2009 21:23

Air France A330-200 missing
 
Flying over the atlantic in the middle of the night (to be fair the moon is currently 68% full) in the middle of towering CBs is a stressful situation but hardly uncommon. Crashes are hardly ever the result of only one thing gone wrong. The crew might have been trying to navigate around towering CBs or might have decided to fly into one and as a result were probably battling severe turbulence. Now to a very stressful situation add another problem, temporary loss of electrical power (whether caused by lightning strike or another undetermined factor) which would have caused the AP to disconnect, forcing the crew, on top of all the other issues they were having to deal with to manually fly the aircraft. A temporary loss of spacial orientation might have led to a complete loss of control which could have been impossible to recover from. All speculation of course at this stage.

mercurydancer 1st Jun 2009 21:24

hotelmode.

Highly cynical comment but I'm cynical too.

AF appear to have put in crisis centres before the news hit the TV screens... highly important for the relatives.

Theya re also being very up front about what sparse information they have, again it keeps speculation (which can run in odd directions) to a minimum.

Flyinheavy 1st Jun 2009 21:24

Respecting CBs.........
 
To DC-ATE:


What makes You possibly think and write such a nonsense?

I do not know any pilot in an airline cockpit who would knowingly fly into a storm cell.

I remember one day Peking ATC would deny me to avoid WX and turn to the right of track. I just did it. I think we are paid for taking decisions and not to let ATC or stupidity guide us into harms way.

If it happened there must have been a reason for it.......

INTEL101 1st Jun 2009 21:27

Sat Picture
 
That's a pretty nasty looking orange spot out there in the mid-atlantic on that equatorial string of storms. Might not look much from 22,500 miles but if you're right on top of it that is something else. These things can bubble up at night if the water temp is greater than 80 Farenheit.

Wire mesh to redirect a lightningbolt? Designed in accordance with FAA regulations? Brought to you by the same free market Capitol Hill lobbyists who watered down the SEC? yeah right.

abby5638 1st Jun 2009 21:28

Reports that Flight 447 sent a dozen messages over 4 minutes
 
AFP reports at AFP: Air France flight vanishes after multiple breakdowns
A succession of a dozen technical messages" sent by the aircraft around 0215 GMT showed that "several electrical systems had broken down" which caused a totally unprecedented situation in the plane," said Pierre-Henry Gourgeon.

"It is probable that it was shortly after these messages that the impact in the Atlantic came," he told reporters at Charles de Gaulle airport where the flight was meant to have landed on Monday morning.
And Daily Kos relates at Daily Kos: Air France Flight 447 presumed lost in Atlantic (UPDATED 2X) :
CNN quotes Gourgeon about what may be Flight 447's last moments before it lost contact.
The first three hours of what was to have been an 11-hour flight appear to have been uneventful, CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon said.
But about 4:15 a.m. Paris time, Flight 447's automatic system began a four-minute exchange of messages to the company's maintenance computers, indicating that "several pieces of aircraft equipment were at fault or had broken down," he said.
"This succession of messages signals a totally unforeseeable, great difficulty," he said. "Something quite new within the plane."
During that time, there was no contact with the crew, Gourgeon said.
"It was probable that it was a little bit after those messages that the impact of the plane took place in the Atlantic," he added.
I obviously don't know if this is accurate, but 12 messages over 4 minutes would seem to relate a lot more than we've heard so far.

Steve Michell 1st Jun 2009 21:32

To CNN and all
 
I'm an airline Captain with hundreds of ITCZ crossings. Believe me, it'll keep you awake.
In darkness with all that lightning going on around them they would've surely have the Weather radar on and noses glued to the windshield to look outside.
Proper use of Weather radar is difficult and needs practice, but, considering the experience of those pilots you can be sure that that was covered.
Looking at the Sat plots of the weather at their datalink message to their maintenance base you can determine they were in the middle of the worst weather on the planet at time of transmission.
No, a lightning strike will NOT bring any plane down. But I have heard of cases where it wrecked the (only) weather radar antenna on board. And that would have been like the worse place and moment to loose that piece of equipment.
Funny, really, if you ask me. With all redundancy on board there's actually only ONE weather radar antenna that shares it's signal with two independent weather radar computers. I've had a case of loosing that single antenna in Take off from MIA in horrendous weather. Luckily for me and my passengers Miami radar gave me precise heading instructions to stay clear of those huge showers. I guess AF447 was not that lucky there....


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