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

lomapaseo 1st Jun 2009 13:36

As usual I have lots of questions.

I take note of the reports of severe weather as only of secondary interest at this time (may or may not be germain)

However the reports of multiple electrical system degradation is to me significant so hence my questions.

So far no reports of pilot communications of an event

1. Was the electrical system malfunctions associated over a time frame or only a single transmission?

2. Are these kind of transmissions altitude sensitive? (could they occur at very low altitudes during damage when striking the sea etc.)

the above are general questions and may not be applicable to this incident

B772 1st Jun 2009 13:37

I am very surprised by the statement "aircraft went through a thunderstorm". I thought most widebody Airbus pilots knew there were 'whispers' about the tailplane in turbulence.

Bingaling 1st Jun 2009 13:38

With reference to the report that the aircraft had sent a message about an electrical failure. There is nothing synister involved there.

All Airbus aircraft periodically send text messages back to the home maintenance base during a flight. These inflight messages regarding any systems faults or failures are collated and then printed out in the cockpit automatically after landing.

The engineering department will have received these messages while the aircraft was in flight, so that they can troubleshoot and fix the problem once the aircraft lands. This saves time and inevitably money for the company.

On nearly EVERY airbus flight there will be a report of some (usually very minor) fault reported to the company during a flight.

The cause of this accident will be known thoroughly upon full investigation.

In the meantime, there is a possibility, however slight, that these people may still be alive.

gchriste 1st Jun 2009 13:40

Just heard one mention of this on I think CNN, and have not heard it again in the past 15 minutes.

News person stated that they had just received information that after the message about the electrical short circuit, the plan continued for some hours more under autonomous control.

They did not say where this information came from, but I wonder if there is something to this and why the confusion around the time contact was reported as lost. Could it be voice communication was lost around 3 hours after takeoff, but the plan was then tracked for another couple of hours until it was closer to the African coast.

Just watching other news feeds now to see if anyone else mentions this.

le Pingouin 1st Jun 2009 13:41

Xeque, the only firm evidence is the ACARS messages. In the absence of other evidence it's usual to wait until fuel exhaustion before you assume an aircraft has gone down.

Cows getting bigger 1st Jun 2009 13:41

Not jumping too far ahead, I'm wondering how the authorities will go about finding this particular needle in the haystack. Who has the capability and how much effort will be expended to find evidence if indeed the aircraft is now at the bottom of the Atlantic? I presume that there are very few countries who have the capability to scour the oceans.

slingsby 1st Jun 2009 13:42

Sorry to report but USGS reporting 4.7 seismic event 610nm north of Fernando Island - repeat of SR recorded event?

Flightsimman 1st Jun 2009 13:44

That SIGMET looks pretty scary off the coast of West Africa.

midnight cruiser 1st Jun 2009 13:49

Does the CF6 have rollback issues/history (engine icing near CBs?) - Double flame outs would cause electrical system load shedding which would I guess, cause a maintainance event on the ACARS.

Jotape - I'd say Toronto was a pretty major prang, and the Concorde crash was caused by more than just a piece of metal. Further back there was the airshow strimmer at Habsheim, the Strasbourg crash (Air Inter), the 744 off the runway into the drink in the S Pacific etc. (and thats just off the top of my head)!

-JC- 1st Jun 2009 13:49

Does Atlantico have CPDLC capability in that area ? Anyone know how often CPDLC/ADS position reports are sent to ATC ?

cirr737 1st Jun 2009 13:51


If you review the earthquake data, you can see that this is just a co-incidence

1) It happend at 00:47Z, so way to early.
2) The quake was located 10km below the surface

ot = 00:47:04.33 +/- 0.60 CENTRAL MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
lat = 4.971 +/- 15.0
lon = -32.615 +/- 5.6 MAGNITUDE 4.8 (GS)
dep = 10.0 (geophysicist)

airseb 1st Jun 2009 13:53

no cpdlc with Atlantico yet and certainly not with Sal. very very sad day for all of us

md4490 1st Jun 2009 13:59

What about other reports such as Tam or any other crossing flight about the weather conditions...anybody?

mary meagher 1st Jun 2009 14:00

Lightning protection
Checkboard mentions in message 80 that "aircraft are highly protected against lightning......."

The UK air accident investigation board a number of years ago was able to measure the voltage of a lightning strike that melted the controls of a K21 glider over Dunstable, and came to the unsettling conclusion that it far exceeded the protection provided for airliners at that time.

Could this be relevant?

solmark 1st Jun 2009 14:07

assuming AF447 did ditch, what are the chances of finding it in such a remote area?

latetonite 1st Jun 2009 14:07

Looking at the significant wx charts kindly provided by XP Morten, it does not look they were going for a smooth ride.

barrymah 1st Jun 2009 14:08

same for rochambeau/piarco? Dakar?

airsound 1st Jun 2009 14:09

Coupla things, which may or may not be relevant.

Earlier, the Brazilians said they were basing their search round Fernando de Noronha (maybe because they had aircraft there) - but there were also reports that the incident was about 300km from Natal, which is in the same area.

That ties in roughly with something happening 4 hours into the flight, because that seems to be in the same area, rather than closer to Africa.

Finally, I don't think anyone has mentioned the ITCZ, which must be somewhere round this area at this time of year.



Rollingthunder 1st Jun 2009 14:13


betpump5 1st Jun 2009 14:14

The worst thing is that we may never know what happened. If indeed it was severe storms, then the a/c could be spread over a very large area. This would have been increased further due to the time it takes SAR to reach the possible area.

By then the most important equipment (Black Box for example) could be sitting at the bottom of the Atlantic.

Does anyone have any opinions on the viability of locating and scavenging the bottom of the ocean for wreckage and more importantly, the black box? What is the cut-off point when the authorities just give up?

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