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

angelic111 1st Jun 2009 09:40

Air France A330-200 missing
Reuters headline:


Any one heard anything?

J-Class 1st Jun 2009 09:54

PARIS, June 1, 2009 (AFP) - - An Air France passenger jet with 215 people on board is missing after dropping off radar over the Atlantic off the Brazilian coast Monday, a Paris airport official said.

fadedfootpaths 1st Jun 2009 09:57

BBC NEWS | Americas | French plane 'missing off Brazil'

Carnage Matey! 1st Jun 2009 09:59

Aircraft don't just 'drop off the radar', even what little radar there is off the coast of Brazil. What is more of a concern is that it appears the aircraft is now overdue with what appears to be no contact with any other ATC agency along it's route.

RoyHudd 1st Jun 2009 10:01

Sad news. No need for all and sundry to start with mawkish condolences, etc. It's a given. All professional pilots share concern on such events.

How was the met down that way at the time?

Frankie_B 1st Jun 2009 10:04

From CDG Arrivals page:

Numéro de vol : AF447
Arrivée attendue à 12:10 * Départ : RIO INTERNATIONA le 31/05/2009 19:00

Arrivée : PARIS le 01/06/2009 11:15
Escales : Pas d'escale
Type d'avion : AIRBUS A330-200
Compagnie aérienne : AIR FRANCE

Hotel Mode 1st Jun 2009 10:05

There isnt any useful radar in the Atlantico FIR, or Dakar for that matter. ATC is very unreliable, but for it to be missing this long is not giood,

CharlieBrem 1st Jun 2009 10:05

AFP is now reporting:
"Airbus A 330 with 215 passengers disappeared from radar at 0600 gmt off Brazil. It was due to arrive in CDG from Rio at 11h10. An emergency unit has been set up at the airport. "The worry is very great at Roissy (CDG). The plane disappeared from control screens several hours ago. It would be a transponder failure but this sort of failure is very rare and the plane did not land at 11h10 as scheduled," an airport source told AFP. Air France is not responding to queries. "
Unfortunately it would have to be more than a transponder failure...

Stall Pusher 1st Jun 2009 10:11

What radar coverage is there over that part of the Atlantic and would it show fragmentation?

Also would US military satellites have monitored this area?

Does anyone have the weather for the area, was there forecast severe turbulence?

mark25787 1st Jun 2009 10:11

What route would it take? I assume the majority of the first part of the flight is over the Atlantic and then over Africa/Portugal/Spain for the final part? How far would it have been into the journey when contact was lost?
i.e. is contact more likely to have been lost over sea or land?

MATaxi 1st Jun 2009 10:16

In response to Mark , if all timings are correct then the A330 lost contact about 3 hours before landing at Paris. The natural route is over water nearly all the way. I would suggest a point some approx 1400 miles from Paris out into the Atlantic to the South-West would be the vaugeist of approximations.

Kev 1 1st Jun 2009 10:20

ACARS Details
ACARS mode: 2 Aircraft reg: F-GZCP [Airbus A332]
Message label: _ Block id: 0 Msg no: S72A
Flight id: AF0447 [GIG-CDG] [Air France]

EvilDoctorK 1st Jun 2009 10:21

Going on those vaguest approximations .. if it was around 0600GMT that was 3hrs before landing which would likely put it somewhere a little N of the Canary Islands off the Moroccan Coast .. If they meant 0600 Paris Time then it would likely be somewhere further south - probalby around the Cape Verde Islands ... either way though along way from Brazil / Brazilian airspace.

Great Circle Mapper

RoyHudd 1st Jun 2009 10:21

Mid Atlantic weather at Dakar latitude and south from there not good at FL300 and above at the time period. Standard for this time of year. (WX is only one possible factor, but must be considered)

mark25787 1st Jun 2009 10:25

In response to Mark , if all timings are correct then the A330 lost contact about 3 hours before landing at Paris. The natural route is over water nearly all the way. I would suggest a point some approx 1400 miles from Paris out into the Atlantic to the South-West would be the vaugeist of approximations.
That's going to make a SAR operation difficult. Wonder where aircraft/boats etc are going to be provided from? Strange choice of terminology with "dropped off radar" - maybe implies a sudden chance of circumstance rather than a problem where there was constant radar changes and discussions with the flight deck.

Stall Pusher 1st Jun 2009 10:25

Could it have strayed into a CB? Yes weather not good at that latitude at the moment.

Aircraft an A330-200

When other aircraft have disappeared in similar circumstances, Pan Am, Air India, there was a sudden and total electrical failure. Seems like a similar scenario.

cesar 1st Jun 2009 10:25

Brazilian Air Force Search in Progress.
Brazilian press has reported that Brazilian Air Force has started search and rescue efforts and that aircraft has not been detected by Sal Island (Cape Verde) radars as expected.

Blocksoff 1st Jun 2009 10:32

off radar
off the coast of Brazil in the south Atlantic there is no Radar cover only positions reports are done via HF or VHF.

Re-Heat 1st Jun 2009 10:38

Yes, but dropping off ACARS updates etc is as good as dropping of the "radar" screen these days, where the screen shows more than just a radar return.

Any speculation is pretty pointless at this stage...

marlin 1st Jun 2009 10:38

Island is Fernando de Noronha,200 nm North East of Barzil.Still speculating

captjns 1st Jun 2009 10:39

Do carriers have the ability to track individual tails via SATCOM, in conjunction with OFDM?

marlin 1st Jun 2009 10:40

Most carriers do their own flight tracking these days

Speed of Sound 1st Jun 2009 10:41

a terrorist attack is the last thing the industry now.
Or indeed the people on board and their relatives! :confused:


Bingaling 1st Jun 2009 10:48

Most of our 330's are equipped with a GPS type tracking system that feeds real time accurate position and flight information (Heading/Altitude/Speed) back to the company.

I cannot guarantee it works over the Atlantic but I would be amazed if it doesn't. Surely AF would have extremely accurate position reports fed back continuously.

We can hold out hope that a miracle is possible, just like in NYC. They could very well be sitting in life rafts. I hope the SAR mission was initiated at the earliest indication of trouble.

Here's hoping.....

brockenspectre 1st Jun 2009 10:48

Here is a link to the Le Monde story

apologies to those who don't read French but its easily translatable online - my assumption is that French news media may be more accurate and have better access to Air France spokespeople.

ktm11 1st Jun 2009 10:48

If you look at the satellite map north east of "Rio Garne do norte" you can see there is a severe weather. Its on the way to cape verde. Where there was no communication done.
Check this out
WunderMap Interactive Radar & Weather Stations : Weather Underground

captjns 1st Jun 2009 10:56

If the A330 provides heading/speed/altitude information, perhaps LAT/LONG would be transmitted too.

fireflybob 1st Jun 2009 10:58

Aircraft don't just 'drop off the radar', even what little radar there is off the coast of Brazil.
I suppose it's a question of semantics but a/c do disappear off radar if they disintegrate in midair - too early to speculate the cause but one could hazard a guess.

rojako 1st Jun 2009 11:01

flightstats info
Track Flight Status for (AF) Air France 447

Mahatma Kote 1st Jun 2009 11:03

Based on the great circle route and the reported trip times, and last reported time, the aircraft was last seen around Teneriffe +/- a few hundred miles.

Obviously this location could vary by many hundreds of nm,but a location somewhere around the coast of North West Africa seems probable.

jotape 1st Jun 2009 11:03

Latest Brazilian news:
- Brazilian Air Force mobilised for search
- alarm was sounded when flight failed to check in with Sal island (those of you familiar with the SAA transatlantic flights will know about Sal...)

farmer jo 1st Jun 2009 11:04

If the aircraft has ACARS (which I am sure it must have) then a report of height, speed and position is reported every minute

lexxity 1st Jun 2009 11:04


This is the 330 in question.

kevincoy 1st Jun 2009 11:06

French government reports that contact with the plane was lost at 3:20am BST which is earlier than the 6am reports currently. (source: AP)

Sam1191 1st Jun 2009 11:08

taken off A.net: "According France 2, at 3.30 AM (French time), the pilot was in conversation with their company and was reporting hard turbulance and the conversation was cut off"

jotape 1st Jun 2009 11:08

also reason that Fernando de Noronha island is mentioned is not because that is the area of the disappearance, its because its the most easterly atlantic AFB for the Brazilian Air Force - i.e. thats where they take off to go and search

kevincoy 1st Jun 2009 11:10

French officials are also saying that its fuel, including reserves would have just run out too, so all hope seems lost unfortunately... a sad day

HeathrowAirport 1st Jun 2009 11:11

Air France Just Confirmed, Its lost. And there is no hope. Off the coast of west africa. Nearest San Pedro (VXE)

iuk1963 1st Jun 2009 11:11

just published:

ASN Aircraft accident Airbus A330-203 F-GZCP ? Atlantic Ocean

Thomcat 1st Jun 2009 11:12

Not sure I understand the reaction of Air France
' Air France shares worries and concerns of family concerned'

I work for a regional carrier and as far as I'm aware hq knows exactly where all aircraft are at any one time of the day. Air France operates worldwide so this might be slightly different, but surely they most have means to track their aircraft?

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