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AF 447 Search to resume

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AF 447 Search to resume

Old 4th Apr 2011, 14:05
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First picture.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 14:11
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INFO LE FIGARO - La campagne pour récupérer les boîtes noires, les débris de l'appareil ainsi que des corps de victimes devrait débuter dans trois semaines et sera intégralement financée par l'État. Lire la suite l'article

Localiser l'épave de l'AF 447 n'était que la première partie de la mission. Les membres de l'enquête de sécurité aérienne qui ont retrouvé l' AF447 ce week-end dans l'Atlantique sud , vont circonscrire le champ de débris et prendre de nombreuses photos avec les sous-marins d'exploration Remus. Objectif: localiser les différentes pièces de l'appareil ainsi que les boîtes noires qui permettront de lever le mystère de la catastrophe aérienne. Cette campagne, la quatrième de ce type, a été financée par Air France-Airbus, à hauteur de 9 millions d'euros.

Selon l efigaro.fr , la cinquième phase, celle du repêchage des boîtes noires, des débris de l'appareil ainsi que des corps des victimes, devrait «débuter dans trois semaines», de source ministérielle et devrait coûter 5 à 6 millions d'euros. L'Etat avait déjà lancé la procédure d'appel d'offre dans la perspective d'une probable localisation de l'épave et les étapes de la consultation devraient s'enchaîner rapidement.

Les premières photos envoyées par le navire Alucia, dans l'Atlantique sud, montreraient des morceaux intègres d'appareil et plusieurs corps de victimes encore identifiables. La profondeur (-4000 mètres), la pression et la température de l'eau auraient permis de conserver les corps des victimes. Les fonctionnaires en charge du dossier réfléchissent donc à envoyer des moyens spécifiques pour repêcher les victimes ainsi qu'une cellule d'identification. «Remonter les corps d'une telle profondeur, après deux ans de séjour dans l'eau, sans les endommager et en évitant la corrosion des eaux chaudes en surface relèvera de l'exploit», selon un proche du dossier.
Temperature and pressure preserved the bodies.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 14:19
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BEA press conference

1. The debris field exact location is not to be disclosed (in the North West large abyssal plain about 10 NM from LKP) for security reasons.

2. The debris field was first identified yesterday night around 19.00 (Paris). Its size is about 600 x 200 meters (including both engines, cabin, wings, landing gears).

3. The Remus were sent back to take some pictures of the field, cruising about 10 meters above the wreckage. The sea botom is flat and soft, made of sand or vase. Parts of the landing gears appears to be sinking into it.

4. Actually, the Remus are used to make a complete photographical report including geo-localization of all the wreckages (quadrillage). This would take several days to complete this work.

5. The bodies found would be recovered in the next phase. The main goal now is to find the recorders, still to be found.

6. Next phase will start with a new ship using ROVs, funded by French government, in order to recover the findings. It should start in about 3-4 weeks and 3 ships have been offered the job (one from France telecom, one from Alcatel-Lucent and one from a US company).
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 14:26
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A short video of the interview with the Environment minister here:
Bodies found in wreckage of 2009 Air France crash in Atlantic -

I think perhaps the three weeks may be the time to get the three ships underway or enroute. It would be pretty quick for the ships to be on station and recovering in three weeks time, unless they were already in Brazil or the Azores.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 14:33
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and cost of the recovery will be 5 million Euros, to be paid for by the government.
Government ..... tax payer you mean! That aside, I think it's very laudable that they have found the remains, by which I mean of the aircraft and occupants, and are recovering them.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 14:34
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Thank you Machdiamond. I was relying on my A Level French which is now so rusty it is probably verging on becoming a pile of dust.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 14:54
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The three ships contacted for the next phase (with actual position):
- René Descartes; France-Télécom-Marine (Brest).
- Île de Bréhat; Alcatel-Lucent (African Coast)
- Ares; Phoenix International (Cyprus)
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 14:55
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What could be recovered for 5M€? Surely not the wreckage itself? From the press articles, though, that sounds to be the intention. I'd have thought they'd leave the poor souls and just try and recover the recorders, but it seems they actually want to recover the fuselage?

Second thought: How will it be done? Is there a capable successor to the Glomar Explorer that'll be able to salvage stuff from such a depth?

[Edited shortly after original posting to reflect recent press statements]
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 15:03
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Originally Posted by Rengineer
What could be recovered for 5M€? Surely not the wreckage itself. It sounds to me rather like they are hoping to go directly for the recorders.

Anyway, maybe best to leave the poor souls where they are, and concentrate on the data first
Pitot tubes would be worth a look, just as was the case in the Aero Peru & Birgenair crashes in 1996.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 15:09
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1. The debris field exact location is not to be disclosed (in the North West large abyssal plain about 10 NM from LKP) for security reasons.
This area was combed already in the previous search(es). Would be interesting to see how the previous sonar images of the debris field look compared to the latest one where it was actually located.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 15:14
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Pitot tubes would be worth a look, just as was the case in the Aero Peru & Birgenair crashes in 1996.
I agree Bobman. Must say I'm impressed by the fleet that has been mentioned by takata just as I was writing my post - the Ares specially seems to have quite a record in deep-sea aircraft recovery. Maybe we will see the end of the quest someday, after all.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 15:16
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This AP report mentions what pictures were shown at the press conference (does not show them). Otherwise it does not contain much more information than what takata already posted.

Quad-Cities Online
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 15:20
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keitaidenwa, how do you know the exact location where the main wreckage has been found was searched during the previous phase? See mm43's maps which indicate there were gaps in the previous searches, and the first task for Woods Hole was to search the areas near the LKP that had not been searched before.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 15:21
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The debris field is in a location that wasn't searched previously. The distance from the LKP is not to be disclosed, but is "close".
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 15:26
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Another picture here.

Crash Rio-Paris : les premières images de l'épave - France - TF1 News
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 15:34
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What could be recovered for 5M€? Surely not the wreckage itself? From the press articles, though, that sounds to be the intention. I'd have thought they'd leave the poor souls and just try and recover the recorders, but it seems they actually want to recover the fuselage?
This is obviously not aimed at recovering the whole wreckage ; main goals are:
1. finding and recovering the flight recorders;
2. finding and recovering the maintenance computer;
3. recovering the passenger bodies;

If needed (in case those recorders canot be exploited to fully understand the crash) any other pieces of the wreckage that could be usefull for the investigation to understand the crash would also be recovered.

Detailed pictures in situ can also tell a lot to the BEA without the need to recover all of them.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 15:36
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keitaidenwa, how do you know the exact location where the main wreckage has been found was searched during the previous phase? See mm43's maps which indicate there were gaps in the previous searches, and the first task for Woods Hole was to search the areas near the LKP that had not been searched before.
My mistake then.. I was under impression that northwest directions specifically were already searched.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 15:40
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Pictures of debris

Pictures are on the BEA website:

Oprations de recherche en mer
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 15:41
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My mistake then.. I was under impression that northwest directions specifically were already searched.
In fact, it was by other means than sonar (acoustic search or aerial search and rescue). For this phase, they decided to discard any means other than specific deep sonar investigation.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 15:43
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BEA Pictures

In case no one else has yet posted this information, here is the link to pictures shown by the BEA on its web site:

Oprations de recherche en mer : images du site
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