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-   -   AF 447 Search to resume (https://www.pprune.org/tech-log/395105-af-447-search-resume.html)

vanHorck 8th Nov 2009 07:56

AF 447 Search to resume
NOSJOURNAAL - Nieuwe zoektocht naar Franse Airbus

The search for the FDR and CVR is to resume according to a French junior minister during a commemoration service in Brazil.

He stated the renewed search will commence in February.

vanHorck 8th Nov 2009 08:01

AFP: Vol AF 447: crmonie sobre Rio en souvenir des 228 victimes

According to this document the statement is to be attributed to Maarten, a spokesperson for the victims. His statement (at the bottom) is however not a request or hope but seems to be a statement of fact.

ChristiaanJ 8th Nov 2009 20:31

Acting your age, I see. Your remark is so infantile .....

Apart from that, I suppose there is already a discussion about the likelihood of finding a widely scattered wreckage field at a depth in the order of two to four thousand metres, after months, with any clues like the under-water beacons now silent?
Leave alone finding a couple of small rectangular boxes, similar in size and appearance to a lot of other "stuff" .... AFCS computers, for instance? ... which by now have probably sunk into the bottom silt.

Any link to a halfway sane discussion would be welcome.


Me Myself 8th Nov 2009 22:09

Although extremely remote, the possibility of finding the boxes exists. It's been done before ( SAA off Mauritius ). It would an incridible strike of luck and a more than welcome one. I can understand the families want answers but the aviation community too. Whatever the findings, it will be something to act on and will put a stop to these pathetic drivels like the senile one above.
Seeing the commoration on Tv only triggers thoughts of sadness, anger and frustration at not being able to provide answers and corrective actions.
I never gave 2 thoughts about travelling on a 330, but now and time isn't helping, I have to admit that if given the choice, I'd rather fly on a 777. That's one of the reasons I'd really like to see those boxes found.
Tailstrikecharles, french kids often say " celui qui dit, c'est celui qui est " which translate like :
You are only projecting your own sick and wicked thoughts.
Maybe you're in the habit of cooking the books in your professional life ??

fireflybob 8th Nov 2009 23:03

A day or two after this accident one of the top salvage experts was interviewd on BBC Radio 4's Today programme. He was adamant that the recorders could be recovered. He also said the task would not be easy but said that it had been done before. I suppose it's possible he was touting for the business but it didn't come across that way.

11Fan 9th Nov 2009 00:25

From my perspective as an employee of an OEM, finding the boxes is incredibly important. National or Manufacturer prestige is secondary to determining the cause. There is so much more at stake.

Also, since it will likely come up, in my two plus decades of experience, there is no personal animosity between the two primary OEM's from honorable employees. While there is pride in our respective products, there is also a mutual respect, as well as sympathy when the other has an event.

I've found that the A vs. B arguments -as a rule- are not instigated from folks who actually work for A or B, rather, they are championed by those who have very little, if any, "skin in the game" and are generally dismissed by those of us who do.

Finn47 9th Nov 2009 01:29

This article mentions that the 3rd phase of the search was expected to start before year´s end but is now postponed "until at least the end of February":

Air France crash memorial in Rio amid criticism | ajc.com

That´s four months away. While a delay of a few months may not matter much at this stage, what might be the reason? Bad weather conditions this time of the year? Boats and equipment not available right now? Nobody wants to pay Christmas bonuses to the searchers?

grizzled 9th Nov 2009 06:49

RE the timing for resuming the search.

I would guess (and it's only that) the main reason for the delay is due to arranging for the most appropriate equipment for the task. The actual search equipment used for the first search, though very good at what it was intended for, was not necessarily the best for that specific task. In the past couple of years (months even) several new submersibles have been developed that would be significantly more effective. The main problem is these vehicles are not just sitting around waiting for someone to call and book them. Once developed and available they very quickly get booked full time for research (usually academic) for years.

I would suggest that it has taken a great deal of negotiation (and money of course) to secure the appropriate equipment, and to do so for the length of time needed to complete a thorough and adequate search.


robertbartsch 9th Nov 2009 16:09

Who is paying the cost of the extended (new) search?

Does anyone know how deep manned or unmaned subs can go; I thought it was less than a mile. I know the Titanic was fairly deep.

djp 9th Nov 2009 16:22

Why do they not make responders for underwater "listen" , rather than sending out pulses when no one is listening . This way the recorders could "live" for months in listen mode . Hear a sonar and then respond with a stronger beacon signal.

Herod 9th Nov 2009 16:26

Best suggestion I've heard for a long time. Any manufacturers here like to comment?

PJ2 9th Nov 2009 16:35

Originally Posted by tailstrikecharles on Habsheim
A320 operation anomalies . . . Engine Acceleration Deficiency at Low Altitude . . . Baro-Setting Cross Check . . . Investigation irregularities . . .

Another candidate for the auto-ignore button.

grizz, 11fan, a couple of fine contributions to the discussion. I think your posts reflect the opinions of those who know and do this work: Finding the boxes is extremely important.

Edit: Auto-ignore button highly recommended.

lexxity 9th Nov 2009 18:06

Does anyone know how deep manned or unmaned subs can go; I thought it was less than a mile. I know the Titanic was fairly deep.
Titanic is 2.5 miles down, give or take. Google Woodshole Oceanographic Research facility and Dr. Robert Ballard.

tuj 9th Nov 2009 18:57

Why do they not make responders for underwater "listen"
In order to listen, the beacon would have to expend constant power. By pinging, it doesn't use power between pings. I would agree that a louder but less frequent ping would seem to make a lot of sense.

As for the recorders, its not so much how deep they are as how mountainous the terrain in that part of the ocean is. If it was all perfectly flat and just really deep, I think they would find it pretty easy. With terrain to deal with, debris can shift and keeping ROV's off the bottom becomes much harder. The boxes could be between 2500 and nearly 4000 meters of water in that part of the ocean. The "Jason" ROV can operate down to 6000 meters.

Me Myself 9th Nov 2009 19:10

Who is paying the cost of the extended (new) search?
Both Air France and Airbus are.

Hiflyer1757 9th Nov 2009 19:29

Looked at the Woods Hole site and their equipment pretty well booked out for 2010...which jibes with the poster upstream remarks about these type of top notch vessels pretty well tied up and not available on the fly routinely. I would also think that the time frame stated may be a period of better weather in the area also.

I also agree with the 'not a vs b' comment upthread...aviation accidents and their full and complete investigations benefit everyone. Incomplete investigations more often than not only create more questions than answers and thereby an even larger area of uncertainty.

I was surprised by the minimal assistance from other major military powers both right after the incident and later. Yes...it was a Brazil and French show and perhaps that held back some assistance besides the US P3 and the towed array. When the pingers were still active I would think it would have been a great training scenario....and would be even now. The US Navy brought in Cdr Ballard to find the Scorpion and Thresher...and that same Navy owns Alvin from Woods Hole....there is a lot of US parts in that aircraft and it has been under consideration as a replacement tanker for the USAF so there are good reasons for further participation.

fflyingdog 9th Nov 2009 19:52

Why do we still need CVRs and FDRs as pyhisical boxes onboard the aircraft ? Perhaps we should be looking at a better from of data recovery,would it not be possible in these high tech days to be able to fit a permanent satellite uplink from each aircraft ,that downloads to an airlines own server. Its server could constantly scan and monitor the data and possibly be able to spot a developing problem that the crew are not yet aware of and warn them ? The systems storage could be a controlled quarantine area where aircraft data could be stored for an indefinite period to aid accident investagation if needed.

ChristiaanJ 9th Nov 2009 19:54

Originally Posted by ChristiaanJ (Post 5304989)
Any link to a halfway sane discussion would be welcome.

Good to see there IS some sane discussion!
Even if interspersed with nonsense (I thought Habsheim was settled, except among the conspiracy bats).

As to djp's suggestion about a "listener".... I like it!
Contrary to what tuj says, "listening", with modern technology, would consume far less power than regular "pings".
So pinging for a few weeks, then listening for a few months, is a good idea. It would need a new module inside the FDR and CVR (or rather inside the beacon), which doesn't exist yet, so whether there will be enough of an impetus to update the beacons, for what is a rare occurrence, is an open question.

Totally agree with tuj's other remarks. It's almost like the search for Steve Fossett's plane, and over a similar or larger area, and a few miles down under the sea. And no way a hiker will stumble on the wreckage this time....


PS for tuj
I know it's a lousy analogy.... but look at a kitchen timer.
The very much passive timer display uses extremely little power. The battery usually would die from old age rather than being exhausted... we're talking microwatts.
Your kitchen timer bleeper puts out milliwatts of sound each time. Use it every day, and you have to replace the battery every year.

As I said, not a very good analogy, but a "listener" circuit would still use an order of battery capacity less than a "pinger.

ChristiaanJ 9th Nov 2009 20:07

Originally Posted by Hiflyer1757 (Post 5307029)
Looked at the Woods Hole site and their equipment pretty well booked out for 2010...

With all the other issues of "equipment".
I would think they'd now have to look for a far larger wreckage field in a far less known location...
I would also think far less of AF447 is still in one piece, so the analogy with the Titanic or the Scorpion or Thresher doesn't really hold.
On a 'messy' rocky seabed how are you going to distinguish something the size of an FDR from the rock next to it?
I'm not even sure the tools exist....


HamishMcBush 9th Nov 2009 20:10

28 days of pinging is usually sufficient to find the black boxes. Sure you could make the pings last for longer but this would mean a larger battery pack, adding weight too. Where do you draw the line at size, capabilities, amount of data held etc? So far 28 days has proved adequate on all but a handful of occasions. The Airbus that crashed in the Black Sea had its boxes recovered despite one being buried in sediment.
I am lead to believe that it is most likely to be the undersea terrain that has caused issues with finding AF447, with resembalnce to underwater Alps. If the boxes have slid into the equivalent of a ravine, they will never be found.
Look here for the Black Sea incident:
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