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Old 3rd June 2009, 11:04   #46
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Air France tragedy opens up a real mystery.
Also this Airbus was a twin engine aircraft and hence it must have lost its thrust in the trubulance.
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Old 3rd June 2009, 19:00   #47
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Default What tore Air France Flight 447 out of the skies?

Source: Economic Times

Brazilian military pilots spotted an airplane seat, a life jacket, metallic debris and signs of fuel in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday as they hunted for a missing Air France passenger jet that carried 228 people. They found no signs of life.

Lets see what tore Air France Flight 447 out of the skies. Theories Abound..

1. Terrorist attack
A bomb brought down the plane. Though unlikely, not being ruled out since Air France received a bomb threat on May 27 at Buenos Aires airport just before its flight to Paris. The threat was received over phone and inspection followed, delaying the flight by an hour and a half

2. Hit by space debris
The area where AF447 disappeared is apparently the junkyard for space debris. Satellite junk may have collided with the plane

3. Mid-air Collision
Highly unlikely but since aircraft in mid-ocean are not tracked on radar, could a private craft have been on the same path?

4. Internal Explosion
Where the plane breaks up. Again unlikely. Planes have been brought down by fuel flames but modern craft are well protected

5. Lightning
Although Air France is pushing this as biggest factor, experts doubt that lightning alone could have thrown the craft into such turmoil. Nonetheless, doubts raised over how non-metal parts of modern airliners conduct electricity

6. Computer failure
Big noise being made over safety of computers that control modern jets. Computers fly the plane unless specifically over-ridden by pilot inputs. But, computers won’t carry out their commands if they appear abnormal. But on a Qantas flight last year, the computer of an Airbus 330-200 mistakenly thought that the pilot was trying to climb too fast. One theory is that strong electromagnetic radiation — such as intense radio waves — could have interfered with the flight system, causing erratic behaviour. Could similar interference have wrecked the AF flight?

7. Turbulence
Likely to have been the biggest factor. Air France said the plane was flying in a zone of tropical storms. Airliners use weather radar to mark their way around the violent towering storm clouds, which can carry the energy of nuclear explosions


So, what tore Air France Flight 447?
Most likely a combination of 5, 6, and 7. Experts suggest that lightning may have damaged the plane's antenna, depriving it of radio and radar, after which the crew unknowingly entered a storm cloud without its equipment
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Old 3rd June 2009, 23:44   #48
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Default Black Box

What if they never recover the data from the black box? Will we never really know what happened to AF447? All we will be left with is speculation and theories.

From The BBC

Quote:

French aviation officials have said they may never find the flight data recorders of an Air France jet that went missing over the Atlantic.

One French and four Brazilian navy ships are on their way to the area but the Brazilian navy says weather conditions are poor. The flotilla includes divers and a French mini-submarine that can explore to a depth of 6,000m.
French government minister Jean-Louis Borloo said the plane's cockpit voice and data recorders were believed to be at a depth of up to 3,700m, within reach of the submarine, but warned they would be hard to find.
"We have never recovered black boxes that deep before. The sea currents are powerful that far down," he said.

The recorders can send signals for about 30 days.
Mr Arslanian said he was "not optimistic" of finding the boxes because of the undersea terrain.
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Old 4th June 2009, 01:14   #49
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This is so terrible - feel especially bad because I was recently in a flight that experienced exteme turbulence - so much so that all the passengers were screaming, sobbing, saying good byes. I've experienced turbulence before (was caught in Hurricane Wilma) and taken hundreds of flights - but never had such an experience.
Realized what a near death experience feels like so I can quite imagine what those passengers on Flight AF447 must have gone through.
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Old 4th June 2009, 01:51   #50
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I read this the other day and I Froze. The reason being a friend of mine had just taken an Air France flight to Paris from Bombay the same day. Then When I read Rio-Paris, my heart started beating again.....But My heart goes out to all the relatives of people who were in that plane.
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Old 4th June 2009, 03:01   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DriverR View Post
2. Hit by space debris
The area where AF447 disappeared is apparently the junkyard for space debris. Satellite junk may have collided with the plane
I don't think this is possible. Typical commercial aircrafts cruise at 30,000 feet. Space junk and satellite debris is in orbit at a much higher altitude - several hundred kilometers above earth. For a commercial aircraft to be hit by space debris, the foreign object will need to have suffered orbit decay and be large enough to actually tear the aircraft apart.

Most space debris is a few centimeters to inches in size, though there are some as big as rocket stages too. It is highly improbable that a freefalling object from space encounters an aircraft in its path. For AF447 to be hit by space debris and suffer this fate, it has to be almost orchestrated by the devil himself!

I believe the probable reasons are:

1. Terrorist attack - bomb in the cargo bay? But how would that affect electricals and give them a chance to send the failure message? The aircraft would have suffered explosive decompression with a very little chance of sending that failure message.
2. Lightning, Turbulence & Computer Failure - A severe jolt of thunder could have knocked out the computers and electricals rendering most of the essential flight controls dead. Further, the turbulence would have affected level flight causing the aircraft to roll uncontrollably and eventually enter into a fatal spin. Even if the aircraft maintained level flight after the lightning & thunder, the lack of fight controls would have made pilots to try ditching in water. Because of dead electricals, the pilots may not have been able to radio ground control. In that case, the black box may have also stopped recording when the computers and electricals failed. Upon ditching, bad weather and/or speed could have split the aircraft apart in the rough seas.

Last edited by DueLLeR : 4th June 2009 at 03:03.
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Old 4th June 2009, 13:04   #52
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Air France has confirmed that while there were no alert messages from the crew, automated messages from computer about electrical failure were received just before the ill-fated crash.

So for certainty, there was a sudden electrical failure causing the crash in moments that even crew could not respond.

The Black Box if not found, would make this crash a major mystery in history of aviation though I personally disregard claims of Space debris, Terrorist Attack or lightning strike, even turbulence considering the pilot would have changed flight path if the weather was playing foul.
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Old 4th June 2009, 13:21   #53
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According to German News half an hour ago Air France says that at 4.10 am German time (7.40 Indian time) they received an automated message that the auto pilot was switched off. Then, for the next 2-3 minutes a flood of error messages and failure notes came in, the navigation system failed and the screens on bord went black. At 4.14 am they got the message that the pressure in the cabin dropped. After that, the plane must have crashed into the atlantic.

A German expert for aviation explains that a period of time of 4 minutes between switching off the autopilot and drop of cabin pressure holds against suspicions of bomb attack as this would be too long if a bomb had really exploded. He also says that lightning as cause is rather unlikely.

Experts are still discussing matters at the moment but it is said that as of now it looks like they got into a real big tropical storm and the pilots must have tried to get things under control manually and get out of there asap. Unfortunately, at this particular point of time two different stormy weather fronts were rapidly growing together so it is suspected that the aircraft could not get out but was caught in it even further.

Last edited by TheOne® : 4th June 2009 at 13:23.
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Old 4th June 2009, 13:25   #54
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Couldn't some satellite pictures confirm if there was any serious storm around that area ? I mean strong enough for this to happen.
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Old 4th June 2009, 13:58   #55
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John,

Here is what the satellite image shows...
BBC News | Enlarged Image
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Old 5th June 2009, 12:48   #56
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Default Sea 'trash,' not Air France jet debris recovered: Brazil

Courtesy: Times of India

BRASILIA: Brazilian officials said late Thursday they have so far only recovered sea "trash" from a zone in the Atlantic where an Air France jet came down, and not aircraft debris as originally thought.

"Up to now, no material from the plane has been recovered," Brigadier Ramon Cardoso, director of Brazilian air traffic control, told reporters in the northeastern city of Recife.

He said items pulled from the ocean Thursday and originally thought to come from downed Air France flight AF 477 actually came from another source, likely a ship.

He also said a big oil slick originally thought to come from the plane probably also came from a ship, though fuel slicks detected were likely from the jet because the fuel was of a type not used by seagoing vessels.

Earlier Thursday, Cardoso had told reporters that navy ships 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) off Brazil's shore had pulled aboard debris from the Air France plane that vanished Monday, including a pallet from its cargo hold and two buoys.

But after inspection it was determined the pallet could not have come from the plane.

"We confirm that the pallet found is not part of the debris of the plane. It's a pallet that was in the area, but considered more to be trash," he said.

He added that the Brazilian navy crews were pulling any item out of the water and inspecting it. Anything not belonging to the Air France plane was being put aside.
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Old 5th June 2009, 19:37   #57
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I think the plane was flying dangerously close to bermuda triangle. another mystery?
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Old 5th June 2009, 20:12   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
I think the plane was flying dangerously close to bermuda triangle. another mystery?
The Bermuda Triangle is in the Carribean, not anywhere near where this jet was flying. Still a mystery. Since the pilots had no time even to make a call, it indicates that whatever happened, happened without warning and was over very quickly. A bomb (but no one has claimed responsibility) or some sort of explosion or a catastrophic loss of control, I suppose.
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Old 5th June 2009, 20:53   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amip View Post
This is so terrible - feel especially bad because I was recently in a flight that experienced exteme turbulence - so much so that all the passengers were screaming, sobbing, saying good byes. I've experienced turbulence before (was caught in Hurricane Wilma) and taken hundreds of flights - but never had such an experience.
Realized what a near death experience feels like so I can quite imagine what those passengers on Flight AF447 must have gone through.

@amip, I'm just curious - when this happened, how did the crew members and pilot react?
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Old 5th June 2009, 21:44   #60
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How can such a huge plane just vanish into thin air, and not be traced so far? If the co-ordinates of the plane when last on radar were correct, and estimate on how far the plane could have traveled would be known.
I won't be long before more theories come up. A colleague of mine had his own theory- The plane might have come in contact with a UFO, and hence is missing. There have been reports of pilots seeing 'mile-long' UFOs over the Atlantic, so is there some UFO activity involed in this mystery ?
God alone knows!
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