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Author Topic: *Air France jet missing over Atlantic*  (Read 47214 times)
« Reply #120 on: June 10, 2009, 08:30:16 PM »

Terror Connection Unlikely In Crash
Despite recent unsourced reports, investigators downplay possibility of terrorism in the crash of Air France Flight 447.

"Two U.S. officials familiar with the investigation into the flight's disappearance say that French authorities had shared the suspicious names from the airliner's passenger list with U.S. authorities, but that initial inquiries did not substantiate indications of any terror connection to the crash. One of the officials, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information, says that the two passenger names the French focused on were

...common Middle Eastern names, equivalent in the English language world to names like John Smith."

cont'd here: Newsweek
« Last Edit: June 10, 2009, 08:40:21 PM by kea001 » Logged
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« Reply #121 on: June 11, 2009, 10:14:42 AM »

Terrorists don't secretly blow up airplanes.  The whole point of terrorism is to leave no doubt that it WAS terrorism.

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Nothing Like A 747!

« Reply #122 on: June 11, 2009, 05:44:39 PM »

Check this out:

"Replacement monitors for jet models of the same type as the crashed plane arrived three days before the fatal accident, airline chief executive Pierre-Henri Gourgeon told journalists on Thursday."

From this article:


Aircraft Mechanic
« Reply #123 on: June 12, 2009, 09:43:45 AM »

June 12 (Bloomberg)

O Estado de S. Paulo reported, citing investigators it didn’t identify:

The Air France plane that crashed June 1 may have partly broken up in the air before hitting the Atlantic Ocean:

  • Most of the 16 bodies examined in preliminary stages of the probe into the flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris were found naked or with minimal clothing, suggesting the wind may have removed the garments.
  • The possibility of an explosion or fire in the jet is also unlikely because the bodies showed no sign of burns.
  • Almost all of the bodies had multiple fractures, the paper reported.
  • Investigators haven’t found water in the victims’ lungs, which would indicate drowning.
  • Bodies were found 85 kilometers (53 miles) apart, which may also indicate the Airbus A330-200 broke up before reaching the ocean/

from Bloomberg News:

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« Reply #124 on: June 12, 2009, 02:09:27 PM »

Plane Talking blog by Ben Sandilands:

"Some details of a US carrier running one of the crash cause scenarios through its Airbus A330 flight simulators are being circulated on several private airline forums and on the public Pprune or Professional Pilots Rumour network.

It has been a long standing habit of airlines with a serious interest in flight standards to do flight simulations based on probable causes or using factual data as it comes to hand.

This is what happening in what is believed to have been a US flight simulator.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

The scenario was conducted several times and the results at the end of each scenario produced consistent findings.

In an A330 simulator at FL 350 [35,000 feet] with a gross weight of 210 tonnes in ISA+10, with icing selected, the aircraft approaches a thunderstorm with a high intensity of turbulence. Due to the extreme turbulence, the autopilot disengages. Shortly thereafter a malfunction is selected to block both captain and first officer’s pitot tubes to replicate extreme ice formation.

The airplane reverts to alternate law with protection lost. There is a speed flag on both the captain and fo’s PFD [Primary Flight Display]. The severe turbulence activates repeated stall warnings. Manual thrust is being used at this time. The speed on the standby altimeter is reading 240kts or thereabouts with MACH 0.72. (From the GPS the ground speed is 350 kts or thereabouts. It is very difficult to read the instruments and ECAM warnings [fault and operational warnings].)

Updrafts take the aircraft up to FL 370 and produces a negative G of 0.2. The aircraft then enters severe downdrafts and the rate of descent averages more than 19,000 fpm [feet per minute]. The instinctive reaction is to pull on the stick to arrest the rate of descent. The aircraft shakes and buffets violently. The G force on the [pilot display] reads +5 but the instructor’s panel shows +8. The aircraft breaks up in flight around 20,000 ft.

After several attempts at this with all results being equal one could not see AF447 sending out any distress signals if this is what happened to them.

The email ends with a reference to any attempt to access the aircraft’s electronic manuals to trouble shoot the problems.

Applying an unreliable airspeed memory item would have proven to be very difficult because of the violent shaking and opening a QRH for an ADR check procedure even less likely.

This scenario is now being given considerably credibility in so far as it goes because the ACARS automated messages received by the Air France operations base in Paris indicate the pitots that measure airspeed failed at 0210 GMT on 1 June four minutes before the last message, an alert concerning vertical cabin speed, which derived from the air pressure value inside the jet.

It does not however explain why the jet was flown into such a violent storm cell when flights all around it were navigating through them without issues.

Air France also confirmed three days after the crash that the externally mounted pitots and static points manufactured by Thales had been found faulty in a serious of inflight incidents, leading the airline late in April to decide to replace all of them by the end of June.

However Air France has not explained why it initially blamed lightning as a possible factor in the disaster or claimed, incorrectly, that the ACARS messages recorded unprecedented electrical faults and short circuits.

The messages show no such thing, and give no support to what Air France said at the outset, while the lightning claim was nonsense. It is difficult to imagine that Air France did not know well before it conceded the flight was missing and officially feared lost that ACARS had identified autopilot disconnection and pitot or air speed data failures at the outset."

« Reply #125 on: June 12, 2009, 05:20:36 PM »

"It does not however explain why the jet was flown into such a violent storm cell when flights all around it were navigating through them without issues."

1. 'Flights all around it were navigating through them without any issue': FALSE
    Read my post on page 8 regarding TAM Linhas Aereas Airbus A330-200 registration PT-MVH performing flight JJ-  
    8098 from Sao Paulo Guarulhos (Brazil) to Paris.

2. On international routes, flights are typically spaced a minimum 10 minutes apart.
    Anything can develop within 10 minutes.  

3. Read the following incident: Pinnacle CRJ near Memphis June 11th, Severe Turbulence
    and take a look at how easy it is to get stuck in a cell
« Last Edit: June 12, 2009, 05:53:15 PM by kea001 » Logged
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The Flying Fox

« Reply #126 on: June 12, 2009, 05:57:10 PM »

I have done some modelling of "free convective flows" and from a physical perspective there is nothing that makes the convective flow in an old thunderstorm stronger than the flow in a "just developed" cell. The condensation heat of the water vapour drives the flow and that fresh cell can draw just as much (or maybe more) vapour from the ocean as an old storm.

How fast do cells develop? How clearly does a fresh cell (with only a minimal amount of water/ice) show up on the radar? OK, there's no rain or hail (could be supercooled water) in a fresh cell; but there will be turbulence, up- and down-drafts. Yes, the cell might develop in the air where "you happen to fly", not seeking you out but near-impossible to avoid anyway.
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« Reply #127 on: June 12, 2009, 11:17:29 PM »

While we have to try to come up for an explanation for the AF447 crash,

I would guess that statistical probabilities for this accident are extremely low.  If severe turbulence and unexpected storm cells were common on this route, then why would so many airlines attempt it daily?

From a statistical point of view, It's hard to believe that the airplane just hit a bad storm cell.

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« Reply #128 on: June 13, 2009, 12:31:18 AM »

While we have to try to come up for an explanation for the AF447 crash,

I would guess that statistical probabilities for this accident are extremely low.  If severe turbulence and unexpected storm cells were common on this route, then why would so many airlines attempt it daily?

From a statistical point of view, It's hard to believe that the airplane just hit a bad storm cell.

Again I cite the similarity to the crash of Southern Airways Flight 242, and the possibility of a weather radar malfunction. If you put Southern Airways Flight 242 and Birgenair Flight 301 together you have Air France Flight 447.
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« Reply #129 on: June 13, 2009, 10:15:01 PM »

From Times London:

"The sensors, called pitot tubes, are prone to getting clogged with ice and insects. One theory is that the “inconsistent” speed readings caused the automatic pilot to disengage...

It has emerged that the same sequence of events occurred in six cockpit emergencies reported by Airbus pilots over a year beginning in February 2008.....

In one incident, an Air France pilot issued a mayday call between Paris and Tokyo in turbulent weather after the loss of speed indication resulted in the disengagement of the automatic pilot and set off other alarms. In all six incidents, however, the pilots regained control of the aircraft.

Air France advised pilots on November 6 last year about the “significant number of incidents” in which false speed readings had confused the automated flight system.......

Among the sophisticated electronics on an Airbus A330 is a system that automatically pumps fuel aft when the plane climbs above 25,000ft. This alters the trim of the aircraft to improve fuel economy. It also alters the aircraft’s centre of gravity, making it harder to fly when in manual mode rather than autopilot.

Without the ability to read their speed, the crew of Flight 447 may have mistakenly believed there was a danger of stalling. If they applied extra thrust it could have tipped the plane out of control, tearing it apart in the turbulence.
« Reply #130 on: June 14, 2009, 06:33:25 AM »

In this article:
George Jonas: Flying through a mystery the author recounts a similar occurrence, Austral Líneas Aéreas Flight 2553

Austral Líneas Aéreas Flight 2553
"the pitot tube—the primary instrument for measuring the aircraft's airspeed—froze when the aircraft passed through a cloud, blocking the instrument and causing it to give a false reading."

"Thinking that the aircraft was flying at dangerously low speeds, the pilots increased power to the engines. Far from flying at the low speed reported by the instruments however, the aircraft was actually exceeding its safe cruising speed, and far above a safe speed for deploying slats. During the deployment of the slats, one was torn off by the force of the high speed airflow traveling over the wing, which caused the plane to become unflyable and enter a steep descent."

A couple of interesting photos on Aviation Herald,

1) picked up by merchant ship "Gammagas", one poster states it looks like "a complete speed brake  
    spoiler. It has damages suggesting that this piece could be acting when it was torn. See in the mid
    space were its hidraulic actuator was fixed."

2) Two flight attendant seats, folded.

Pitot tube contamination incidents:

Incident: SAS B737 near Oslo on May 30th 2009, bumble-bee strike

A SAS Norway Boeing 737-700, flight BU-4683/SK-4683 from Oslo Gardermoen (Norway) to Malaga,SP (Spain) with 134 passengers, had to return to Gardermoen Airport after the airspeed indicators started to disagree shortly after takeoff.

Mechanics found a bumble-bee had struck and embedded itsself into one of the pitot tubes of the airplane after takeoff, effectively blocking that dynamic port of the pitot system.

Birgenair Flight 301
Investigators suspected that some kind of insect could have created a nest inside the pitot tube.

Aeroperú Flight 603
masking tape accidentally left over the static ports

« Last Edit: June 14, 2009, 06:39:48 AM by kea001 » Logged
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« Reply #131 on: June 14, 2009, 07:40:35 AM »

Interesting pictures in the Aviation Herald article.  Certainly looks like this aircraft broke up in flight or in a dive.  I like how they added the American Airlines crash in New York in 2001 where the vertical stabilizer sheared off.  A completely different incident and different aircraft.  I hope they don't try and compare it to that flight.

Mark Spencer
« Reply #132 on: June 14, 2009, 09:23:25 AM »

I hope they don't try and compare it to that flight.

I don't disagree but I think it might become the 'flavour-of-the-week'.

Usually a story comes out of AP, Reuters, or UPI on the weekend and then you'll
have the basic kernel of an idea explode into a bunch of erroneous articles
that misrepresent the facts gleaned from the original one.

Air France jet sent message on rudder problem
Associated Press

Boeing Vs. Airbus grin

How Airbus nearly killed 155 people according to an idiot
February 15, 2009 – 5:50 pm, by Ben Sandilands
« Last Edit: June 14, 2009, 09:29:45 AM by kea001 » Logged
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« Reply #133 on: June 15, 2009, 07:07:24 AM »

I like that last article you posted... written by a die-hard Boeing fanatic.  But he does make a few valid points in it.

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« Reply #134 on: June 18, 2009, 11:19:59 AM »

Some autopsies are in
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