In this article:George Jonas: Flying through a mystery
the author recounts a similar occurrence, Austral Líneas Aéreas Flight 2553http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/06/13/george-jonas-flying-through-a-mystery.aspx
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."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austral_L%C3%ADneas_A%C3%A9reas_Flight_2553
A couple of interesting photos on Aviation Herald, http://www.avherald.com/h?article=41a81ef1/0022&opt=4096
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.http://avherald.com/h?article=41a75abb
Birgenair Flight 301
Investigators suspected that some kind of insect could have created a nest inside the pitot tube.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birgenair_Flight_301
Aeroperú Flight 603
masking tape accidentally left over the static portshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeroper%C3%BA_Flight_603