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Flight AF447: Atlantic Tragedy

  • June 3rd, 2009
  • Posted by EUEditor

air-france-a330resize.jpgA sorry collection of aircraft debris found scattered over a wide expanse of the Atlantic Ocean has been accepted as the remains of the Air France flight lost with 228 people on board (1.6.09).

Le Monde has quoted the Brazilian Defence Minister at a media conference saying there was no doubt the  debris was from the Airbus A330 which disappeared on a night flight from Rio de Janiero to Paris.

Brazilian air crew have been quoted as having spotted some seating, a life jacket, fuel slick, small white objects and an orange buoy.

The A330 type has to this time had a strong safety record, and ideas at this time about the possible cause of the crash have concentrated on an automatic signal from the aircraft, reporting an electrical short circuit – after it passed by a storm.

That has raised the possibility of a fire on board.

A former Air France pilot quoted in Le Monde, Jean-Pierre Moutte, said trans-Atlantic flights always faced some dangerous circumstances, especially in the zone of meteorological instability around the Equator.

He said aircraft normally deployed two radars to watch for cumulo-nimbus clouds, signalling turbulence and the possibility of ice.

He said aircraft were vulnerable to many hazards, marked by the violence of hailstone strikes against the cockpit windscreen.

Amid tributes and condolences for people missing loved ones on the flight, the French National Assembly observed a minute’s silence.


Le Monde,Paris, 3.6.09., (3.6.09):

“Les débris de l’avion retrouvés dans l’océan Atlantique”, 2.6.09. (Aircraft debris found in the Atlantic Ocean).

“Aucun doute” que les débris retrouvés sont ceux de l’Airbus, 2.6.09. (“No doubt” the debris is from the plane).

“Un avion peut avoir affronter ‘une grele comme le poing, qui tombe sur le pare-brise'”, 2.6.09. (An aircraft can be struck by a hailstone blow against the windscreen).

Picture: A330 aircraft – Air France