Air France A330 - Missing over Atantic

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by SCCutler, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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  2. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    CRAP! I hope everyone is ok. I am keeping my fingers crossed.
     
  3. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    Oh wow this does not look good.
     
  4. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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    The "automatic message" reference is most disturbing; I think that this is press-speak for an ELT signal.

    I occasionally take smart-aleck shots at Airbus planes, but they are in reality robust and well-crafted machines; the 330 has been a workhorse.

    Pray now that they find a pack of liferafts, because, as I understand it, the time for them to have exhausted fuel has long-since passed...
     
  5. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It is fly-by-wire, though, so a catastrophic electrical failure would likely be an issue.....

    The question I have is whether that plane - and AF - use ACARS or an ARINC system to send aircraft operating data back to ground?
     
  6. AdamZ

    AdamZ Administrator Management Council Member

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    I don't think it was an ELT Spike. regardless time has long since past for it to still be airborne given the fuel on board.:nonod:

    I really pray they find folks floating in rafts alive soon!
     
  7. maddog52

    maddog52 Line Up and Wait

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    My guess would be that is what the '"failure" messages actually were. ELTs sure don't send that data. The A330 has the automatic monitoring and reporting system and a major airline like AF would probably use that capability.

    A bad day for everybody. I hope they find them sitting on a remote airfield waiting for the search party.
     
  8. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    They were more than 350 miles from shore when they lost the signal. I think the best we can hope for is life rafts.
     
  9. jlwilson

    jlwilson Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Assuming that they were at 33-35000', how far could they glide? Maybe they did find an island or something. My thoughts and prayers to the 'souls' and the families out there waiting to hear about them.
     
  10. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

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    Roughly 100 miles give or take.
     
  11. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Plus they may still have had some power / control - makes for a really big search area.
     
  12. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    How far did that plane that ran out of fuel due to a leak glide to the Azores? For that matter how far did the Gimli glider actually glide?

    For the Azores one I am thinking it was only about 100 or nautical miles.
     
  13. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My next door neighbor flies the 330 for NW/Delta and he said they have a satellite uplink that reports their position every minute or so and that's likely what's being referred to.
     
  14. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    According to my neighbor, if they lost all sources of electrical power they were doomed. The available sources are: two generators (one on each engine), a hydraulically driven backup generator powered by a Ram Air Turbine) and the batteries. He also said that the engine FADECs are self powered and will function in a "limp mode" with all the rest of the electrical systems turned off. He also said they practice flying with just the elevator and rudder trims but that some electrical power is needed even for that (the flight computers apparently aren't needed for that limited control).
     
  15. TangoWhiskey

    TangoWhiskey Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It was a stormy night, that's for sure:

    [​IMG]

    They are saying that the aircraft automatically reported a short circuit, so I think it's not ELT--must be some satellite maintenance reporting system. I'm sure we'll learn more as time passes... sad story.
     

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  16. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-brazil-plane,0,115379.story
     
  17. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I hadn't heard about the loss of cabin pressure before. If true it certainly doesn't bode well.:nonod::frown3:
     
  18. flyersfan31

    flyersfan31 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Too bad Sully wasn't there to save them.:rolleyes:


    Crappy way to go. I imagine the last few minutes were terrifying.:frown3:
     
  19. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sad.

    I do have to wonder when folks will be drawing parallels to the Bermuda Triangle.
     
  20. TangoWhiskey

    TangoWhiskey Touchdown! Greaser!

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    With storms that big in the area, is it a false assumption that the seas would have been rough, too, making a ditching or surviving one, or even going in for search and rescue treacherous?
     
  21. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    I just cannot believe that such a crash could occur when a flight plan had been filed! :rolleyes:
     
  22. flyersfan31

    flyersfan31 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Clearly this is a tragicle.
     
  23. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    How likely do you think it is that they had time to even attempt a ditching, if they were unable to get a mayday out? (Note that I don't know that they were unable to get a mayday out, though notoriously inaccurate press reports do tend to support that inference.)
     
  24. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    I think it is safe to assume that we cannot assume anything right now.
     
  25. astanley

    astanley En-Route

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    I was running on the treadmill this morning, watching CNN.

    On my flight down yesterday, I was thinking about how newer airframes like the 330, 340, 380, and 777 hadn't had a fatal crash yet.

    I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the report.

    226 souls departed. Tragic.
     
  26. SteveinIndy

    SteveinIndy Line Up and Wait

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    Gimli Glider- at least 145 miles (Red Lake, Ontario to Gimli, Manitoba) from FL410

    Air Transat 236 (The Azores Glider):
    Source for Air Transat 236 information: http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20010824-1
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2009
  27. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    French press reported last night that they had the location where the aircraft went down. VERY large area.
     
  28. mikea

    mikea Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The "can you believe it" moment on the radio news was, "Radar doesn't cover airliners on the whole trip across the oceans." And NOBODY is GOING TO JAIL over this?
     
  29. SteveinIndy

    SteveinIndy Line Up and Wait

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    The one I liked best was the comments here: http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2009/06/troubling-airline-accidents.html

    Especially a post I like to call "Enter the Dumba**":

    I could not resist tearing into the guy....it was almost too easy.....

    And apparently, I'm a horrible human being for saying that to him but oh well.... LOL

    I swear I lose a little faith in belief that people as a group are the smartest creatures on this planet a little more each day because of crap like this.....
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2009
  30. astanley

    astanley En-Route

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    Looks like they may have found wreckage:

    Cheers,

    -Andrew
     
  31. sba55

    sba55 En-Route

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    I know, it's shocking!

    What I like least about these accidents is the fake outrage on the cable channels. Yes, it's always sad when people lose their lives. Maybe, if that's so tragic, we could also report on the tens of thousands that died that day due to famine, war, disease and driving on the highway.

    Felix
     
  32. flyersfan31

    flyersfan31 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well done, sir. Very well done. Space debris? How about cosmic rays??? What an idiot.
     
  33. flyersfan31

    flyersfan31 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm telling you, it was a tragicle.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-vhyqx_Duc
     
  34. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    But they did file a flightplan.


    :mad3:
     
  35. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member

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    I don't think it is so much the fact that it's an airplane. I think it's because the 200+ people died at the same time. You can be certain that if there was a chain motor vehicle accident causing 200+ deaths it would be reported extensively. The same would happen if 200+ soldiers were killed in one day in one battle in Iraq or if 200+ people suddenly died tomorrow of swine flu in one location.
     
  36. TangoWhiskey

    TangoWhiskey Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This is a pretty interesting analysis of the prevalent weather conditions before, during and after the time of the last automated radio broadcast of Loss of Electrical Pwr and Loss of Cabin Pressure.

    This gentleman used to be a forecaster for the Air Force. He doesn’t attempt to say what actually happened, but rather lays out the weather events during that time slot that might have either caused the accident or been a contributing factor(s).

    http://www.weathergraphics.com/tim/af447/
     
  37. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think this is true. The huge loss of life happening at once is as much or more of the newsmaker than the airplane crash. However, when a Cessna lands on a golf course, the inhabitants walk away unharmed, and the media reports "PLANE CRASH, film at 11" that's when I really have a problem.
     
  38. Dave Siciliano

    Dave Siciliano Final Approach

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    Here's an interesting weather analysis http://www.weathergraphics.com/tim/af447/

    Summary in the link:


    Overall what we know for sure is weather was a factor and the flight definitely crossed through a thunderstorm complex. There is a definite correlation of weather with the crash. However the analysis indicates that the weather is not anything particularly exceptional in terms of instability or storm structure. It's my opinion that tropical storm complexes identical to this one have probably been crossed hundreds of times over the years by other flights without serious incident.
    Still, in the main MCS alone, the A330 would have been flying through significant turbulence and thunderstorm activity for about 75 miles (125 km), lasting about 12 minutes of flight time. Of course anything so far is speculation until more evidence comes in, and for all we know the cause of the downing could have been anything from turbulence to coincidental problems like a cargo fire.
    My own opinion of the crash cause, as of Monday night, based on the complete lack of a HF radio call and consideration of all of the above, suggests severe turbulence (see the BOAC 911 and BNF 250 tragedies) combining in some unlikely way with CRM/design/maintenance/procedural/other deficiencies to trigger a failure cascade. We can almost certainly count on some unexpected surprises once the CVR is recovered. Until then, all we can do is await the investigation and hope that the world's flight operations stay safe until AFR447's lessons are revealed.

    =============================================================
    Best,

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2009
  39. TangoWhiskey

    TangoWhiskey Touchdown! Greaser!

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    From a news report off news.google.com:

    I don't think drift for two days can account for 60km separation of debris fields; in-flight breakup would have to be a strong consideration.
     
  40. wabower

    wabower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A conclusion clearly based on keen powers of observation and reasoning, coupled with a deep and profound grasp of the obvious?:p