Air France plane missing over Atlantic after storm

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remind remind's picture
Air France plane missing over Atlantic after storm

 

Quote:
An Air France plane with 228 people on board disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean on its way from Brazil to Paris on Monday after hitting strong turbulence and French officials said they feared a disaster.

The Brazilian force said the Airbus jet was well advanced over the sea when it went missing and military planes took off from both South America and Africa to hunt for the plane.

"We are probably facing an air catastrophe," Air France Chief Executive Pierre-Henri Gourgeon told reporters:

"It was well advanced over the Atlantic when we had the last contact," a Brazilian air force spokesman said.

martin dufresne

Sad. But a friend was telling me yesterday that yearly air transits are now numbering into the billions of passengers per year, that an inordinate number of the people she knew, met or overheard on the street were discussing recent or imminent air trips. The last excited throes of fossil fuel consumption? Hitting the gas pedal on the way to the concrete wall?

remind remind's picture

Yes, their families must be frantic.

 

martin dufresne

They say they have the crash site located within 10 nautical miles, but they still can't find any sign of it...

Stockholm

"But a friend was telling me yesterday that yearly air transits are now numbering into the billions of passengers per year"

BILLIONS per year?? The population of the earth is about 6 billion and about 90% of them are way too poor to afford to take a flight in their entire lives let alone in one year.

al-Qa'bong

martin dufresne wrote:

Sad. But a friend was telling me yesterday that yearly air transits are now numbering into the billions of passengers per year, that an inordinate number of the people she knew, met or overheard on the street were discussing recent or imminent air trips. The last excited throes of fossil fuel consumption? Hitting the gas pedal on the way to the concrete wall?

 

I guess these passengers got what they deserved.

500_Apples

Stockholm wrote:

"But a friend was telling me yesterday that yearly air transits are now numbering into the billions of passengers per year"

BILLIONS per year?? The population of the earth is about 6 billion and about 90% of them are way too poor to afford to take a flight in their entire lives let alone in one year.

Yes, but a whole lot of people fly multiple times. Keep in mind in most places flying is not as ultra-expensive as it is in Canada.

martin dufresne

Yes, a friend tells me that, last winter, she saw airlines practically giving away airplane tickets in Europe in order to maintain landing privileges in certain airports (and make money during the high season). You were only required to pay the taxes. This made air travel much less expensive than train or bus fare between certain countries.

Of course, this policy is hugely expensive when one considers the fuel expended and heating effect: expensive for the environment and therefore for us all. At one point would people start cutting back on air travel or protesting it for that reason?

My point was that the developed world seems to be accelerating in the other direction.

Ghislaine

martin - considering that climate change conferences have been held all over the world, with activists flying in from great distances for the great conference party, I don't think such protests are going to happen any time soon.

Unionist

Stockholm wrote:

"But a friend was telling me yesterday that yearly air transits are now numbering into the billions of passengers per year"

BILLIONS per year?? The population of the earth is about 6 billion and about 90% of them are way too poor to afford to take a flight in their entire lives let alone in one year.

IATA projects [url=http://www.iata.org/pressroom/pr/2007-24-10-01.htm]2.75 billion passengers in 2011[/url]. I assume that means 2.75 billion person-flights, so if we knew what the average was per person, we could derive the total number of individual passengers. Either way, it's a lot more individual people than I would have thought.

Noise

Sounds right.   Consider the amount of 'person-flights' something like the NHL or NBA are responsbile for.

Qatar Airways frequently offer flights for significantly less than the airport taxes are for the flight (in Asia atleast).

martin dufresne

Brazilian Army S&R authorities are now reporting that the debris found floating a few days ago off the Brazil coast do NOT belong to the missing Airbus A-330 airplane. A large keroene spill might, though.  Very strange...

 

Les débris trouvés ne proviennent pas de l'A330

(LCN avec AFP) - L'armée brésilienne a indiqué que les débris qui ont été récupérés jeudi ne proviennent pas finalement de l'Airbus qui s'est abîmé lundi avec 228 personnes à bord. Les recherches se poursuivent néanmoins dans un secteur où une nappe de kérosène a été aperçue.

 

here is another good article summarizing reasons of most major airline crashes over the last 23 years and discussing locating issues.

500_Apples

It could have been a meteor.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2009/06/04/did-a-meteor...

John Conway estimates one airplane crash from a meteor every 20 years.

Unionist

You mean "meteorite"?

I like this comment on the linked page:

Quote:
Y’all seem to be missing an important point: the flight went down in a thunderstorm. Which is more likely: the plane being hit by a meteor or the plane going down due to the weather?

 

Tommy_Paine

Well, we do know that the Air France Jet was heading into a massive thunderstorm at the time automated signals started being sent.  It's possible a lightning strike lead to system failures, or turbulance broke it apart, or broke enough of it that a catastrophic loss of control caused the aircraft to break apart before impact.

At this point, more likely explanations than a meteorite. 

And, although others seem to have ruled out a bomb, I think that's more likely than a meteorite.   Admittedly, there is little to go on here, but it strikes me as similar to the Air India murders.

The bright flash reported by other pilots could be consistant with a bomb, or an empty fuel tank exploding from a lightning strike, or a meteor causing the same.

Which makes me think of something concerning Conway's estimates.  Conway uses the surface area of an aircraft in his calculations, where a smaller surface area is probably in order, if he is claiming meteorites leading to catastrophic loss of the aircraft.  To explain catastrophic loss, one has to understand the surface area of an aircraft that if hit by a meteorite, would cause catastrophic loss, not the entire surface area of the aircraft-- there being surface areas that if hit, would not lead to catastrophic loss of control.

 

 

500_Apples

Tommy_Paine wrote:

Well, we do know that the Air France Jet was heading into a massive thunderstorm at the time automated signals started being sent.  It's possible a lightning strike lead to system failures, or turbulance broke it apart, or broke enough of it that a catastrophic loss of control caused the aircraft to break apart before impact.

At this point, more likely explanations than a meteorite. 

And, although others seem to have ruled out a bomb, I think that's more likely than a meteorite.   Admittedly, there is little to go on here, but it strikes me as similar to the Air India murders.

The bright flash reported by other pilots could be consistant with a bomb, or an empty fuel tank exploding from a lightning strike, or a meteor causing the same.

Which makes me think of something concerning Conway's estimates.  Conway uses the surface area of an in his calculations, where a smaller surface area is probably in order, if he is claiming meteorites leading to catastrophic loss of the aircraft.  To explain catastrophic loss, one has to understand the surface area of an aircraft that if hit by a meteorite, would cause catastrophic loss, not the entire surface area of the aircraft-- there being surface areas that if hit, would not lead to catastrophic loss of control.

 

 


It doesn't mean which part of the airplane is hit.

Tommy_Paine

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/646706

 

PARIS – The agency investigating the crash of Flight 447 says Air France had not replaced instruments that measure air speed on the plane, which the manufacturer had recommended.

Blocked or malfunctioning Pitot tubes have lead to catastrophic loss in airliners before.  Defective Pitot tubes can lead to contradictory information in the cockpit, and pilot confusion.  Add a thunderstorm to the mix.....

 

The flight data recorders might provide circumstantial evidence of a Pitot tube failure, but finding the actual Pitot tubes seems daunting at this point.  Hopefully, the nose of the Airbus is intact, can be located, and raised.