I’m beginning to have my doubts if we will ever recover any significant portions of the Airbus 330 much less the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and Flight Data Recorder (FDR) or better known as “black boxes”.
The Pourquoi Pas, a French sea research vessel carrying manned and unmanned submarines, is heading from the Azores and will not reach the search zone until June 12.
I would thank like to think that in the future Airbus will consider flotation devices connected to the “black boxes” such as the Air Force currently uses.
Many readers have questioned if it was possible for passengers on Flight 447 to have actually send text messages to their loves ones before they crash into the ocean. Apparently, Air France has been offering this service since 2007.
The service, which is only being tested on Air France’s short-haul A318 aircraft, works by having an antenna run the length of the plane.
Calls and data transmissions made on board are sent to a satellite, then beamed back down to ground. In-flight calls are expected to cost $2.50, while a price has yet to be announced for emails and text messages.
Can anyone confirm that in fact this is now a regular service on Air France and if available for Flight 447. The cell phone article above also asks a good question:
Either phones and other gadgets can crash airplanes or they can’t. If they can, then we’ve got a serious problem on our hands, and airplanes need to be upgraded to protect the public safety.
What’s to stop terrorists from testing various gadgets, finding the ones with the highest levels of interferences, then turning on dozens of them at some crucial phase of flight, such as during a landing in bad weather?
The flight experienced bad weather in the very beginning as shown by weather radar on Brazilian TV. Based on the timeline, passengers may have been emailing and sending text messages throughout the flight, especially the last 30 minutes.
UK news reports that the pilot of a Spanish airliner flying near where the Airbus is believed to have gone down reported seeing a bright flash of white light that quickly plunged to the ocean, said a spokesman for the Spanish airline Air Comet.
“Suddenly, off in the distance, we observed a strong and bright flash of white light that took a downward and vertical trajectory and vanished in six seconds,” the pilot wrote in a report for the airline and Spanish civil aviation authorities.
The Spanish plane was flying from Lima, Peru to Madrid. The pilot said he heard no emergency calls.
AP has a breaking news update providing additional information. This update conflicts with reports from the Brazilian military that no items found so far are from the down aircraft:
Two buoys — standard emergency equipment on planes — also were recovered from the Atlantic Ocean about 340 miles (550 kilometers) northeast of Brazil’s northern Fernando de Noronha islands by the helicopter crew, which was working off a Brazilian navy ship.
Note interesting title of article:
Brazil: Crash investigation eyes probe, sensors
Two officials say investigators in an Air France jet crash are looking at whether speed data instruments malfunctioned. The officials, who have knowledge of the investigation, say an iced-over external probe or a bad speed sensor may have fed inaccurate data to onboard computers controlling the jet. The officials spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the case. Aviation analyst Bill Voss said if the plane was traveling too fast in heavy turbulence, it could break apart. If traveling too slow, it could stall…
…The messages detail a series of failures that end with its systems shutting down, suggesting the plane broke apart in the sky, according to an aviation industry official with knowledge of the investigation who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the crash…
The below AF447 ACARS Mx Messages confirms my original post that the investigation will obviously center around the three ADIRUs and specifically the software version/currency.
Note the above information obtained from on-line pilot message boards discussing the above MX Messages and their associated meanings. The above link contains the Airbus Flight Control Laws (i.e. actions) to take based on these conditions as shown in above ACARS Mx Messages.
OGlobo website (translated) confirms the pallet was not from Flight 447 and there seems to be disagreement on the others items found. I find it very interesting that: “Cardoso said that the spot oil sighted at sea does not belong to a plane.
‘No piece of the aircraft was recovered, “says Lieutenant Brigadier He said priority was to find survivors or bodies. Teams will focus attention on the collection of debris
The Lieutenant Brigadier Ramon Cardoso said this Thursday (4), in Recife, the teams that will focus the attention on the collection of the wreckage from Friday (5). He says the priority now was to find survivors and bodies.
“The wreckage is likely to find it, because we are always doing the sighting of debris. In the beginning, we were leaving the wreckage go because we were more interested in trying to find survivors or bodies,” Cardoso said, who noted that every minute reduces the possibility of bodies being found because of the time now after the accident.
“Now, we give more attention to the collection of debris. From tomorrow, we will disclose more about what we find, because we have all the resources in the area to the collection,” he says. From according to Cardoso, many objects that are not part of the aircraft were collected. Among them is a medium used for accommodation of cargo on airplanes, called a pallet.
“We confirm that the pallet that was found was not part of the wreckage of the aircraft. It was a pallet that was in the region, more considered as a waste for us, but we have to deal with. Any object that we find, we make the collection, then do the analysis and discard those that are not part of the aircraft, “said Lieutenant Brigadier.
Not belonging to the same plane, the material will go to Fernando de Noronha and Recife, after analysis, will be discarded. “Unable to collect the material, even if it is trash, and play back the sea. The material goes to the ground and discarded because it is not part of the investigation.” “No material was collected on the aircraft,” said Cardoso. “What we saw was an aircraft belonging to materials that were left because the priority of finding the bodies, but so far no piece of the aircraft
Cardoso said that the spot oil sighted at sea does not belong to a plane, because it is a very small quantity. “The greatest likelihood is that oil vessel.” In the case of fuel, the likelihood is that the plane, because the substance found is not used in boats.
Debris collected from the sea are without identification Defense Minister said that material belongs to the plane disappeared. Objects will be Fernando de Noronha and then go to Recife.
It is not yet possible to say that the debris collected in the Atlantic Ocean, this Thursday (04), belong to the Airbus 447 that was the flight of Air France, missing since last Sunday (31). According to the commander of the Third Naval District, Admiral Lawrence Edson Dantas, the objects do not have identification that can prove the validity of them.
Defense Minister Nelson Jobim, said on two occasions that there is no doubt that these belong to the plane wreckage French disappeared. The items – a support of luggage and two buoys – remain on board the frigate Constitution, the Brazilian Navy, which helps in job searches. The objects are taken to Fernando de Noronha and then the reef, which will be delivered to the French team responsible for investigating the case.
The admiral Dantas Lawrence is responsible for the ocean area where the searches are being carried out and pass this information Cindacta the seat of the capital Pernambuco, where the coordination of rescue operations is concentrated.
The below contains a few Q&As on Flight 447 on the Brazil’s OGlobo website.
Q Understand the main issues on the disappearance of the aircraft of Air France Greater doubt involves sequence of events that would have caused disaster. A Técnicos consider unlikely the hell alone felled plane.
Q The crew of the plane heard the storm in the Atlantic?A Probably yes. The risk of strong turbulence in the region from which came the last contact of the aircraft of Air France is well known and almost constant throughout the year. In addition, aircraft have updated information on weather in your way. In recent months, aircraft that are en route to Brazil and Europe had already experienced an increase of turbulence in the region, according to reports from pilots.
Q The aircraft followed the flight plan? A All available information indicates it is.
Q The crew was free to modify the path of the aircraft in order to escape the storm? A Yes According to the commander Ronaldo Jenkins, technical director of the National Association of Business Aeroviárias, international air routes are defined by agreements between the countries whose airspace is crossed by aircraft. Side of Brazil, such negotiations are conducted by the Department of airspace control, the body of the Air. However, in an emergency, the flexibility is great. “The pilot, in an emergency situation, you can remove both the horizontal axis as the vertical route of its [ie, turning the plane, up or down]. After that, he must immediately notify the air traffic control. Unless a emergency, he announced the first control, which then checks the levels in the structure of vacant Aerovias in which the plane is [a “road” that aircraft follow imaginary] and gives permission, “says Jenkins.
Q What are the chances of a distance, alone, have caused the crash of the airplane? A Very low, according to most specialists in aviation and flight safety. The planes have a “cover” specially designed for external drive electricity efficiently, so that, in practice, a distance “between” a tip of the plane and “exit” by the other without causing damage.
Q Why the crew did not request help? If asked what the reason for not achieving relief? A If the flaw in the aircraft electrical system was even catastrophic, judging by the automated message sent to Air France at 23h14 on 31, the more likely it is that the usual means of communication with air control is no longer available to the crew.
Q What happened first, the electrical breakdown or depressurization? A It is impossible to determine this with the data available now. Without the electrical systems, the plane would be a sudden depressurization and, in the loss of cabin pressure could, in theory, occur without the other systems of the aircraft were damaged.
Q As an aircraft with so many security systems can disappear? A To master Jenkins and other experts in safety of flight, hardly a single question – ray, the strength of turbulence or other problems along the route – will be responsible for the disappearance of a aircraft. A succession of events and problems likely to contribute to what happened with the flight of Air France. One hypothesis is that the strong turbulence has interacted with some structural failure in the plane, leading to loss of ability to fly.
Q Is there a time limit for searches? A This period has not yet been defined. However, according to the Air Force, 40 days is the period considered feasible to search for survivors, taking into account the capacity of survival of human beings in the sea.
Below I have included additional pilot and aviation message board chatter I have found interesting:
Airbus has a history of catastrophic in-flight structural failure. Shortly after 911, an Airbus 300 broke up during climb out when encountering the wake turbulence of a 747. The cause of the failure was the composite lugs. Their airspeed was quite a bit slower during climb out (well under Va speed)and the turbulence they encountered is quite a bit weaker than flying through a thunderstorm. It might be in Airbus’ best interest (though not of the flying public) that they don’t recover the FDR, CVR or much of the wreckage.
10.4. ADR disagree
[QRH 2.14, FCOM 3.2.34, FCOM 18.104.22.16800, amber ECAM: NAV ADR DISAGREE]
The ECAM message indicates that, following an ADR fault or rejection, there is a speed or angle of attack disagreement between the two remaining ADRs. This will cause a degradation to alternate law. If there is a speed disagreement, see Section 2.3, “Unreliable airspeed (memory item)”. If the speed does not disagree, an AOA sensor is providing incorrect data and there is a risk of spurious stall warnings.
There have been a few posts regarding the possibility of a stall occuring due to the weather and issues with the equipment (combined).
Though, my problem with all this is, the errors generated when read in isolation provide one theory, but until we can match these errors up to actual events in flight (create a timeline) it doesn’t really shed any light on cause. We don’t know if these errors occured as the “event” was happening or if they occured as a result of an “event” or maybe they even preceeded the “event”. There are lots of pieces.. well most of the pieces to the puzzle still missing.
Part of such a belief is to in part be honest, not putting out false hope. It may also suggest that the people on this flight didn’t suffer, probably died quickly from decompression. It could also be a way for AF to try to deflect some possible liability in this matter, to defect it to an ‘act of God’ beyond their control.
This doomed plane was in a fender bender at Charles DeGaulle Airport on August 16, 2004. The pilot was taxiing to his slot and his wing slammed into another Airbus 330.
ATWonline – June 4, 2009 –
Quote:Investigators also likely will explore a possible structural weakness in the A330’s wing because it hit an AF A321 while taxing at Paris Charles de Gaulle in August 2006. Damage to the A330 was considered minor at the time but the A321’s tail sustained substantial damage.
How do wing spoilers fail ?? Maybe by a failing or bent wing.
23h13: failure of a system linked to the mainframe (Prim 1) and the auxiliary system (Sec 1), responsible for spoilers (mobile wing used in the landing). The A330 is equipped with relief devices for this kind of situation, but they have apparently not worked.