New information: An image captured by the Meteosat-9 satellite (Eumetsat) 14 minutes before AF 447 sent the last message, showed that the plane crossed an “agglomeration of clouds” with temperatures as low as -83° C (-117° F).
An image captured by a satellite from Eumetsat (European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites) to 23 hours of Sunday (31) shows that the Air France Airbus that crashed at sea with 228 people on board on May 31 crossed a storm matrix of clouds at a temperature of 83 ° C negative.
Data were collected by the satellite Meteosat-9 and processed by the meteorological station located at the Federal University of Alagoas. Fourteen minutes after the time of registration of the satellite image, the plane sent the last automated message stating that there was depressurisation.
Based on data collected at the time the flight AF 447 crossed the region of the ocean (about 565 km from Natal-RN), the coordinator of the Ph.D. in remote sensing and the University of Arizona (USA), Humberto Alves Barbosa , meteorologist, suggests a new theory for the accident. He believes that the aircraft may have faced unprecedented conditions in air routes.
In Barbosa, the climatic situation at the time of the accident can be decisive to explain the tragedy.
“Some of convective clusters can be enhanced very rapidly during the passage of air. The brightness temperatures (in the tops of clouds) had values of -83 º C. There may have been unique conditions encountered by aircraft across the region, which showed high turbulence, “he explained, adding that” this leads to speculation that turmoil in the vicinity of the storms of rapid development may have played a role in the accident.”
A situation like this is considered very rare in a route of flight. “It is the first time I saw a situation in life on a route of flight,” said Barbosa. To explain what are “convective clusters,” he USA as an example of cotton-candy. “It’s like you press a number of cotton until they have not able to compress more. That is what happened with the clouds, which would have occurred at a low temperature,” exemplifies.
“Worse than a hurricane” If the temperature has been calculated by the same station, the plane would have found a scenario worse than a hurricane. “A hurricane, on average, reaches 70 ° C negative. It may have significantly reduced the speed of the airplane. Hence, the autopilot would have to correct this loss of speed by means of sensors which may also have entered into collapsing with the storm , “he says. Another theory pointed to supposed reason for the accident was failure of sensors, speed of the models 330 and Airbus 340.
The drop in speed is also indicated by the meteorologist as a complementary hypothesis for the accident. “With the intensification of turbulence, it is normal that the speed of the aircraft fall significantly due to the friction of air, plus the presence of particles of ice and water over ice. As the aircraft through the storm because of the current wind at high level, the situation only worsened. That is, the time might be a ‘perfect storm’, just at that moment, “he says.
According to him, these data were not passed or requested by authorities investigating the accident, although he believes that the climate is crucial to explain the tragedy. “There are other images from satellites. However, these show exactly the convective core of the cluster and the temperature of -83 ° C. This calculation is a result of technology developed in UFAL here,” Barbosa said. According to the professor, due to radar coverage in the region, such as satellites Meteosat-9 end up being the only source of meteorological data over oceans.
Photos: Credito pil Pilote de Funiculaire