FAB Nota 31 – Radio Chatter –


le cirque “Ringling Bros & Barnum & Bailey” à Paris

(Week III – Held Over – Get Your Tickets Now!)




da France Presse, no Rio da Folha Online 14/06/200915h02

EADS CEO says cause of accident is: “convergence of different causes” (English Translation)(Emphasis mine)

The directors of EADS – Airbus’s controlling group – called in Sunday to “caution” at the time of seeking the explanation of the accident with the Air France flight 447 which crashed on 31st of this month in the Atlantic Ocean with 228 people on board . What causes such an accident is a convergence of various causes, “said Louis Gallois, chief executive of EADS, parent company of Airbus, in a seminar this weekend.

“We do not know if the Pitot (probes that can measure the speed during the flight) had something to do in the accident, nobody knows,” Gallois said, referring to statements by the director general of Air France-KLM, Pierre-Henri Gourgeon. Gourgeon said on Thursday he was “convinced that the probes are the cause of the accident” Flight AF 447.

The statements were made after indications of “inconsistencies” in the speed measured by the probe aircraft disappeared by the Department of Research and Analysis (BEA, in French), in charge of investigations. The department said that there is “an established relationship” between these probes and tragedy. Air France also had to accelerate the replacement of its Pitot probes, instruments for measuring speed in flight, on its Airbus A330 and A340 models, down by pilots and after several incidents in 2008 related to failures in these devices.

The search for remains of Air France’s Airbus and the bodies of 228 victims in the Atlantic Ocean comes this Monday its third – and possibly last week, with the priority now to find the black box and proceed with investigations on what happened. The tragedy of flight AF 447 Paris-Rio de Janeiro, disappeared between Brazil and Africa on the evening of May 31 to June 1, has not yet been clarified, although the presence of defective probes to speed the plane have raised the first suspected. So far 49 bodies were recovered by the Marine boats of both countries, as well as important parts of the airplane, as a fragment of the back.

The FAB (Brazilian Air Force) reported Sunday that the number of human remains recovered by Brazilian vessels was 43 and not 44 as announced earlier. Six other bodies are in a French frigate which also participates in the searches. The first bodies were transported to Recife, where they will be examined by a team of doctors for their identification.

The pieces of the Airbus, displayed in a huge hangar at the Recife Air Base, suggest that the collapse was sudden and that there was an explosion on board, according to the opinion of experts consulted by the Brazilian press.

Os pedaços do Airbus, expostos em um enorme hangar na base aérea de Recife, sugerem que a queda foi súbita e que não houve uma explosão a bordo, segundo a opinião de especialistas consultados pela imprensa brasileira.

…The Brazilian military has begun to indicate the end of queries, which will continue “at least until June 19” according to Gen. Ramon Cardoso. Nevertheless, the search for two black-boxes, which are possibly around 3,500 m depth, should be intensified.

The French nuclear submarine “Emeraude” began patrolling the area where the plane had fallen, hoping that their sonar ultrassensíveis capture signals that the two flight recorders issue for a month. Two other ships provided by France should also work with two “locators pingers “, sonars installed in a cable of miles from borrowed by the U.S. Army. The French ship of underwater exploration “Pourqoi pas” also came to the area of search, with a submarine and a robot.





Resgate de Corpos do navio da Marinha /


14/06/2009 – 18h03 FAB Nota 31 – 14.06.09 (English Translation – Emphasis mine)

Command and the Navy Command of the Air report that the total number of bodies recovered and transported to Recife-PE is 43 and not 44 as previously disclosed. There was a correction of that number after the pre-identification work done by [medical]experts from the Federal Police and the Department of Social Defense of Pernambuco.

Due to the impossibility of verifying only for visual contact of the state bodies, as of this date, the operational command of searches is to use the term “mortal prey” rather than “body” for the account that is found in the ocean.

The six bodies were collected by the French Navy at that time, being transferred to the frigate Bosísio, and three of them are already on board Brazilian.

The weather, although not the ideal, allowed to search aircraft and ships make their work. There were no other bodies or wreckage were sightings of the aircraft rugged.

In this Sunday, at 15.30, the center of operations for searches received the visit of French Ambassador Pierre-Jean Vandoorne. He ratified their support and admiration for the mission being performed by the military.

After completing two weeks of searches, reports that the R-99 aircraft used in the mission held electronic tracking of a total of 1,019,548 square kilometers in the Atlantic Ocean, the equivalent of about 10 times the size of the state of Pernambuco or five times the State of São Paulo. This has enabled other electronic search aircraft and ships recognize areas were identified bodies and wreckage of the aircraft.







Below are the most recent on-line aviation chatter and message board discussions.  Please understand the below are only chatter/discussions among aviation professionals world-wide and should not be considered fact until all official information is released by Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Disinformation (BEA).


I believe these jumpseats are the front one. There are 2 blocks of dual seats 1 by door 1L where the CCP/Chief Purser seat and one in the aft galley in the middle.

What makes me believe it is the front jumpseats is the curvature of the panel

Good point.

On the other hand, the curvature doesn’t fit the front bulkhead either (should be on the left of the seats…)

And the doctor’s box is indeed still sealed but not in the metal box where it is usually located and padlocked. It is usually in a hat rack in Business Class

….thank you, Another sign of a great shock.


It was also already established that the rudder limiter message most certainly was caused by the Air Data Disagree problem and the rudder limiter itself would still work at the last setting until slats are deployed.

So, regarding the “new” news, it seems to be an inflight-breakup. Possible causes could be a stall and then entering a spin or a highspeed dive.

The damages at the lower aft end of the seperated rudder could indicate that it was torn by excessive air speed and then snapped to the aft, when the front bolts failed.


Its been in my thoughts from day 1 that the crew most likely had no idea of the problems they would be facing maybe seconds before they happened, hence the lack of mayday calls and now these empty jumpseats.


Question/Comment:  We just do not have enough factual information to draw any sort of conclusion from anything found so far. The information search will take months, be patient, they will come to the right answer eventually.

And this drives us nuts… literally… We can only come up with the most possible scenarios, which includs significant extrapolations… hence, the possible scenarios has too many unclosed junctions/ends… *sigh*


Question/Comment:  Was the relief pilot in the cockpit at the time replacing the captain or the f/o. I mean, how certain are we that there was no sabotage attempt in the cockpit by a crew member that knows how to disable protection systems (like pulling circuit breakers) and set the course for this disaster?

Pulling the CB on the protection would likely cause an ACARS maintenance message to be generated… this doesn’t seem to be present in the data available.


Question/Comment:  Im not sure about Airbus but some manufacturers call them all spoilers.

Spoiler panels… and depending on their position in the wing, the deflection angles limits are set for speedbrake mode, groundspoiler mode.


Question/Comment:  Suppose a plane like the A332 goes into a largely uncontrolled high-speed dive. Would a pilot deploy the spoilers to max in this scenario? If so, with increasing speed, is there a possibility that a spoiler would be torn off the wing section as the aircraft accelerates beyond spec?

Yes using the spoiler panel as speedbrakes using the speedbrake lever… it is one method to reduce the longitudinal acceleration in a dive.


Question/Comment:  Still, I think we may be moving to a point where some scenarios are gaining more probability than others. But, even if we knew the plane broke up in mid-air, that’s not going to help find the root cause – I was basically just curious to know about the spoiler issue.

The loose possibilities of what may have started the problem phase is discussed earlier… but as to the transition from problem to doom is even wider in terms of possibilities… The discovery of the spoiler panel only reduces the number of possibilities from “almost infinite” to “generously numerous”.


Question/Comment:  You see, we don’t have a lot to speculate on and what we see fits a lot of possibilities.



Question/Comment:  Didn’t we already establish that with the system going into Alternate Law?

Yes… ALTN (as per ACARS message), and likely ALTN2 at the lowest level (only load protection, no other protection)… ie: just 1 step away from Direct Law...

It’s just “LIKELY“, there’s no certainty.


Question/Comment:  As to the recovered and possibly unoccupied ‘jump seats’, one has to wonder if maybe there wasn’t enough time for the f/a’s to get into the seats. It would not be improbable for f/a’s not to be in their jump seats if the plane was just entering a turbulance area or entered one with no warning or if some sudden event happened as they may have been in the middle of food/beverage service, or securing the pax, or otherwise unable to be in them.

Unoccupied jumpseats also point to the likelihood that before 0210, the turbulence was not excessive to the extent requiring crew to abandon whatever they do and go to their jumpseat.

This points to “they never knew what was going to happen” at 0210…

This also suggests that the cockpit crew did not deliberately and knowingly fly into the severe parts of the storm…



1.- Can you actually deploy flaps while on cruise, despite the fact you should not do that over a certain airspeed just to prevent structural damages?

2.- If -for whatever reason- you just do that, maybe backed by a wrong airspeed indication, don’t the spoilers remain exposed to the wings’ downface airstream?

3.- If 1 & 2 are affirmative, could it be that in a highly turbulent environment in a certain moment the spoilers would be exposed to a fierce upstream shot passing by the flaps’ trailing edge?

Of course, it could be that none of this actually happened, and that the wing due to whatever reason broke away and hence we are watching at a consequence of a chain of events during the braking sequence. Or maybe the wing smashed the water surface in a near horizontal attitude with a high vertical speed component.

The question is, which spoiler panel is this…

I remember a PRIM1 and SEC1 error…. not sure about this but a sensor reading the position of the spoiler panel (aircraft was suspected under roll direct after 0210UTC)… And if i recall correctly, the outermost spoiler panels are under PRIM1 and/or SEC1…

I was pondering about this… and the roll direct, and loss of control during “transition B” of the accident.

This, if all the analysis you mentioned and my thoughts on it are correct, points towards airframe disintegration during a dive. Circle #3 does appear correct and probably is the hinge/part that is connected to the actuator…

Down to up force causing separation seems correct based on the rip characteristics, and circle #4. But/and…

The aircraft entered ALTN law (ALTN2 is most likely), which means aircraft looses AOA and stall protections… only has load protection on the pitch axis… no protection on roll.

Q1-3: Flap deployment due to stall is possible if they have stall protection available. They did not. I do not think they deployed the flaps if under transition B under a loss of control situation… nor would they deploy the flap to prevent a stall. BUT, if at a high speed dive, I think such a wreck would be possible if the flap had separated (shortly) beforehand, rendering the lower surface to no longer be smooth… this could create an upward force due to surface below no longer protecting the spoiler… hence an upward force…

On the other hand, extreme high speeds can suck the spoiler upwards and off due to the airfoil wingshape (low pressure turbulent air strongest on the trailing edge)… causing a rotation force “rear up”… this may explain circle #3 & 4. I don’t know extreme high speed aerodynamic properties of this particular wing to give a judgement call… so this is just a “loose opinion”.

It is possible that the rear & up suction of the upper surface due to the high speed just simply pulled the panel off…

Flutter from the flap pressing onto the spoiler during/near time of separation may cause circle #2… doesn’t explain #6 thugh… For #2 and #6, yours probably make more sense  Smile

Answer to #3, the flaps would have been ripped off first before the spoilers in that situation, and I doubt it will yield this kind of damage characteristics.


Question/Comment:  Of course, it could be that none of this actually happened, and that the wing due whatever reason broke away and hence we are watching at a consequence of a chain of events during the braking sequence. Or maybe the wing smashed the water surface in a near horizontal attitude with a high vertical speed component.

I tend to think more that this panel describes a highspeed separation of the spoiler panel rather than a water impact at imaginable attitudes and speeds… But a water impact at near horizontal attitude at high vertical speed component… depends on how high of a Vertspeet we’re talking about (and whether the wings would have snapped off beforehand).

I’m still trying to match this spoiler detachment with the rudder being still attached to the vertical tailfin.



le cirque “Ringling Bros & Barnum & Bailey” à Paris (Week III - Held Over!)

le cirque “Ringling Bros & Barnum & Bailey” à Paris

(Week III – Held Over – Get Your Tickets Now!)


Update:  Added Pierre-Henri Gourgeon pic, fixed FAB link.