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AF 447: lawyers based on the families of victims

One attracts its customers through the Association of Victims and dangled a spectacular in the United States

Fabrice Amedeo 16/07/2009 (English Translation)(Emphasis mine)

A name, phone number, a profile on Facebook. The “Association for the truth about flight AF 447” has not been slow to organize. Yet when one dials the number of the association, it falls directly from a law firm. The firm Maier is its name, is already through the association, 50 families. Contacted by Le Figaro, assures his boss that had to use his premises and his secretary to the association. “We are not sharks, Sylvain explains Maier. We will soon open a new phone line so there is no confusion. “

The firm works with a Parisian firm of Anglo-Saxon Stewarts Law, specializing in air crashes. According to our information, he contacted the relatives of the victims shortly after the tragedy to offer its services. Based in London, he receives at the premises of the association, ie within the law firm of Sylvain Maier, but certainly be “independent.” He dangled the prospects for victims compensation mirobolant.

This “soliciting” is banned in France, but no surprise his new partner in Paris. “I’m not shocked if the goal is to be effective,” explains Sylvain Maier. This process is not within the Bar of Paris, and I’m not even sure that it was banned in the UK. “Such a process is common relativise Denis Chemla, a partner at law firm Herbert Smith. Some law firms in the United States and Europe organized immediately after an accident in order to contact the families. “According to our records, Stewart Law has even contacted a lawyer close to the victim to try to recover his client’s piece of gold. “In France, our fees do not exceed 20% of the sums obtained by the victims, while the United States is 30 to 40%,” says the lawyer who was offered the deal.

To attract families, the Anglo-Saxon firm dangled the prospect of a trial in the United States. “The value of the seat, ie the compensation of victims, is more important to the United States than in France, said Denis Chemla. In France, including the compensation is calculated according to the income of the victims, while the United States considerations are more emotional. “Generally, a” seat “will be paid 3 to $ 5 million in the United States, against rarely more than 1 million euros in France. In the accident of Air France Concorde in 2000, families had received 1 million disappeared because passengers were quite fortunate. For the occurrence of Sharm el-Sheikh in 2004, compensation should be much lower.

Airbus made common cause with Air France

In the case of flight AF 447, Air France is not involved in a trial in the United States. Under the Montreal Convention, the company can not be prosecuted on the place of departure or arrival of his plane. The agreement also sets compensation at 90 000 euros per person. Part of this sum (17 000) has already been paid to families.

For its part, Airbus should make common cause with Air France. “Sometimes they do it without even knowing it, said a lawyer for victims. Finally, the reinsurer Lloyd’s which is the check, and it is not known who is behind. “

But once settled the case of Air France and Airbus, there is still all the equipment of the aircraft, most of whom are American. This is where the work of firms sometimes called “vultures” begins. For them, all means are good to export the judicial process on American soil. The investigators report a bad use of radar by the pilot? Bread blessed: the radar is American brand. Same scenario if the engine of the Airbus – it is General Electric – is mentioned, etc.. Remains whether the Anglo-Saxon firm really believe their fortunes through a trial in the United States or if it is for him as a way to attract customers. For a year, 150 cases of this, 147 applications have been rejected by U.S. courts.


The careful study of the debris started AF 447

Fabrice Amedeo 16/07/2009 (English Translation) (Emphasis mine)

Pieces of the plane recovered in the South Atlantic arrived Tuesday in France. But in the absence of black boxes, specialists hope not to make major discoveries.

This is a second investigation begins. The wreckage of flight AF 447 which sank in the South Atlantic on June 1st, arrived by ship Tuesday in Pauillac (Gironde). They were immediately unloaded and delivered to the Air Test Center in Toulouse (CEAT), where they are expected over the weekend.

Two teams are at work: those of the air transport police in charge of the judicial investigation and the Office surveys and analysis (BEA), whose report is intended not to identify those responsible, but to improve aviation safety . This investigation should lead to the publication of a new report by the BEA to one year and that a final report in several years.

So this is a true work of substance which now begins after the initial study on the spot. This has enabled the experts sent to Recife to say that Airbus had not disintegrated in midair and was intact at the time of impact. This scenario is corroborated by the crushing of all the parts from the front of the camera and the internal structures of the closet that have been uprooted from their vertical support and plated against the floor.

“For this kind of expertise, every piece is important and none is left out,” says Ronan Hubert, historian accidentology air. This includes observing the break points on each of the parties that have been recovered. “In general, many observations are visual, but the use of scanner is sometimes necessary. The study of the engine or some of its parts allows in general to say whether the engine still running at the time of impact. The analysis of elements of wiring also helps to determine which lights were switched on and therefore the state information of the pilots before the accident.

Industrial Issues

It seems that nothing of this nature has been recovered in the South Atlantic. So, skepticism is the rule among observers even before the second season has begun. “You can say many things in a wreck,” says Gérard Arnoux, the chairman of the pilots’ union at Air France. The problem is that in the case of flight AF 447, it has not recovered much. “640 elements of the aircraft were recovered but they represent only 2 to 3% of the total  plane. “With so few elements, we will only probabilities, not on reliable deduct any scenario,” said Ronan Hubert.

Second part of this investigation is expected by the pilots of Air France. Many fear that the tracks have been reduced in the name of industrial issues. “It is almost certain today that if the Pitot probes were not released, the aircraft would not land, insists a trade union official. Then, the question of the weather and the attitude of the crew. “

Unless a miracle and the recovery of black boxes, finding an answer to these questions seems difficult. French forces had stopped last week acoustic research black boxes and will start next week a visual search of the wreckage.

Yet for some experts, all hope is not lost. During the crash of a Boeing 737 in early 2007 off the coast of Indonesia, it took eight months to U.S. authorities recovered the famous black boxes. They were intact and were based in 2 000 meters of water.




In the cockpit of flight AF477 (English Translation)

How the crash of the Airbus A330 could occur? The Russian magazine Itogui held a reconstitution of the flight in a simulator.

25.06.2009 | Stepan Krivocheïev, Grigori Sanine

Sunday 31 May, 23 hours. At the airport in Rio de Janeiro, weather conditions are those of a splendid night of the season, “wind from north-westerly gusts, low cloud insignificant 1 000 m, cloud masses at 3 000 meters.” The Air France flight took off at midnight Paris time. Sixty minutes pass, and no signs of disaster, and visibility is about 10 kilometers and promises to remain stable during the three hours. The last radio contact between the crew and the ground takes place just under three and a half hours later, before the aircraft begins its voyage across the Atlantic. But that night, over the ocean, something unimaginable will happen.

“When you look at the weather maps we see that the area from which the plane issued a series of automatic signals, ie the area of his fall, suffered intertropical convergence phenomenon, ie a hurricane tropical extremely violent, “says Alexander Poliakov, deputy director of the Russian Meteorological Agency. “At the equator, the storm clouds may rise to 16 000 meters. Airbus, he was flying at 10 700 meters, so in the midst of the storm, which was accompanied by lightning discharges extraordinarily powerful. In addition, statements on this night, there was over the Atlantic large concentrations of tropical cumulus clouds, which still cause tremendous turmoil. “

The most serious threat to an airplane, it is not the winds that drive, not even the winds, the gradient wind speed according to altitude, or, more simply, the updrafts. If at a given level, the wind speed is 10 to 20 meters per second and, just above or below, it reaches 40 meters per second, it creates eddies which can carry from experts, a strong mechanical action on the fuselage and systems of the aircraft. “

Crews who have to cross the Atlantic are familiar with these phenomena. All pilots who have experienced tropical storms say there’s nothing more terrifying in the world. Fatikh Koutiouchev, a pilot familiar with the Atlantic and often overflew where Airbus has perished, evokes an area where the weather changing before our eyes: “We always approach this trap is to ask whether we can to pass. Consult on the radar, we look through the windows of the cockpit, everything indicates that we should be able to cross, and then suddenly when you arrive in the area expected to be released, we realize that we are fallen into a trap. The pilots are based on what they said on board radar, but if the road is blocked by a thick wall of clouds, there is no way to see what’s behind. When you fly over these areas, we are blinded and tossed around the plane while buzzing, vibrating, pulsating, lights up, shakes it to a point unimaginable. “

Straight ahead stands a wall of black clouds

i5966itoguiWe are in the season when the Hurricanes take the Atlantic tropical storm. The night of the accident, the vast space that separates Brazil from West Africa was in the grip of a raging storm. “The Airbus approached this area with an angle of 30 °, details Alexandre Poliakov. But what is strange is that where it disappeared, the wind was rather weak. It is over the height at which he was flying that the weather was so abysmal, with much more turbulence. It’s really quite curious. “

In an attempt to solve this mystery, we asked an airline pilot to attempt a reconstruction of the flight AF477 to board a flight simulator. Enclosed in the camera, we discover the multitude of on-board instruments while engineers entering computer data simulator flight Rio-Paris and the weather maps of the Atlantic for the night of tragedy. The captain informed the control tower that he was ready to take off. We drive on the track and put the levers of command reactors in position. We take the speed, we take off – that’s it, we are in the air, and we enclenchons the autopilot. Reached an altitude of 10 700 meters, we are relaxed. Our cruising speed is 870 km / h, the autopilot is docilely work, transmitting screen dashboard information on the operation of reactors, speed, altitude. The weather radar indicates that we are moving on a storm front.

Can not forget what we see through the windows right in front of us lies a huge wall of black clouds all around the air is zébré lightning, our headphones are spewing crépitements deafening, echoes of thunder hit. The computer announces that we have entered a zone of turbulence. The device is shaken from all sides. The situation is changing very quickly, columns of clouds bigger deal to us, downdrafts striking the aircraft, which, despite its imposing bulk, bounces like a football. We can not help but ask ourselves what are the passengers.

Just a few more minutes and we will be in the heart of a tropical storm. Around the cockpit, preventing swirling darkness to determine the status of the device, can not be relied instruments and the cockpit is nervous men feverishly seeking the best way to avoid the storm. You can not dive, and take the altitude is impossible due to the too high. The only options are skew to the right or left.

The radar shows a small hole on the right, the captain changes the speed to reduce the angle of the turn, and it gives the autopilot parameters of the maneuver. The aircraft “jumps” to the window immediately detected, but the space between the homes is suddenly stormy much smaller than expected. It is about 5 000 m and continues to decline.

The aircraft was caught in a deadly trap and without issue

The next instant, the storm engulfs our Airbus, without leaving any chance for him to turn away. Indeed, it looks like a trap. The tremors were so violent that is difficult to not vomit. We assourdis a strident cacophony of alarms and beeps from the various instruments. One after another, the captain of the calculation we drop, the computer immediately switches all the vital systems on the emergency and continues to fight against the forces of nature apart. The crew disconnected the autopilot and password manually (at least one of the assumptions made). Wielding the stick as a joystick electronic combat, the captain was trying to find a way to bypass the storm front. The screens show a horizon that shakes the storm wants us to win.

That’s when all switches. We are entering the computer speed that we provide the external sensors, pitot probes. According to one version planned, the Airbus accident could have been deranged and communicating false information. The speed that we are entering is not very consistent, as is our test. An alarm sounds immediately to notify us of a sudden acceleration. The pilot slowly operates the levers of control of reactors, but the speed falls to a coup and the device makes a spectacular caper before biting nose. Everything is finished.

Our captain lowers a switch and finally stops the simulator. The complexion and legs greenish cotton we exit the cockpit. This experience has shown us that a malfunction of the onboard computer, caused by extreme weather conditions, could be fatal to the aircraft of Air France. It is likely that Airbus will be caught in a deadly trap harmful if it had no issue.

Related Links

Daily Mail (UK):  The Airbus 330 – an accident waiting to happen

Telegraph (UK):  Air France crash: victims did not drown

LB Note:  Both of the above articles are speculative and are not worth our time discussing!

How many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind,
The answer is blowin in the wind.

(La réponse mon ami, est Blowin dans le vent!)

Update–Corrected title & Figaro Link.