Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Last Four Minutes of Air France Flight 447

Source: GERALD TRAUFETTER spiegel.de

25 Feb 2010—The crash of Air France flight 447 from Rio to Paris last year is one of the most mysterious accidents in the history of aviation. After months of investigation, a clear picture has emerged of what went wrong. The reconstruction of the horrific final four minutes reveal continuing safety problems in civil aviation.

One tiny technical failure heralded the impending disaster. But the measurement error was so inconspicuous that the pilots in the cockpit of the Airbus A330 probably hardly noticed it.

Air France flight 447 had been in the air for three hours and 40 minutes since taking off from Rio de Janeiro on the evening of May 31, 2009. Strong turbulence had been shaking the plane for half an hour.

One alarm after another lit up the cockpit monitors. One after another, the autopilot, the automatic engine control system, and the flight computers shut themselves off. "It was like the plane was having a stroke," says Gérard Arnoux, the head of the French pilots union SPAF.

The final minutes of flight AF 447 had begun. Four minutes after the airspeed indicator failed, the plane plunged into the ocean, killing all 228 people on board.

Few airline crashes in recent years have subsequently unnerved passengers to quite the same extent. "How was it possible that an Airbus from such an apparently safe airline could simply disappear?" they wondered.

Passengers on the Rio-Paris route are still uneasy as they board their plane. After the accident, the flight number was changed to AF 445.

Over the course of several months of investigation, experts have gathered evidence that allows them to reconstruct with relative accuracy what happened on board during those last four minutes. It has also brought to light a safety flaw that affects all jet airplanes currently in service. "An accident like this could happen again at any time," Arnoux predicts.

On the night of the tragedy, other planes diverted their flight paths and took a detour around the danger zone.

Why then did flight AF 447 head straight into the deadly storm system? Is it possible that the tragedy began even before the plane took off? continue reading at spiegel international


  1. Do you have any insight on the Nov 12 2001 Flight 587 A300 that crashed in Queens?

  2. Here is the Hawks Cafe and Abel Danger team assessment: The saboteurs hired by the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) cat bond trustees are hacking into target plane avionics through the Montreal Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (see recent post at the Yahoo Group), triggering the bond by putting the plane through a fatal maneuver to ensure the total loss of the hull blamed on pilot error or design fault, and then withdrawing from what amounts to being a virtual-weather war room leaving no paper trail.

    Here is the transcript of Capt. Edward States, First Officer Sten Molin and flt control on AA Flight 587 seconds before destruction. NTSB concluded that the cause of the crash was not terrorism, but "overuse of the rudder mechanism while flawed training and poor rudder design were contributing factors." Of course, when all else fails it's always human error, that's what I call very poor forensics.


    Beginning at: 09:15:39:

    DEP: 587 heavy, left turn...
    CAM: [Sound of brief squeak and a rattle]

    Time: 09:15:45:

    CAPT: little wake, turbulence, huh?
    F/O: yeah...

    Time: 09:15:52:

    CAM: [sound of a thump]

    Time: 09:15:52:

    CAM: [sound of two thumps]

    Time: 09:15:55:

    F/O: max power... [spoken in a strained voice]
    CAPT: you all right?
    F/O: yeah, I'm fine...
    CAPT: hang on to it, hang on to it
    F/O: let's go for power please.
    CAM: [sound of loud thump]
    CAM: [sound of loud bag]

    Time: 09:16:01:

    F/O: holy #.
    CAM: [roaring noise starts]

    Time: 09:16:06

    CAM: [roaring noise decreases and ends]
    [streak in video tollbooth occurs]
    F/O: what the hell are we into, we're stuck in it.
    CAPT: get out of it, get out of it.

    End communications...silence.

    Here is a good description:

    "That made the plane [flt 587] tear apart and burst into flames midair. Like turning your steering wheel in your car hard right then hard left, and then the steering wheel, and muffler fall off, then the transmission and brake master cylinder explode into flames."

    The flying public should start carrying around little printed out cards and give them to the crew of aircraft as they board that read:

    WARNING: Please be advised this aircraft could be a potential target in a cat bond fraud.



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