BEA: Air France flight 447 hit sea vertically on belly, with strong vertical acceleration

by Jonathan on July 2, 2009

Update 1: You can download the report below (French and English)

Update 2: The aircraft didn’t hit the ocean vertically. It hit the surface of the water belly first, with strong vertical acceleration. When I was writing this blog entry during the time that the BEA press conference, the news reports from which I obtained this information were reporting that the aircraft went down vertically, which isn’t correct.

Alain Bouillard, the person leading the investigation into the crash of Air France flight AF447 announced on Thursday that the Air France plane did not break-up in flight but plunged vertically crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in its flight direction while vertically accelerating.

Flight 447 crashed into the Atlantic on June 1 during a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. The exact cause of the crash has yet to be determined.

Examination of the recovered pieces “leads to the following: the plane was not destroyed in flight” said Alain Bouillard at the BEA press conference. “The aircraft appeared to have struck the water with a strong vertical acceleration” he added.

According to Mr.Bouillard, the passengers were unprepared for the landing. “The absence of inflated life jackets clearly shows that the passengers were not prepared for a crash landing.”

In addition, the BEA said that the Pitot tubes were “a factor, but not the cause of the accident”. “The Pitot tubes are the first link in the monitoring of speed” said Mr. Bouillard. The Pitot tubes are “strongly suspected in the inconsistencies or the speed” is “one of the factors, but not the only one”, and “is an element, but not the cause” said Mr. Bouillard.

Investigators see no need to ground the Airbus A330 aircraft. Philip Swan, an adviser to France’s BEA air accident board said “the information available today does not indicate any such need [to ground the Airbus]. They have flown tens of million of hours and there are 660 of them flying”.

  • The plane was intact when it crashed into the ocean.
  • The search for the flight data recorders will continue until July 10.
  • There is no need to ground the Airbus A330 fleet.
  • The plane did not hit the water in a vertical position, but on its belly, while vertically accelerating.

Download the report: French or English

Sources: TF1 (french) | Reuters | AP/Yahoo

  • Patty

    This will clear up speculations, but many questions still remain…

  • Jan

    This is strange – didn’t the autopsies reveal that the passengers (the ones they were able to find, at least) did not have water in their lungs, and therefore could not have drowned? That would seem to contradict the idea that the plane crashed into the water intact.

  • John Sternan

    Based on all of the previous evidence we have heard, including the ACARS transmissions from the aircraft to Charles de Gaule IAP in france, I think we are seeing the beginnings of what may be a cover up. The technology exists to find the FDR and the CDR, despite the depths encountered.

    Point to Ponder: If everyone wants transparency, let’s keep up the search for the recorders, even after the pingers stop. The data, on both black boxes will, very likely, still be obtainable.

    As for the Airbuss A330 series aircraft; it is my sincere belief each and every aircraft should be grounded and fitted with the replacement pitot system. Human lives are not refundable!!


  • Bill

    Aggreed with John. The fact that it was stated from day 1 that the black boxes may not be found adds to this ! As a frequent flier myself I want to know what the real cause was. We owe this also to the victims. Come on guys, we found the Titanic, we can surely find AF447 ?

  • Brad Jax

    I am going to agree at least in part with John. None of the evidence I’ve seen would point to a vertical high speed impact. Everything I’ve read or seen on the topic including from the “experts” said that if this thing had hit the water intact it would have disintegtrated. The water is not any different that hard earth when you hit it at 6oo mph. In fact one direct comment was made that the tail fin would not have been intact if it had hit the water still attached to the plane. No intact bodies would have been found. These bodies were broken but still bodies. An intact crash would have left only body parts. For certain the image of the “galley” floating around with food still in the bins would be proof enough that this is an utterly ridiculous theory of an intact crash.

  • Tim W.

    First off we can not say this type of wreck would have all the bodies like this or that type of wreck would have these bodies, you may be able to use such things as guild lines but only guild lines and not facts ! Second I don’t understand how if it hit belly first that everything was pushed to the top of the plane, the first movement of everything inside the plane would be down not up is it hit in any type of flat spin belly first wreck. IF everything inside hit the top of the plane that would mean the plane was upside down in some type of flat spin or ? !

  • http://Website Rami

    Yes, I was thinking that myself. The pathologist or physicians claim that there was NO sign of cranial trauma, there were some signs of asphyxia further, the broken bones indicated a mid air break up.
    So the doctors seem to disagree with the engineers that are analyzing the break up of the plane?

  • David

    Of course, if the pilots had attempted to land the plane as in the Hudson River Miracle, the plane would not have disintegrated. Then again, the autospsies would have revealed water in the lungs. I didn’t hear, though, that this was reported, just rumored?

  • John

    “Come on guys, we found the Titanic, we can surely find AF447 ?”

    -Has to be one of the dumbest analogies I have ever heard.

  • Gus Audiber

    Press conference on Wednesday 17 June
    Mr Arslanian said:
    BEA is the “close to the solution,” he is “moderately optimistic”, “approaches the goal” or “ready to understand.”
    This was for the progress made between June 1 and 17
    We are now on 2 July and the preliminary report is published by mandatory BEA
    What we learn there in this report ( usual banalities exepted)?
    Nothing .. as expected.
    Just an assumption that the aircraft fell into the sea in 1 part (but nothing proves that as the BEA refers to a probability)
    So the closer to the goal seems to have stopped on 17 June and the search box record (FDR-TRC) continues.
    Already elements of the preliminary report are formally challenged.
    Indeed, the BEA said it had no autopsy findings already made by the Brazilian experts .. and Brazil said that there has never been anyone from a formal request to get these results ….
    When you ask for nothing .. you receive nothing …


  • Brad Jax

    To further clarify my earlier comment – this plane “supposedly” went into the ocean VERTICALLY (i.e. more or less straight down and high speed). Just check the history of every similar air crash including the one where the airline employee who was POed got a gun on the plane and shot the pilots before nosing the plane straight into the ground. The ocean and the ground at 600 mph wouldnt be much different – total and utter devatastation – nothing but body parts found and tiny tidbits of plane. The closest thing I’ve seen to this is flight 800 which broke up in the air – bodies were found.

    Somebody is cooking the facts and for what purpose?

  • Irma

    How about the fact that the bodies were found 85 kilometers apart? I thought that also suggested that the plane broke apart in the air. I wonder what where the seats of the passengers whose bodies were found. And whether that could also suggest that the plane broke apart in the air.

  • wildflower

    I had lots of questions before this “report” came out but now I have even more….. Some thing is not quite right because of all the contradictions that we are “getting”. I feel that there is a cover up going on and that if it’s not a cover up then these so called experts really DO NOT know what happened. In an earlier comment, which I am adding again, I really think we may be looking at a possible scenario in which no one has either seen before or a very large cover up in which we will never know the truth. We will only know what “they” want us to know. What about the other plan that just crashed?
    I agree with you guys; Jan, John, Brad, and Rami….
    Ok so here is what I posted a few weeks ago….

    So this may have already been discussed, but I’m a bit bothered by the “facts”, (which are few) that I am reading. Has anyone else thought of the strange double “talk” of what may have happened to flight 447? In some of the reports the public hears that the plane “broke up in mid air” and then we hear the same because of the debris that had been found in the early weeks and then the bodies that have been autopsied so far have supposedly indicated the same, yet on the other hand the public is hearing that the debris that has been found now indicates that the plane plunged into the ocean. What about the discrepancies in the autopsies, that some of the examiners didn’t agree or that there was some type of disagreement over the findings. Is it possible, that flight447 do to high speeds (from the tubes or some other malfunctions) and storms, which I’m sure were quite bad, lost the stabilizer, which rendered the plane almost useless, and tore some or a majority of the plane apart in the air and then the rest of the plane, the part that was not torn apart in the air plunged into the ocean? Is it just me or am I the only person thinking this could have happened?

  • Jessica

    John I completely agree! Lives are not refundable! And something fishy is definitely going on, I wish I knew more about this stuff so I could make my own judgement call on the contradicting reports, sadly I just try to take what the media gives me with a grain of salt. Let’s hope the investigators come clean, and can give the grieving families some peace of mind.

  • Pat

    I have read crazy staff all over the internet.
    Conspiracy-cover-up is the latest one.
    There are members of the NTSB board as well as members from other other European boards and observers from the 12 other nationalities on board that aircraft all working with or observing the work of BEA.
    Do you REALLY believe that such a cover-up could take place in such conditions? Come-on!
    The fact – which we all followed from day one – are all debris were retrieved in a relatively “small” area, taking into account the direction of currents from the place of impact.
    The same applies to the bodies found.

    Is it possible that for whatever reason the airplane was flying upside down? I can guarantee you that it is perfectly possible to do so and not have one person on board notice. This often happens with accidents due to spatial disorientation when flying in bad weather. The pilot ends up putting the airplane upside down without noticing anything wrong.

    We will not know until the flight recorders are retrieved.
    But cove-up? For what? 55% of the planes flying in the world today are Airbuses. They have a safety record comparable to that of Boeing. It is not in the interest of anyone, AF, European governments, Airbus, to hide the truth…. unless of course UFOs enter the picture (I have not seen that one yet but it will come, I promise you).

    Let’s not speculate. One thing is for sure. That airplane was flying inside a nasty system in which it should never have been flying. One plane ahead of it and two behind (one of them being another AF flight from Rio) all changed route to go around that nasty line of anvilling Tstorms. Why did AF 447 decide to go through?

    Finally, remember that not one factor is responsible for the crash. It is always due to a combination of factors that all contribute to the final outcome. Maybe it was the worst possible combination of bad luck: worse weather, got plummeted by updrafts and down drafts and all kinds of turbulences, lost speed sensor information due to sudden and unexpected icing, sudden positive lighning, temporarily shutting down the electronics, maybe the second pilot was in command at the time and he was not as well trained and experienced in emergency situation such as that one and took the wrong decisions… maybe…. maybe.
    But read the report. it is enlightening and quite thorough.

    But let’s not speculate until we know more.

  • Jerome

    I might be nuts but it seems to me, having read this report, that the events are consistent with someone purposely plummeting this aircraft into the sea. This is reminiscent of the EgyptAir crash leaving NYC. I think someone disconnected the AP, then the autothrust, and proceeded to dive the aircraft to its demise.

  • http://Website Rami

    Its not a matter of a cover up really. To me, I am just surprised that they came to a conclusion that the aircraft ‘went straight down’. When a week or two earlier the autopsy of the bodies suggested that the aircraft broke in mid air. BOTH of these results came from people who are experts in their field, the doctors and the air accident investigators. Its a matter of time before we find out more, who knows the physicians doing the autopsy might go on to later suggest that their findings are compatible with the theory that the plane went straight down.
    Until then, it seems that we are receiving conflicting evidence from what seems to be trusted sources.

  • Walker

    Huh. It seems quite a few people looking for conspiracy theories didn’t even read the report.

    The plane didn’t go into the water vertically, but in flying position, while vertically accelerating. Ie. Not nose first. Nose first at 600mph would indeed have disintegrated the plane, but as the report makes clear, it didn’t hit the water in that position (or at that speed) at all.

    The evidence of compression on bits of pictured wreckage (like the toilet, baskets and storage units), not to mention the curvature of the floor as it was forced from its fixings, make it pretty obvious that massive crush forces started across the entire belly of the plane and radiated upwards. Bodies killed instantly by crush injuries wouldn’t have had water in their lungs either (not that causes of death and autopsy reports have even been confirmed beyond Brazilian leaks which have been consistently unreliable) so why such an overwhelming desire to dismiss this new information?

    It seems well conveyed and earnest to me, but yeah, you wouldn’t know that if you didn’t read it.

  • Natasha

    According to Mr.Bouillard, the passengers were unprepared for the landing. “The absence of inflated life jackets clearly shows that the passengers were not prepared for a crash landing.”

    Correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding is that passengers are always directed not to inflate life jackets until they are in the water/free of structure. I believe that passengers inflating their life jackets too early – under obvious distress – was sited as the reason that passengers died in the hi-jacked Ethiopian plane that ran out of fuel and landed on water. The inflated life jackets exerted a pressure that was almost impossible to swim or move against, forcing people up against the plane’s structure as it submerged. I can see that passengers not wearing lifejackets might indicate they were unprepared for the crash or didn’t have time, but given that the Brazilian authorities reported that bodies were found without clothing (which I notice is starting to be disputed in the press) would the lifejackets have also stayed on past such an impact?

  • Jonathan

    Walker is right, the plane didn’t go into the water vertically. It went down in flying position while vertically accelerating.

    At the time that I posted this blog entry, all of the news sources that I was getting my information from specifically said that the plane plunged into the ocean vertically, at high speeds. As a matter of fact, some still do.

  • Claudio

    Check what wikipedia says:

    According to the BEA, this examination showed that the airplane had likely struck the surface of the water in a straight line, with a high rate vertical acceleration. No signs of fire or explosion had been found. The hull of aircraft did not break up in the air.[10][97] However this conclusion contradicts the findings of autopsies conducted in Brazil on recovered passenger bodies, which indicated mid-air break up (many bodies were found with minimal or no clothing, which suggests garment removal by wind, during fall from great height).[98][99] BEA reported that they did not have access to these autopsy reports prior to the release of the intermediate report.

    So, they made a report without checking the results of the autopsies.If they did, they could have another explanation which would suggest the mid air break up.

  • wildflower

    Hey Pat
    I’m not sure I agree with the whole flying “upside down” thing ,but you raised a very good question,” Why did AF 447 decide to go through?”,one that I had from day one and now I find out that there were three other plans on the same flight path.

    As far as a cover up, anything is possible. Records can be changed and people can be pribed.

    Your last paragraph is quite interesting to me as well, and I think it’s almost impossible to comprehend such bad luck, but I am under the impression that the final report may come out such as you stated, “the worst possible combination of bad luck, ” not to mention the possiblity of pilot error for actually flying through the storm.

    Maybe the pilots went to sleep? Stupid thought I know, but why would a pilot attempt to fly through such a terrible storm? Unless it was not the pilots that were in control of the plan, but then we have no “groups” claiming a “victory” for such a tragic event.

    All I know is that there are still too many questions and not enough answers and that it may be at least a good year before we get any answers.

  • wildflower

    I really wanted to add that if they wanted to find the “boxes” that they would be found. My reason for stating this… I recall Valujet flight592. Now I know that the situations are completely different, however, the Valujet flight did plunge into some type of “rocky” swamp area in Florida going something like 500 mph. The recovery of that flight was very difficult because of the nasty area in which it crashed, they found small bits of the airplane and just body parts. Also to add is that they were able to find the “black boxes” for this crash. Now granted they were not in miles of ocean; however the point is that they still sent in divers to look for the boxes in horrible conditions not knowing if the boxes could be found, the boxes could have been imbedded in the rock.

  • Pat

    Hello, wildflower.

    I totally agree with you in all accounts. As a matter of fact, I read yesterday in the French news that the French government has still not ruled out sabotage.

    Other comments above mention the autopsies and in which condition the bodies were retrieved. Regarding the condition of the bodies, we don’t really know. We heard rumors that some did not have any clothing, which would indeed indicate a high altitude breakup… The sailors who picked them up saw that they had numerous fractures and that many of them were clothed.
    Now, what is curious is the fact that BEA did not have the results of the autopsies. But things did leak: the bodies indeed suffered numerous fractures, no water was found in the lungs for some (which would corroborate the mid-air breakup). There were French physicians involved in the autopsies I believe.

    I am also in agreement with some comments above that it seems to be a little too soon for BEA to say for sure what happened. But we don’t know which pieces they have found and their actual shape and position. They only mention a few of them in the report.
    In the case of the TWA plane that crashed off Long Island, they retrieved the entire plane and reconstructed it, piece by piece in a hangar. Yet it took them a long time to retrieve the data recorders, and that was off Long Island. In this case, unless they get lucky they might not retrieve anything until years from now.

    Regarding the crew condition, I don’t believe they were asleep. That was a rested crew and they only had departed Rio three hours before. Besides, following airline and international ATA rules, they had three pilots just so that a tired pilot can get rest and be relieved by another competent one.
    Then there is overconfidence:
    I read an interesting comment on an airline pilot blog:
    There are few markers in a life of a pilot when one becomes too complacent and over-confident: I don’t remember exactly the stages, I think it was at 400 hours, 1,200 and 10,000 hours of flying….That pilot brings up the fact that the AF pilot had over 11,000 flying and might have been too confident that he could do it (going through such a storm).
    I read also a very complex meteorological report that clearly indicates that the airplane might have encountered the Tcells at their worst possible time and that the conjonction of three or four anvil storms into one single monstruous one happened just when the airplane was flying through it.

    Going back to the breakup in mid-air vs breakup on contact:
    Apparently reports from flights where planes broke up in mid-air over the ocean show that the debris dispersion is on a much wider spread that one we see in this flight. Given the currents and debris drift and given the fact that they started to be uncovered only 2-3 days after the impact, they were in a relative close proximity to each other.

    Now, I flew private airplanes many years ago while working on a pilot license. Forces in a thunderstorm are unpredictable and from the pilots I know who were unfortunate enough to get into one and survive, it is the most frightening thing they have ever experienced in their life. The turbulences are beyond belief and you go up and down hundreds of feet in a matter of seconds.
    But going down 35,000 feet in 4 minutes? That is unheard of.

    What can bring a plane down so fast? As all pilots will tell you, either a stall or on overspeed. At that altitude the window between going to slow and going too fast is between 25 and 50 mph maximum.
    If they had faulty anemometric readings on all three displays, and if indeed at least two of the three pitot tubes were clogged, then the plane would have been doomed with very little the crew could do to recover the plane.

    My belief since the beginning is that there was no fowl play.
    The airplane may have encountered icing while entering the storm that clogged the pitots. At that point the computer decided that it can no longer trust its own inputs and outputs and switched the autopilot off giving back some control to the pilots. In a normal situation, the airplane can recover as was the case recently with a Qantas Airbus.
    But in the middle of a nasty storm with unpredictable updrafts, convergences and other turbulence, that is almost impossible.
    Then the catastrophic failures of all electrical is also something else. Was lightning involved?

    Finally, I got a tidbit of info from a major French airline pilot:
    Apparently and from what I understood, there has been a pilot union complaint due to AF transiting younger pilots to Airbus A 330-340 qualification with fewer flying hours than they should have (it seems that 2,000 hours is not sufficient…. he did not want to elaborate much on this).

    Sorry for the long posting.


  • Pat


    You are correct about the ValueJet flight but this is an entirely different situation.
    Here we are talking about depths varying from 3,000 to 6,000 meters (9,000 to 18,000 ft) in the middle of the ocean, inside the mid-Atlantic ridge with underwater mountains as tall as the Himalayas.
    Value Jet, if I remember correctly, crashed inland inside swamps that were only a few feet deep.
    The TWA flight crashed off Long Island in limited depth (basically off-shore), and we knew exactly where the airplane had fallen, and yet it took a long time to retrieve the blackboxes.

    They will retrieve them eventually I hope…. with a lot of luck.

  • Claudio

    At 11 p.m. (10 p.m. EDT), pilot Marc Dubois sent a manual signal saying he was flying through an area of “CBs” — black, electrically charged cumulonimbus clouds that carry violent winds and lightning.

    Satellite data show that the thunderheads — towering up to 50,000 feet — were sending 100 mph updrafts into the jet’s flight path.

    “Such an updraft would lead to severe turbulence for any aircraft,” AccuWeather said.

    “In addition, the storms were towering up to 50,000 feet and would have been producing lightning. The Air France plane would have encountered these stormy conditions, which could have resulted in either some structural failure or electrical failure.”

    At 11:10 p.m., a cascade of horrific problems began.

    Automatic messages relayed by the jetliner indicate the autopilot had disengaged, suggesting Dubois and his two co-pilots were trying to thread their way through the dangerous clouds manually.

    A key computer system had switched to alternative power and controls needed to keep the plane stable had been damaged.

    An alarm sounded, indicating the deterioration of flight systems.

    At 11:13 p.m., more automatic messages reported the failure of systems to monitor air speed, altitude and direction. Control of the main flight computer and wing spoilers also failed.

    The last automatic message, at 11:14 p.m., indicated complete electrical failure and a massive loss of cabin pressure — catastrophic events, indicating that the plane was breaking apart and plunging toward the ocean.

  • wildflower

    Everything you said makes perfect sense.
    I think they will need more than luck to find the black boxes.
    I knew that the two situations were different I just thought that it was interesting that they even looked for the boxes given that there was a great risk of being attacked by alligators.
    What could cause a plane to plummet 35,000 in 4 min? and If the plane did “crash” on its belly going at a high speed forward, then would they still have found the large tail section that looked as though it was sheared off? I guess anything could be possible, I’m far from an expert, and the closest I’ve come to an air plane cockpit is when I was a child getting to meet the pilots and sitting in his seat. I have flown all my life; there is still so much I do not know about airplanes.
    As far as the storm, wow, that had to be something terrifying, only Hollywood could have made up.
    At any rate it is very sad that this has happened.

  • Jerome

    @Claudio: “Automatic messages relayed by the jetliner indicate the autopilot had disengaged, suggesting Dubois and his two co-pilots were trying to thread their way through the dangerous clouds manually.”

    You are incorrect. The report suggests the AFC was disconnected but not from the pilot’s control stick, which is weird to me. This implies the pilots were not in their seats when it was disconnected.

  • Pat

    Hey, Jerome,

    What Claudio says is not incorrect.
    The AFC disconnection automatically happens from the central systems when the computer believes it can no longer trust its own information flow. It is actually a logical sequence when losing airspeed sensors on an Airbus 330-340. It then goes into Alternate Law which reverses some control back to the pilots (basically manual control of all the essential flying controls, rudder, elevator etc….).

    As far as transmissions are concerned, no other airplane in that area could communicate with Dakar either. Probably to much electromagnetic interference. Thus, it is possible that the AF 447 pilot tried to send a number of messages on HF which were never received. Only the recovery of the boxes will tell.

  • Jerome

    @Pat: ok if you say so (I am not qualified) — My question would then be: is is possible for a person to purposely cause this such that the sequence and type of events reported would occur? In other words, could the currently known facts support human cause? For example, a suicide pilot like the EgyptAir 990?

  • Pat

    Jerome, sorry for the short answer.
    I am just running out of the door…

    The answer to your question is Yes, in theory. Totally plausible.
    I assume the inquiry will also look into the personnel background.


  • Jerome

    @Pat: Thanks. I was curious because the sequence of events *seemed* similar to me, having read up again on 990 — namely disconnect of the autopilot and automatic thrust controls. The difference being of course in the 990 case, the control surfaces immediately seem to reflect a downward “push” on the yoke.
    I have trouble associating the 2 events as 447 seems to have belly-flopped rather than dive down nose first, although there could have been a last min attempt to “correct” course.
    I am curious how fast can an airliner go down vertically from FL350? Anyone know? The alarm sounds at 1800 ft/sec for more than 5 secs if I recall — is this a violent dive and can that rate be maintained from the cockpit w/o being strapped in?

  • http://Website Rami

    Well I am not an expert in this field at all, I just go based on what I hear from my trusted news source.
    Last I heard the people doing the autopsy said that their findings suggest plane broke up in mid air. Then recently the people investigating the plane collision said their findings suggest that it broke on impact rather than mid air.
    I think it would make it easier if both the people doing the body autopsy and the plane investigation were to agree. But since the new finding I have not heard anything from the ‘autopsy’ end.

  • Daniela

    Unfortunately I have nothing really useful to add to this discussion other than a few points to ponder.

    First of all, I have to agree with all of you who implied that there may be a human factor. I mean, even experienced pilot wouldn’t be silly enough to fly right through the middle of a very bad storm in an area where it is relatively easy to alter the course as the level of air traffic is significantly lower than over Europe or the US for example.

    What I really don’t understand is how is it possible that even the smallest boat can be fitted with a GPS tracker and its movement can be tracked even on the internet regardless of whether it’s in the farthest corner of the ocean or in the port AND a commercial jet with over 200 people on board is tracked only by radar. I may be wrong about this though.

    Also, there are devices called EPIRB which activate on contact with water and send their exact position via the satellite. They are used in leisure yachting but not in commercial flying???

    If we knew where exactly AF447 was at the time of crash anyone with some knowledge of flying, aircraft engineering and meteorology could figure out what happened yet we are all in the dark. My heart really goes to the friends and families of unfortunate passengers and crew. All this contradicting information must be making the whole tragedy so much worse for them.

  • Gus Audiber


    They have a safety record comparable to that of Boeing. It is not in the interest of anyone, AF, European governments, Airbus, to hide the truth…. unless of course UFOs enter the picture;

    No cover up … ?
    Nevertheless it’s actually a disputed contract between Boeing and Airbus for US Air Force renewal of their air tankers fleet.
    The contract was firstly agreed between US and Airbus (note:it’s a A330 tanker version) but dismissed by a US court after Boeing complain.
    No need to say it’s alot of money in the basket for the contract winner !
    And it’s some other reasons (like Air France future) for have the “good truth” …. who satisfied anyone.
    So .. yes if a cover up is necessary it’s possible with the complicity of the BEA (sole responsible of the findings .. analyse and final report) .
    Unlike NTSB in USA .. the BEA is not a independent agency .. BEA is linked with the french governement !
    For the passengers families .. they will be (as usual unfortunately) keep quiet with a flow of Euros.
    Some of them will be not happy and will fight for a other truth .. buthistory showed it’s almost useless.


  • Gus Audiber


    Can remind this fact:
    This is a preliminary report by the BEA (even if BEA had nothing to write .. they must produce this preliminary report as it’s mandatory by law)
    So it’s not a conclusive report.
    Please read again carefully where BEA speak about the fall of the aircraft.
    From the original report:

    visual examination showed that the airplane was not destroyed in flight ; it appears to
    have struck the surface of the sea in a straight line with high vertical acceleration.

    This part of the report is already challenged by experts due to the bodies location .. debris location .. and the last ACAR message (drop of pressurisation)
    The BEA even’t have any forensic report about the bodies ….

    BBC writes: “The French investigation appears to contradict earlier reports attributed to Brazilian pathologists. They said last month that the injuries sustained by the passengers whose bodies had been found suggested the plane had been in pieces before it hit the sea.
    Mr Bouillard said France had not yet been given access to those autopsy reports.”

    Mr Bouillard said France had not yet been given access to those autopsy reports
    Why ?
    Cause it appears the BEA never officially ask for those reports (that’s the brazilian official explaination)
    Actually if you tell the AF447 collide with a flying sausage .. nobody can discard this by facts … so for the BEA report.
    So far it’s speculations and nothing really new from the last BEA press meeting of the 17 June.
    If black boxes are found and functionning .. this will be more facts and less speculations and a possible and verifiable scenario established .


  • Jerome

    @Gus: “Unlike NTSB in USA .. the BEA is not a independent agency .. BEA is linked with the french governement !”

    puh-lease. The NTSB is as linked to the US Gov as any other such agency, if not officially, certainly officiously. I think the TWA800 fiasco serves to prove this beyond doubt.

  • Gus Audiber


    For the BEA the link is official … nothing to hidde .. frenchs like the transparency LOL.
    In fact all are linked officialy with the govt .. like DGAC … Air France etc….
    And all the executives of those agencies are old friends … all turn in a same little circle of people …


  • http://Website Rami

    ok you are right Gus, we are getting carried away, it is after all an initial report that they are required to issue, so it is subject to change etc…. we should all take it easy and relax…
    and pray that they will find the results soon.

    Thanks Gus

  • Pat

    Come one, guys! Give me a break! You are going to the deep end.
    Gus, Iin case you did not know this basic fact of air crash investigations:
    1. When there is an accident investigation and that the airplane involved has parts built by foreign manufacturers, there is on the BEA board a representative of each country INVOLVED as part of the investigation. Presently on the BEA you have members of the NTSB, of the British board and two or three other European boards. In addition, each country which had citizens killed in the crash has an observer on the BEA board. Please, guys, know what you are talking about before raving and renting over some kind of cover-up. Remember again: The NTSB is working with the BEA on that investigation. Cover up? The US Navy is operating two ultra sensitive devices to detect the flight recorders, as we speak, in the zone of the crash. If there was cover-up, it would involve not only the French and the Brasilians, but also the Americans.!!!!!!!!!!

    2. There is in the part of some of my fellow citizens a tendency of getting into a French bashing mode everytime there is something French involved….
    I hate to tell you this but I lives in France part of my youth and I guarantee you that it is far less likely to achieve a monster cover-up than it is in our USA. The French as a whole are far more cynical with their government than we are and far less likely to believe anything. Trust me, in that one, they won’t want to take any risk. There is too much at stakes not to state the truth.

    3. Daniela, your question regarding GPS is a good one and one that is often misunderstood by many people.
    GPS are only accurate for measuring ground speed. GPS are unreliable in real cloudy environment and totally ineffective in stormy weather. Try using your GPS in a middle of a thundestorm and see what you get.
    Regarding EPIRB: Airplanes are fitted with beacons similar to the nautical ones and operate pretty much in the same fashion. The difference is that if the beacon does not detach and goes down with the plane, you get the same problem as with the black boxes.
    The French already located the beacon from the doomed Yemeni airplane two days ago.

    4. There is a total misunderstanding or lack of general knowledge in how aviation really works.
    Believe it or not, there is no radar coverage past a certain point once in you are in the middle of the ocean.
    You have coverage as long as the coastal radar stations can track you. Once you are out of coverage (due to the curvature of the earth), youa re on your own.
    AF 447 and the other planes in that area would not be cover by radar for 2-3 hours on the ocean, maybe more.
    The ONLY way for the controllers on either side of the ocean to know where the airplane really is, is by regular radio contacts through HF with the Atlantico or Dakar control. The pilot tells the controller his/her altitude, speed, position and when he/she expects to reach the next way point. Because ATC knows from each pilote where their planes are, the controllers then can tell the pilots which altitude and level separation they need to maintain.

    Regarding transmissions:
    VHF (same kind of wave propagation as used in FM radio and TV VHF station) permits excellent quality transmissions. However, you need to have a constant and fairly close transmitting-receiving station below. An airplane flying from Boston to Chicago will be asked to change VHF frequencies many times during its trip for that very reason. In addition, each control tower, ATC etc… has itw own VHF frequency.
    Once you are off the coast out in the open ocean, you are too far away to broadcast in VHF. You then have recourse to the old fashion short waves (HF transmssions). This is one airplanes are fitted with HF antennas either inside their hulls or outside.

    However, there is a way for the airplane to transmit its position via proprietary satellite or ground transmission (when possible) to the maintenance headquarters as was the case with AF 447.
    We know approximately the general area where that plane floundered as it had automatically sent its position to maintenance I think every 10 mns, and had transmitted it at some point before it went down. I will double check on that fact but I am almost positive that what happened. Now, the shocker here is that information, at least as far as I know, is NOT transmitted to the en-route stations (ATCs).

    When you fly over the US, Canada and Mexico, you are under constant radar coverage. When you fly from the US to Europe, you are under radar coverage as long as you go up along the Canadian cost. Once you leave it after passing Gander and NewFoundland, then you have to rely on HF and regularly giving you position. Radar coverage is resumed when the airplane approaches the Irish airspace (Shannon). Then it is under radar coverage all over Europe.
    Often. when the HF transmission is bad orp impossible due to bad atmospheric conditions, planes will contact other planes closer to them on the same frequency, and ask them to relay their messages to the ground stations. Planes also routinely tell each other of turbulence or other problems encountered en route. This is how a pilots over the ocean will often know ahead of time (thourhg other pilots) if they will encounter a zone of turbulence and take appropriate preventive measures (as for example climbing or slightly rerouting).

    Regarding breaking-up in the air or on contact with water:
    people do not realize how strong airplanes really are and how much beating they can withstand (regardless of composite or metal fabrication).
    For an airplane to break-up in the air, it has to be something absolutely catastrophic such as a sudden depressurization (implosion), or an explosion, or a collision or an accumulation of those. An airplane the size of an A330 A340 or a Boeing 757-767 does not break-up that easily. The American Airbus that crashed in the US a few years ago did not crash due to a weakness in the tail of the airplane as some people made it believe. It crashed because the co-pilot applied counter pressure on the rudder way beyond the safe envelop of the plane and contrary to training and to the manufacturer specifications and the airline manual.

    If A447 imploded-exploded in the air, it could have been something like hail exploding the windshield of the cabin and provoking sudden and explosive de pressurisation. It could have been positive ligthning (rare but real) striking with unusual ferocity the airplane, and hitting in such a way that:
    - all electronic systems were short-circuited
    - maybe the lightning did actually managed to poke a hole through the part-composite of the airplane (not likely but ut has happened).

    However, if really the storm was as intense as we think it was, then it is possible that the airplane would have been suggested to adverse forces way out of the normal envelop of the plane and in that case it is possible that breakage could have occurred. It could have beed partial though. It is not impossible to have part of the plane breaking and the rest still intact….

    What the BEA said is that from the analysis of the few fragments they had to analyze (600) it appears that the airplane crashed on impact, from the belly, up to the top.

    Regarding the autopsies, the BEA has complained from the beginning and non-stop until now that they were refused access to the autopsies themselves or their results. The Brazilians made clear since the beginning of the retrieval of bodies that they would be the ones in charge of those autopsies . The Brazilians never countered the BEA on that public claim. Now they are saying that the French never asked for the autopsies……
    Incidentally, they (Brazil) did something similar yesterday and today in regard to Dakar center stating that there was no formal agreement between both countries for passing airplane from one region to the other. Everyone knows that this is simply not true, since this is governed by fairly strict international rules and regulations.

    Finally, when all is said and done, once (if) they retrieve the black boxes, I hope that indeed there was no cover up for the sake of everyone involved and for the memory of the people who died on that flight.

    Now, regarding cover-up, there is another one for you!
    Because of the absolute incapacity of all the centers to communicate effectively, until Madrid and Brest gave the alert, search and rescue effort started way too late. Imagine a moment that they find out during the autopsies that some of the passengers were alive after the crash and could have been rescued if the alarm had been raised immediately….. That would be bad for everyone.

    In any case, I think this accident will force everyone in the world to review the international ATA agreements in terms of Transat or Transpac crossings.

    Sorry! Long email again.

    Good night everyone!


  • Jahar

    Why is it that the tail (vertical stabilizer) was found 85 miles away from the main debris? And how come it was largely intact?

    If you ask me, this is a big cover-up. Right from day 1, the French investigators were not showing much confidence in find the black boxes. I wonder why….

    Now that they “know” that the plane struck water “intact”, why should the elusive black boxes be so hard to find?

    The answer my friends lies in the huge financial stakes that could follow a detection of defect in the A330/340 class of airplanes.

    p.s. look how the French powers-that-be shrieked in righteous indignation after the Yemenia crash!

  • http://Website Rami

    I think we are all just walking around in circles now….. I am gonna take a rest from this particular section until further evidence surfaces. :)
    Nothing is 100% certain as of yet,
    but I will tell you all what is 100% certain:

    Patty, Jan, John, bill, Brad, Tim, David
    Gus, Irma, Wildflower, Jessica, Pat
    Jerome, Walker, Natasha, Claudio, Daniela
    and anyone else I forgot to mention…

  • Pat

    Thanks, Rami.

    I agree with you. I will take a seat back now and just wait the developments as well.


  • wildflower

    Yes. Thank you, Rami.

    I haven’t said much, but I too will take a break and wait for further information to surface.

    Wildflower :-)

  • horia

    regarding the tracking of airplanes outside the radar controlled areas, here are two interesting links, that answer some of the questions and subjects discussed in this thread:
    “GPS Air Tracking Systems”
    and here an announcement about a GPS tracking system, that seems to be already working and expecting to be used by airlines:

    condolences and greetings from vienna, austria

  • Dave

    Hi Pat,

    2 points of fact to clarify for you:

    The US Navy is NOT operating any sonar equipment in the search. They have loaned the equipment to the French / Brazilian search teams to operate. The US Navy did operate the sonar that found the Titanic.

    Second, as a pilot since 1991, I can tell you from day one, every pilot is taught about maneuvering speed – the max speed you can input full and abrupt control inputs w/o breaking the plane. When the airliner when down a couple of months after 9-11 on our east coast – American Airlines Flt 587, we learned that we were miss-guided a bit – The full and abrupt motion of the rudder back and forth (first one direction, then the other direction) was exempt from this safety margin for certified aircraft. The tail of AA 587 was ripped off the plane mid-air from full and abrupt rudder inputs, and the rest of the plane followed in an aluminum rain. All but the smallest planes have cruise speeds above maneuvering speed, so it is quite easy to disintegrate an airliner at cruise speed and altitude with full and abrupt control inputs…. much like you would do when you realize you have lost control of the plane because you have complete loss of instruments to show you up from down – this happened to AF 447.

  • Claudio

    Thanks Rami :)

    I keep reading tons of possible theories about this crash all over the net, usually from people that have a certain amount of knowledge.And basically it seems that they all have their points, so all of those theories could be possible.The black boxes won’t be found anyways since they will stop looking for them in like, 4 days.Not to be negative about it, but…time to face the reality I’d say.

  • Xavier

    This is total crap. The french are protecting their Airbus industry. Be smart and fly only on airlines that have Boeing airplanes, stay away from Airbus don’t let a computer fly your life away.

  • John Mc

    Let us examine the following scenario:-
    1. The previous flight crew had dimmed the weather radar.
    2. Captain Dubois was not on the flight deck. (Captains like to be on the flight deck on take off and landing; Capt Dubois may have had had his meal and gone to be bunk, to be present on the flight deck in preparation for the landing in Paris.)
    3. A known, but unlikely, meterorlogical phemomen allowed water droplets to exist in the normally dry atmosphere at FL350.
    4. A pitot tube (perhaps with a faulty heater) is blocked by ice, causing a failure to detect change in airspeed.
    5. As a result of 4, airspeed appears static.
    6. On encountering the thunderstorm, the flight crew routinely order the autothrottle to decrease the current airspeed to the Airbus-specified Turbulent Air Penetration Speed (TAPS).
    7. The autothrottle decreases the engine power.
    8. The autothrottle, not detecting a decrease in speed, continues to decrease engine power.
    9. The aircraft’s speed decreases, unknown to either the flight crew or the autopilot system.
    10. Simultaneously to 7 – 9, the autopilot detects a decrease in altitude (caused by 9).
    11. The autopilot attempts to regain the pre-set altitude by increasing the AoA (Angle of Attack – increaing the pitch of the aircraft), further reducing the aircraft’s speed.
    12. In severe turbulence, when it is difficult to read the instruments, the above situation was either unobserved or misinterpretered by the flight crew.
    12. The airspeed decreased and pitch increased until the aircraft entered an unrecoverable flat spin.
    13. The autopilot was then either disconnected by the system – due to the conflicting information it was dealing with: power decreased, airspeed not decreased yet pitch increased to maintain altitude – or, by the flight crew, but too late to save the aircraft.
    14. The automatic error messages likely started around 12, and the aircraft may have lost wings and tail plane with subsequent decompression and loss of some contents on overloading/attempted recovery on the way down. The greater part of the fuselage likely remained intact.

  • Natalie

    Let me begin by saying that it is good to see that people are genuinely concerned about each other…
    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion; however, the only request I have is that you download and read (in full detail) the actual report before forming an opinion.
    I was feeling very panic stricken when I read the comments – then I read the report and I feel that I understand most of what is being discussed in the report!
    There is a “disclaimer” of sorts right off the jump. After reading the full report it makes me believe that we are fortunate to be allowed to be educated on the preliminary report!

  • Pat


    You are forcing me “out of retirement”. Your posting is really out of line I think.
    With all due respect, it is people like you – who don’t know anything about the facts – that do damage just to that …. the facts, and complicate the debate by their bigotry. Sorry, that’s the way it sounds like. Maybe you don’t like the French. That is a different issue but let’s get the record straight on Airbus.
    So, now for the record:
    1. Airbus is NOT a French company. it is a consortium of a number of European companies. Some of the airbuses are assembled in France, some in Germany. The design is done in cooperation between the countries involved and some of the parts are manufactured in other countries. Airbus belongs to EADS, the umbrella European consortium, whose CEO I believe is German.
    EADS manufactures the Eurocopter as well as many other airplanes and defense related items.
    2. Parts of the Airbus are manufactured in the US, including some of the engines and different other parts
    3. Boeings have fly by wire. 767 – 77 and the newest 787.
    4. If you want to the play the blaming game, see how many airplanes had fatal crashes in the past ten years: Airbuses or Boeings? Don’t let us start on that path, please.
    5. Are you aware that for the past 30 + years all military aircrafts have been FBW? There would not be any way to maintain them straight up in the air. So, if I understand your reasoning and push it to its logical conclusion, let’s ground all military airplanes as well because they use FBW. Let’s also ground the space shuttle since we are at it.
    Please, know what you are talking about.
    6. It has been said that some Boeing people have allegedly used that accident to push an agenda. Others have used that sad event as mainly an anti-French propaganda. A lot of disinformation has been spreading all over the web with no verification of the truth in fact finding.
    The pilot is ALWAYS in control, let it be a Boeing or an Airbus, believe it or not. I don’t know if you have been flying anything in your life, but I can tell you this as someone who knows what he is talking about: Airplanes can fall given some circumstances. They are not immune to it.
    And worse, and contrario to your assertion, given a possible catastrophic scenario as the one extrapolated with AF447, Boeings are even less likely to recover from such a catastrophic failure. Do you know why? Because Airbus have built-in safeties which protect the pilots for going outside the envelop of the airplane, just as with a car system which would protect you for oversteering or overbreaking in wet conditions. Boeings don’t have such systems.
    7. A Boeing would not have feared better than an Airbus given possible similar circumstances.
    8. Finally, for once and for good Xavier;
    There are twenty plus nations from all over the world involved in the investigation. That would mean a cover-up of enormous magnitude. We, Americans, are very much involved with the French in that investigation. So we would cover-up to protect some French or European interests to the detriment of US interests (Boeing)? Come-on! I sincerely hope you are smarter than that.

    With all due respects again.


  • john

    “The aircraft appeared to have struck the water with a strong vertical acceleration” he added.
    He’d previously mentioned that the plane hit the water ” belly first”.
    I’m not a pilot, and don’t necessarily understand these things , or maybe something got lost in the translation; however, I’m confused: How can a plane that goes down in the drink land on its belly with vertical acceleration?

  • Pat

    John Mc:

    Your theory is the one I personally had since the beginning, exactly to the sequence of events. It might very well be what happened.


    I agree with you. People should REALLY read the entire report and not just tidbits. And if they don’t trust their HS French, they should read it in English. Both versions are posted.

    I think you misunderstood me. I totally agree with you. We all learned about maneuvering speed and what you are saying is totally correct.
    The problem of the tail on the AA 587 was not a problem of FBW per say but a problem of strength of the composite fabrication of the airplane.
    I really believe that there ought to be a serious debate regarding composite materials in airplanes. If you are a GA pilot, you know as well as I do that it has been a debate over the past few years so as to the flexibility and strength of those materials. That is far more of a concern to me than the FBW system.

    Regarding the sonars: I think you are not correct. They have American Navy crews operating those sonars. Actually think about it: It would have taken a rapid ramping-up for foreign crews to learn how to operate the things. I will double-check.

    Titanic: That one I know extremely well:
    The sonar that found the Titanic was not operated by the US Navy. It was US Navy equipment, you are correct but it was operated by a US-French team. If you remember, the search was done in two phases. The first one with a French sonar mapping up a first zone. Ballard was at that point embarked on the French ship Suroit with his team along with the French.
    They covered 3/4 of the zone they had framed without finding anything. Then they switched to the US ship Knor (from Woods Hole), and the French team embarked on it. It was Jean-louis (last name?) co-director who was on duty with the operator when they found the first Titanic boiler. Ballard was asleep.

    Regarding the French: They can be criticize for a number of things surely, but there is one thing they are very good at, that is underwater exploration. They are presently the only ones who really can match our technology in that regard. If you know Ballard or any marine research scientist, they will tell you that.

    They might recover what’s left of the airplanes. It will take a long time though. Once they do, they have a shot at recovering the recorders, providing they were still attached to the frame and were not damaged.

    Finally, as a pilot, you know very well that there is always a series of events that lead to a fatal crash. It is not just one failure.
    Gosh, AOPA magazine gives us enough of those reports on a regular basis.
    I have not flown (as a pilot) in ages but I still believe that entering a storm such as the one AF447 allegedly encountered was not a good thing for the crew to face. What do you think?

  • Pat


    The only explanation is that they manage to bring back the plane but too late…. I personally don’t believe the airplane was whole when it hit the water. Part of the fuselage might have it as reported by BEA but not the entire airplane.
    Dave might correct me on this, but if a plane experiences a stall of any aort and “plunges”, it does it “hear first” But it is not like a rocket goind down straight. It is subjected to various air masses, with wings or what’s left of them still obeying the laws of aerodynamics. The plane could have fallen in concentric circles. We don’t really know.

    One thing is sure. It is in no one interest NOT to find out what really happened.
    Just pray that they find the plane and hopefully the recorders.

  • Pat

    Sorry for all the typos. It is getting late on the East Coast.

  • Whitney

    I can somewhat accept the report but i can’t help but be confused about the plane landing on its belly. I dont understand how this would happen, especially since like many others here, i do not believe it was fully intact when it hit the water. I’m definitely not saying there was a coverup but it all just doesnt make sense right now. I pray they can find more information, especially for the grieving families.

  • Eric

    I’m a former McDonnel Douglas engineer. I hope that makes this “opinion” credible.

    I’ve read every word I could find published by reputable new agencies, and numerous blogs.

    I sure hope they find the FDR & CVR. It will answer many questions much more definitively.

    Here’s my take – total conjecture based on facts in evidence, hours of reading, and deduction:
    1) Humongous thunderstorm which should have been avoided.
    2) Pitot tube failure, autopilot automatically disengaged.
    3) Stall or over speed after “alternate law” imposed.
    4) Likely 2nd or 3rd officer over-input controls initiate breakup (as we’ve seen it before, likely very much like AA582 with rudder being torn off) explosive decompression in conjunction with phenomenal turbulence within thunderstorm, lightning(?).
    5) Pilot and flight attendant, discovered unclothed in near proximity to one another; COD asphyxia and/or trauma (no water in lungs), most extremities bones broken – suggesting mid air breakup. I suspect they were not in seats and sucked out in the breakup which occurred. (I would love to know the seat numbers of other identified recovered victims. I suspect they will all be located near one another.)
    6) The bulk of the plane remained intact with some 165 passengers in their seats with belts fastened.
    7) Largely intact, but separate portions, of the plane could indeed hit the water with high vertical acceleration, in a straight line. [Note: How vertical "acceleration" (other than 1g) could be determined is beyond my engineering degree. However, determining speed of impact is plausible.]

    I’m quite certain this scenario fits all the reported facts, including the preliminary report. There was definitely a “cascade” of events.

    Of some comfort here is that there would have been very little pain suffered by anyone. Fear and apprehension, yes. But in less than 4 minutes, the plane started sending messages the passengers would have had no knowledge of, I assume the captain had not been summoned back to the cockpit. The passengers would have been experiencing great turbulence, but with the breakup/explosive decompression happening in an instant. Hypoxia and unconsciousness would occur in a very short time following that.

    Let’s all not be too quick to invent/find the conspiracy simply because of the lack of specific evidence supporting “natural” occurrences. I think there is plenty in what I’ve read to support a natural cascade of events.

    Be assured, there are very smart and good people working hard every minute to find out the cause – and all of them fly more than most of us do. If there is a systemic design problem I have confidence it will come to light in due time.

    All that said, we all take greater risks every day going to and from work. I won’t hesitate to fly on any plane. If it’s my time to go, God knows it and can have it happen in a low or high probability event – His call. My responsibility is minimize “risky” behaviors. Flying in a commercial aircraft is not a “risky” thing to do; traveling to the airport is!

  • Sam

    It’s ridiculous to, now, say ythat the plane didn’t break up in the air. The investigators are suppresing critical info that lead to the crash to protect Air france due to legal issues with regard to replacement of pitot tubes, recommended by Air bus prior to the crash.
    Of course, only black box could tell us what had really happened on that fateful day. Further, the inestigators are pessimistic about retrieving the recorders due to this reason.

    One thing is very clear that the plane disintegrated in the air before plunging into the ocean.

    First of all, these investigators need to stop issuing contradicting statements and instead work hard in finding the real fact.

    My heartthrobing condolence to all the bereived families at this moment.

  • Dave

    Hi Eric (MD Engineer)

    Very well put. I had similar ideas but you spelled it out very well. If or when the red boxes are found amongst the trash on the underwater mountains, we will know for sure.

    Hi Pat -

    Yes, stalls are not typically like that. Many pilots don’t like them. Until our commercial check ride, we are all required to perform them, then we are to come to the edge of the stall and call “incipient staff” and relax back pressure on the yoke and return to normal flight. I always like doing a full stall. In small planes, what happens is all dependant upon where the rudder trim is – if you are “skidding” a little to the right when you stall, your plane will fall off to the right. Stronger skid = stronger wing-over. Remember this plane had rudder augmentation system failure. If your rudder is trimmed, the stall can be a non-event with the nose simply dropping maybe 15 degrees or so until your angle of attack decreases below the stall.

    Nearly every big plane is too fragile (rudder, wing loading, etc) to allow a stall. They have stick shakers / pushers / etc to prevent the stall. This plane was fly by wire so the computers (when they have normal inputs) will not allow the plane to stall. A stall in a big plane could result is anything from in-flight breakup to a flat spin to a simple stall like in a small plane. It likely would not be a fun ride if it did not break the plane. This is something neither Boeing nor Airbus would have tested for (an actual stall in a large plane like this)

    But, the fly by wire computers did not have airspeed information. I have not seen anything about Angle of Attack – the real indicator of an approaching stall. I suspect this was one of the few flight instruments still working when all the flight systems when off line, so it probably was not displayed on the PFD for the pilots.

    I wish the search teams would give us more information. The seating assignment of found bodies w/o naming them would be great ! We learned more about the Titanic search ! Thanks for the details on that, and yes, it seems that our Navy would have put people on the ships when we loaned the equipment. I guarantee one thing – If the US were searching for a sub in these waters, we would have found it by now (technology other than what we sent there)

  • Dave

    Hi Daniela
    Your first question – planes fly all the time in weather they should not. Read the best book I have ever read – “Fate is the Hunter” by Ernest K Gann, and you will understand a bit on this world.

    On GPS, for them to be tracked on the internet, there must be some data connection back to the network. In the mid-Atlantic, this means satellite. This means money. The messages the maintenance computer sent could have included GPS Lat / Log w/o taking up much bandwidth. I hope this is an engineering (as in software engineering) recommendation as a result of this crash. It is do-able w/o recertifying any systems.

    The EPIRB is very similar to the ELT’s (Emergency Locator Transmitter) this on every airliner in the EU / NA / SA and they all have more than one. They have them attached to the airframe as well as life rafts. They activate when they hit water or sustain high G-forces. But, they require their antenna to be intact and not be tangled up in the wreckage so they can float. The in-flight break-up some of us think happened would have likely damaged all the ELT’s or trapped them under water.

  • James C

    It has been about a month since the accident. Why does the BEA have to rush to a judgment with only a fraction of the aircraft recovered? To the best of my knowledge there is not radar track to support the aircraft belly landed at high speed. The best evidence at this time is the recovered bodies. If you review other air crashes in the ocean (Swiss Air 111, Egypt Air 990) the bodies were destroyed by the high G forces. These bodies are consistent with a mid air break up of the aircraft. Also, the pattern of Wreckage suggests a break up in the air or the start of one. The black boxes could have had there pingers knocked off like TWA 800 and thus no sound to track. This is one that may never be solved.

  • Jackie N

    1. Seems all, including space shuttles, air craft have achilles heels some more pronounced than others. These weaknesses imminate from various sources, i.e. design, structural, mechanical, electrical, human, external, internal, weather, etc.
    2. Many of these are common knowledge in the various aviation communities or anyone with computer access.
    3. Natural phenomena quite plausible here.
    4. Economic impact esp. in economic crisis is massive.
    5. Checked names of passengers early June when 1st available way prior to Comoros Yemini crash.
    6. Three names Fouad, Ahmed, and Hussein hit on UN Taliban or Alqaida terrorist associated lists. One’s, Fouad as an alias,list id QI.M.33.01, page FIFTY THREE of the list with no other hit in the entire list , place of birth is Moroni in the Comoros islands. The comoros crash was almost exactly 1 month after AF447 in proximity(worldly) to the Comoros crash.
    7. Fresh threats against the WEST with extra emphasis France with specifics against AF flights.
    8.Terrorist’s pinchant for commercial air liners as targets/weapons with their(airliner’s) terror and economic impact.
    9. Past terrorists have avoided recognition, impeded evidence collection, and hindered investigation to create confusion, time, and distance from event and to protect accomplices.
    10. There are weather reports of no lightning in the area of crash.
    11. Spanish pilot, copilot, and passengers in area SAW 6 second vertically descending flash thought to be AF447.
    12.Do to achelles heels of large air craft, no large blast is necessary for their demise only premeditated intelligent neglect, assist, access, etc.
    13. Note 911 and other interdicted and non interdicted acts. Large accessible commercial airliners+max fuel+TWO of tallest buildings in the WEST+hijacking+LAX SECURITY+target hit =catastrophic event/unmeasurable fear, ecomomic, and POLITICAL impact.
    14. Accidental, assisted accidental, or wholely premeditated? Unpropagated evidentiary discovery is of escence.
    15. Prayer, condolences, and blessings for the victims, families, friends, and all of us.

  • Jackie N

    Further analysis:
    1. RMDs or cabling switched immediately prior to flight to allow takeoff on MEL.
    2. Verbal radio communication ends in seconds(6) at 1:35:?? after ongoing for most of flight (even with the ground control requesting info within seconds after transmitting successfully, and continuing that request three times over the next few minutes, up until 1:41).
    This is 35-40 minutes before the final ACAR transmissions except for the entering “CBs” after which(10 minutes) things start down.
    3. AF447 dives/stalls/falls @ 1800 ft/min for 30,000+ ft with increasing acceleration to vertically straight-line impact the ocean in proper flight attitude(belly down) based on evidentiary down/bottom compaction.
    4. Vertical stabilizer separated with rudder attached. Even the pivot/hinges appear undamaged. The separated vertical stabilizer crash in New York was missing the entire rudder assembly.
    5. Too late or not possible stall/spin/dive recovery?
    6. Proper flight attitude on impact seems to indicate atleast partial flight control but with little forward, reverse, left, or right trajectory. Wow! Seems very improbable to hit in correct attitude by chance alone.
    7.Seems there should be more large floating air craft sections and seats recovered especially after having found some floating.
    8. All our sympathy, prayers, and blessings to those who have lost loved ones. Such a wasteful trajedy.

    Experienced pilots: What most likely causes a vertical straight-line top up/bottom down impact under such conditions in a large FBW or not FBW commercial jet? Looses the stablizer, one engine, two engines, crew attempts recovery from stall/flat-horizontal spin/dive, or puts aircraft in skid/slip in attempt to dissipate momentum, plane just naturally hits bottom down, etc.?

  • geoff

    Those that wish to compare notes on injuries due to hard belly landings should look at page 103 on :-

    which gives a report on a crash in the UK.

  • Pat


    I have been talking to professional airline pilots and in one way or the other they basically agree with your opinion.
    Yesterday, one of them, a close friend of mine was telling me that the only kind of spin an airplane cannot recover from is a flat spin.
    That indeed is the worst nightmare situation for all pilots.

    Do you know this fabulous blog, written by an active US major airline pilot?
    He is known as Captain Dave. It is fascinating. He is presently an A321 pilot but is certified on many large wide-bodies, Boeing and Airbus.
    He writes (and posts pictures) of his recent (a few days ago) encounter with a massive line of tstorms stretching hundreds of kims and how he had to find a way through them using weather radar. it is a must read for everyone.
    He also explains the details of Fly-By-Wire and brings back some sanity and truth to the debate.
    I hopes all blogs and writings on the web were that thoughtful, intelligent and unbiased.
    I am sure you already know that blog.


  • Jackie N

    Further analysis:
    1. Detached “pristine” vertical stablizer recovered.
    2. Such detachment precipitates unrecoverable flat spin 25-30,000+ ft descent to “belly flop” impact with the ocean .
    3. AF447 flight attitude and/or structural integrity compromised by various weather phenomena to extent that attempted recovery impossible or at least impossible without exceeding structural limitations esp. the vertical stabilizer?
    4. In past Airbus incidents other necessary flight surfaces/structures appear to remain intact i.e. wings, fuselage, etc. either beyond or as expected.
    5. Those structures maintaining structural integrity would appear to have spar components that maintain structural continuity rather than “bolted” and/or otherwise attached. They may also be exposed to lesser forces per component strength.
    6. The vertical stabilizer must sustain unbelievable leverage esp. during near or at limit deployment.
    7. Would be interesting to know if the vertical stabilizer has been found in the Yemeni/Comoros crash or at least its condition. There was windy weather present when it crashed.
    8. End of July close.
    9. Again prayers and sympathies to the victims and their loved ones.
    10 Legalbiz1.

  • Sonoria DeSavien-Singh

    An associate that flies for Star Alliance told me that the A330 is a wonderful aircraft thus I allowed my nephew to fly to Ireland aboard one… My word this sounds almost like there is an issue with the tail fin on the larger Airbus aircraft. Not sure but remember the day I lost a loved one on AA 587 11.12.01 JFK-SDQ and the tail fin on that aircraft tore away due to wake turbulence and the first officers over stressing of the controls that manipulate that part of the aircraft. SAD My love and prayers for those that were lost and their loved ones. I trust Airbus and feel very safe on all but the larger ones.

  • cc

    AF/Airbus/BEA can keep lying to us as much they want, I don’t believe in their theory. AF447 broke up in the air and did NOT land in the water, all the evidences point to it: no water in the lung of the victims, large dispersion of the aircraft broken parts, reports of other pilots who saw large pieces of element falling vertically in the water at the time of the crash and mostly, according to many pilot reports on the net, the structure of an A330 isn’t strong enough to remain in one piece when falling down vertically 35000 feet high.
    Why are they lying? I think this eternal French attitude of govermental institutions covering for themselves, I’m French myself and know how insensitive these institutions can be to victims and their families for the sake of their “company honor”. I can only hope they will become more sensitive and compassionate in the future. In the meantime, they won’t get my business anymore.

  • Jackie N

    New Analysis:
    1. Vertical stabilizer evidence indicates stabilizer torn from aircraft in a FORWARD direction.
    2. Implies stabilizer intact at ocean impact wow!
    a. High frequency radio antennae still attached?
    b. Most or all air surfaces intact seems indicative of rudder and
    stabilizer stabilizer prestine condition.
    3. Other debry recovered was for the most part what separated and floated while remainder of plane sank in ocean.
    4. 30 bodies recovered by French entities clothed as with fairly intact aircraft on impact.
    5. Mostly intact aircraft would seem to make recorder location less difficult.
    6. 2:00 Flight crew communicates entering “CBs” at 35,000′ altitude.
    7. 2:08-10 Pitot tubes all freeze/ice concurrent with failure of incorporated de-icing/heating components or loss of power necessary for de-icing.
    8. 2:10 Speed, perhaps altimeter, inputs conflicting causing the auto pilot and auto thrust flight components to disengage as communicated by ACARS.
    9. 2:11-14 Flight systems and cabin pressure deteriorate.
    10. Aircraft plummets 35,000 feet with intact vertical stabilizer(would seem to indicate no flat spin or any spin!) in turbulent thunderstorm to impact ocean vertically at high accelleration in proper flight attitude with no flight crew communication or crash landing preparation. Wow!
    11. What produces this in less than 10 minutes in a 4 year old aircraft with an excellent flight history?
    12. Proper attitude and intact aircraft on impact indicates flght crew conscious and active.
    13. Tail fin/vertical stabilizer with rudder fully attached torn off on impact in a FORWARD motion indicates at best little or no forward aircraft momentum, but actual reverse direction or trajectory?
    14. Even an aircraft, especially one this large, in a last minute slip/skid recovery attempt or stall would have tremendous forward momentum on impact.
    15. Prayers and thoughts to ALL the victims.
    16. Legalbiz1.

  • Pat

    Being originally from France myself , (now a US citizen), I can only agree with you in your statement regarding the French government and its institutions. This being said, BEA is not completely dependent of the French government and other international observers follow its work very closely. In addition, the NTSB has started, as is usual an investigation of its own. The NTSB is usually thorough although not avoid of governmental pressure either.

    I have talked in the past few weeks to pilots, some of them from major airlines including AF.
    I believe more and more is that the airplane did not totally disintegrate in flight, but suffered a partial “hull opening” with separation of some parts, lost of integrity of the cabin and ejection of passengers who were not strapped-in.
    The airplane went into an irrecoverable flat spin, and what was left of it (maybe the greater part?), crashed in a flat spin position.
    If the entire plane had dislocated at level 350, they would have recovered much more bodies than they did.
    By the way, not finding any water in the lungs of the bodies does not prove that the plane disintegrated in flight. It is very possible that they died on water impact, in which case you would not find water in the lungs either. You only find water in the lungs in the case of drowning.
    A friend of mine, specialist of post-mortem disaster recovery and in identification of bodies found under water after long exposure explained that to me as well.

    We don’t know anything: no public autopsy results, no data recorders etc… This is so frustrating. But we know few things:
    It appears more and more clear that the pitot tubes were involved in the catastrophic chain of events.
    Airbus had in the past few years already (if only at least partially) addressed the problem in its notices and user manuals, while testing new pitot configurations and models. It is possible that AF did not adequately address the problem?
    Incidentally, and not wanting to get into political grounds, did AF become more and more concerned with margins and profits vs. safety when it became a private company?

    Another thing is clear: AF447 was in the vicinity of major convective storm activity, but nothing unusual for the season and for the area (although pilots are saying that storms in that area are becoming much worse).
    Some speculate that AF447 did try to deviate from its originally planned course to avoid the worst of it, to then resume its normal path.
    Other speculate also that there was a problem with using the weather radar. Those radars have become increasingly sophisticated and sometimes tricky to use.
    They have different modes of operation and sensitivity.
    However, they all have a problem that cannot be remedied:
    It they face too much water precipitation, they absorb ghost images which then hide far more serious formations behind.
    Any airplane pilot will always try to divert its route to avoid a storm. Often it is NOT possible. The pilot will then use the weather radar to find a path of “least resistance” within cloud formations.
    Weather conditions change by the minute, especially in tstorm situation (cell forming, maturing and collapsing). Because of that constantly changing nature of those formations, the fact that other airplanes were in the same area at the same time does not give us much indication of the exact weather encountered by AF 447.

    What is sure is that turbulences were encountered, the plane experienced major problems with its speed sensors (icing when going through the clouds), and that a series of catastrophic failures made the plane crash.
    What I have heard as well is that AF has been qualifying co-pilots on A300-330 with too few hours of flying time (it could be very possible that the two co-pilots on board that day were in that category: each had around 2,000 hours vs. the captain who was in excess of 10,000 hours).
    AF started to accuse the AF447 pilots of now having been able to correctly use their weather radar. How do they know? Is this a smokescreen or is there something they know better and don’t want to communicate?


  • Dave


    They probably have the same policy on this as most large corporations here in the US – if there is an issue that attracts large attention or could attract large attention, then the OGC (lawyer’s department) takes control of all communications to/from the company on the issue. Lawyers are trained to shift blame away from their client

  • Taras

    Tail of Airbus made out of composite material, means plastic. It is not durable as aluminum, simple crack may cause it to broke off. It happen once before in New York. Air France try to hide it now, they occupy all families of victims with their lawyers (, means families will get nothing and no investigation will be made other then Air France one. It’s sad that other people now in great danger of flying those airplanes from Airbus.

  • French Cover Up

    The French helped to design it.
    The French helped to build it.
    THe French flew and broke it.
    The French couldn’t find the pieces.

    What is the common thread ?

  • French Cover Up

    IN the absence of a clear responsibility to the contrary, it is ultimately the responsibility of the air carrrier and its owners to deliver its cargo and passengers safely to their destination. It is their responsibility to transport passengers and freight safely. The air carrier does not convey any modicum of assumed risk for air travel. To the contrary – they tell passengers to relax and trust and arrive safely and reliably.

    Sue ‘em !

  • Pat

    The French helped to design it.
    The French helped to build it.
    THe French flew and broke it.
    The French couldn’t find the pieces.

    What is the common thread ?

    What is the common thread?
    That you are an idiot!

    Know your facts before you edict some stupid anti-French comments. Airbus is built by at least five EU countries, many of them assembled in Germany THUS BUILT IN GERMANY, with many US parts in it.

    Either you are a born provocator or you are simply too ignorant to even learn the fact correctly and understand them.

    I am being kind here!
    Enough is enough of that basic anti-French rhetoric.

  • Sonoria DeSavien-Singh

    Hold up!

    I am often in an Airbus made aircraft and the derogatory comments about these planes need to stop as that will not bring back the loved ones that have been lost on them. Place your effort toward an answer so that it never occurs again. Flying is the most unforgiving sin that man commits so when things go wrong there is no recovery. Yes statistically flying is safe! I am more terrified to board an Ocean Liner than a plane. Making comments about a country is wrong. The Wright Brothers were from America and so was William Boeing. No jetliner made will compare to the Boeing 707 but the A346 Rocks so let’s work for a solution to safer air travel than to use epithets that will not bring back the loved ones on AF 447

  • Sonoria DeSavien-Singh

    Oh by the way THANKS! Pat :)

  • Sonoria DeSavien-Singh


    and all others review this :)

    Knowledge is power–read and learn…

  • Dave

    hi “Sonoria DeSavien-Singh”

    Maybe you noticed I am a pilot from USA. I agree with your statements. This nationalism does not bode well for this cause. There are certainly lessons to be learned by Airbus from this ( include “Steam gauges” for the pilots including artificial horizon that are not part of a computer system that throws in the towel when it does not understand the aircraft situational awareness, replace the Pitot tubes for all AB, and include new software that sends the GPS lat/long when the maintenance system sends the automated messages to HQ about what is wrong.

    Personally, every time I cross the pond I hope Northworst ( Northwest Airlines) has an Airbus for my trip as every single Boeing I have flown on does not have the personal entertainment system that makes the 8 hour trip much more enjoyable.

  • Sonoria DeSavien-Singh

    Dave ;) Thank you and don’t know if you noticed I fly a lot and with a Star Alliance partner ;)

    The electronics are nice–pretty even but human lives are not a video game in some kids play room. Analog gauges would do fine as I remember a Midwest Airlines 717 over I think KS lost its display and believe a TW while they were flying them had the same issue… Racing to compete for business is not good for lives as demonstrated a long time ago De Havilland Comet vs. Boeing’s 707 and later on McDonnell Douglas’s DC-10 vs. Lockheed’s L-1011 and now comparatively Boeings 767 vs. Airbus A300, A310 and thus the more improved A330. A plane that phones home is a Customer Service gimmick. Also, there needs to be a better system of tracking aircraft over the ocean. What pilot would knowingly fly into a Black Cloud situation? Also, composites are stronger than steel and used for bullet proof vest. There are many upsides to Airbus… Remember the crash landing in Canada?

    Airbus makes great quality aircraft that are flown the wrong way. These aircraft are delivered with an operations guide much like a new auto. One would not take a brand new Lexus and fill its tank with poor quality petroleum or never change the oil and oil filters.

    Airbus aircraft are sophisticated hi-tech transportation that aviation misunderstands. I am from Santo Domingo and can remember the days of Eastern the first airline in USA to have the A300… Don’t know any carrier other than UPS and FedEx operating that aircraft now in US.

    To all if I have made any misstatements – that is not a representation of my employer or the manufacturers of these aircraft. Things Happen!

  • Dave

    Although phone home is a Customer Service gimmick, it could add real value with the minor software change I recomended where each phone home included the Lat / Long from the GPS. GPS does not care about indicated air speed (Pitot tubes). This would not require new infrastructure as the current SAT system can take the few extra bytes of data that would be included…

  • George

    how do i get the report

  • Jonathan

    There are two links at the end of the article.

  • Marty

    History repeats itself…
    Starting way back with the Commet. The look of the Commet in my opinion was beautiful however my father in law commented quite rightly if and engine disintegrated or caught fire they are placed right next to the fuselage inside the wing. As it turned out the skin was too thin and split. There were some high altitude unexplained Commet disintegration so who knows. Funny enough Comets were grounded and an enquiry by the British high court. I can not remember what got them back in the air but they had a short life after that being uneconomical.
    The Airbus into the trees at the Paris air show. Black boxes missing part of the tapes, pilots jailed. Manual immediately updated as the fly by wire manual and training did not mention with the undercarriage down the aircraft overrides the pilot’s commands to maintain height and tried to land the plane.
    Air France Concorde total hull loss report of the corrupt BEA evidence of The BEA report says that a piece of metal fell from a passing Continental Airlines DC-10 was stuck by the Concord, (at five thousand five hundred and seventy-seven feet – 5,577! – Around 1.7 kilometers! Miles! from the start of the aircraft’s take-off roll caused a blow-out, which caused tire debris to penetrate a fuel tank, which then leaked fuel, which then caught fire and the aircraft crashed.
    The true report:
    Air France mechanics left out a foot-long spacer in the left-hand main undercarriage truck; The pilot elected to take off with an eight-Knot tail-wind, beginning his take off roll on a several-thousand-feet-long condemned section of runway, Poorly loaded with the spacer-less undercarriage assembly caused a left-hand undercarriage causing the aircraft to veer left, tear itself apart and throw chunks of itself through a fuel tank.
    According to extremely credible eye-witnesses, way before it reached Continental Airline’s DC-10’s metal strip – ignited by the afterburners, yawing left on a collision course with a holding B747, to avoid a collision with the 747 the Concorde’s pilot dragged out-of-control aircraft airborne at 188 Knots – 11 knots under its minimum safe take-off speed struck and destroyed a steel runway-edge light-fitting as he did
    At around that time the airborne the engineer elected on his own authority and at an altitude of just 25 feet, to shut down the number two engine, making the minimum airspeed unreachable A 15-year veteran British Airways Concorde captain, Captain John Hutchinson, observed the whole event. Bureau Enquête Accident’s so-called “accident was but the consequence of a lethal combination of Air France maintenance-department’s criminal negligence, of the state-owned airline’s sloppy cockpit management, of gross operational error and of arrogance. The cover-up was massive and involved every branch of the French government and every agency involved in with the aircraft’s destruction. These included the government owners of Air France and its management, the Bureau Enquête Accident the government owners of the French Pascal PEREA” says the” BEA enjoys a very strong reputation of competence and independence “in France.”
    The unexplained Qantas A330 drop in altitude which injures included some spinal, oxygen masks falling and some minor panels falling brings back memory of my father in law who was an aircraft airframe and electrical engineer telling us about being on one of the first Airbus flights where the oxygen masks dropped on takeoff. He was not surprised but my future wife very young at the time became scared and sick on subsequent flights until she was older and came back to New Zealand on one of the first 747’s. I guess Nothings changed.
    I do want any aircraft company to succeed regardless of the manufacturer and engineer a successful and safe aircraft, but unfortunately history repeats itself with the English/European countries experiments hurried and not properly tested, The skin on the A380 wing seems too thin re designed to bring into line the weight promises made by Airbus (Saw the documentary on the making of the 380 and the problems with the difference in software used by separate countries making the cabling too short) Also the engineer “whistle blower”
    I haveinvestigated events of Airbus tail sections departing most with the aircraft making it home but the XL Air New Zealand transfer tail first part floating in the water, flight 447 tail floating the water, in the states the tail limiter could not override severe turbulence hits the deck tail miles away
    Yes I agree on GPS, Floating CVR and CDR etc as basic inexpensive equipment but airplane designers only think about the cheapest way to” get the cattle to the destination” . The only logic is in the computer chips, nowhere near their brains.
    Lastly sincere condolences to the famlies that lost loved ones in this tradgey.

  • Sonoria DeSavien-Singh

    I wonder why FedEx has opted for the B777 :) In all we have to work to make flying SAFER! The A346 i.e. A340-600 for those of you unaware of the codes I use. Is a safe aircraft and I observe the walk arounds before we depart SFO every flight…

  • Russell Fogg

    This is a tragic accident and i cant imagine what those poor people went through during those events that night they must of been terrified. I am a pilot and know fact that if the bodies were found so far apart the plane had to have broken up in mid air and this could of been down to a number of things or a mixture of alot of things including misjudging time counters going into extreme weather conditions thus causing the plane to experience high voltage volumes of lightning shocks. God bless the victims and there families.

  • Paul Simison

    There are a number of points I would like to make:

    The A330/AF447 was flying in what is known as coffin corner…where most transports routinely fly. This is the combination of speed and altitude where the margin between Mne and Vs is only a few knots.

    Mne is Mach-Never-Exceed…the speed where bits start falling off the aircraft or control is lost due to the onset of supersonic airflow around parts of the airframe.

    Vs is the stall speed, where the plane simply loses all lift and drops.

    So speed control is crucial, in an aircraft with known Pitot/Static system problems!!!

    The auto-thrust system does not, unlike non-Airbus aircraft, backdrive the throttle levers when it changes thrust. In a Boeing aircraft, you can watch the throttle levers move when auto-thrust changes thrust. In Airbus aircraft you see nothing unless you are watching engine instruments. The autothrust takes info from the same known unreliable Pitot-static system.

    It is good practice for the pilot flying the aircraft to have one hand on the control yoke, andd the other hand on the throttle levers, so as to be aware of thrust changes, and to allow him to make instant changes if needed.

    An uncommanded reduction in thrust can reduce speed below Vs, initiating a stall. The usual warning if an impending stall is a “buffet”, which would be undecteable in a thunderstorm.

    If an aircraft stalls while “un-coordinated”, it will spin. The term un-coordinated means that local gravity is not acting at right angles to the deck…the aircraft is skidding. The turbulence of a thunderstorm results in frequent short intervals of un-coordinated flight.

    The A330 has never been spun during flight test to evaliate it’s behaviour.

    The standard recovery from a spin is P.A.R.E.
    Power idle.
    Ailerons neutral.
    Rudder against the spin.
    Elevator nose down.

    The A330 uses sidesticks, and it is difficult to know when the ailerons are neutral With a conventional yoke, you simply turn it to center position. With a sidestick, you have to monitor the control position page on one of the electronic displays. There may be some button pushes to get there.

    Rudder against the spin may present a problem…which way are we spinning??? The pilots should be able to work that out from the way their bodies are being thrown to one side, but in the heat of the moment, that can go wrong.

    Remenber…it was a black night outside the windshield, so no help there.


  • Paul Simison

    There is much confusion about the phrase used in the BEA report…that the aircraft struck the water “with strong vertical accelleration”. This phrase is technically absolutely correct, but may be mis-understood.

    “Accelleration” is any change on velocity, so when you press the accellerator pedal in a car, the car accellerates to high speed, and when you press the brake pedal, the car accellerates to a stop. People often use the word “decellerate” for slowing down, but sceintiffically speaking, there is no such word.

    So if an aircraft descends belly first into the sea at 5000ft/min, it will stop descending very quickly indeed, with the aforementioned “strong accelleration”.

    Accelleration is often referred to a negative and positive accelleration. This would be a case of negative accelleration.


  • cathalbui

    I am late to this discussion but is it true that 447 was only reported missing when it failed to appear in spanish air space?
    if true how could this happen?

  • Paul Simison

    cathalbui…you are nearly right. There was mounting concern on the part of several stations from early in the sequence, but as nobody seems to be “in charge”, the bell didn’t ring untill quite late. The BEA interim report is available at:

    The reason is that oceanic communications are extremely hit-or-miss, and there is no good way of improving the situation. The communication from places like mid Atlantic is via HF radios.

    This system dates from the 1930’s, and is subject to enormous amounts of interference, together with propagation anomalies due to shifts in the ionised layers in the upper atmosphere. Consequently, when an aircraft fails to make contact, nobody gets excited.

    You might ask why they don’t use SATCOM??? Because that has its vices as well. Due to the geometry of airborne SATCOM antennas, they have very poor fore-&-aft performance. This means that an aircraft north or south of about the 45th parallel south or north and flying approx north or south has very little chance of using SATCOM. As the same aircraft are used on many routes, this does not solve the dilemma.

    That will probably be as clear as mud. Anyone wanting a more elaborate explanation…just ask me and I will write it up…with pictures.

    The only comfort that can be derived from the whole sorry mess is that it made no difference…the entire crew and pax were long dead before any help could have gotten anywhere near them.

  • elmer sison

    vertical acceleration and belly first mean there was a giant air pocket in the flight path unfortunately it could not be detected

  • Paul Simison

    elmer sison…

    No…not a giant air-pocket…there is really no such thing. There is turbulence, which can cause sudden altitude changes of (say) 5,000 feet…nothing like the 38,000 feet we are talking about.

    Almost certainly the aircraft got into a near vertical dive, and the crew were trying not to tear the wings off by too violent a pullout.

    The next question is…how did it get into a vertical dive?? A credible explanation is that it stalled and spun.

    When a plane stalls, it loses about 80% of lift and pitches fairly violently down. A stall is caused by flying too slowly.

    If the aircraft is uncoordinated at the time of the stall, it will spin…that is a spiraling vertical dive. Small private airplanes are required to be spun during certification testing in order to determine their spin characteristics, and how to recover them. Large transports are not required to be spin tested.

    The only time i have flown through a spin, I was startled by the violence of the event.

    If this hapenned, the crew would be trying to remember their primary training when they were shown a spin and how to recover from it. In doing so they would lose crucial time and altitude. After recovery from the spin, the aircraft would be in a near vertical, but straight, dive.

    It was pitch black night, and they would then have to pull out of the dive without ripping the wings off. To complicate matters, altimeter instruments always lag a little, so if they were using instruments, they may well have thought they were higher than they were.

    They probably hit the water at the bottom of the pullout, at a very high speed and with a high angle of attack.


  • Paul Simison

    When thinking about what little is known of the fate of AF447, I had always discounted the possibility of a “deep stall” because I was under the impression that this only happened to airplanes with a “tee tail” .

    However, in the January 2010 issue of “Aviation Safety” magazine, there is a long article on the physics of the deep stall, and it’s connection with swept wing aircraft. It emerges that conventional “non-tee” horizontal stabilizers can also be subject to deep stalls in swept wing aircraft.

    A deep stall flight condition is generally un-recoverable, and will inevitably result in the aircraft hitting the deck very hard indeed.

    In a nutshell, if a swept wing starts to stall, the stall will develop at the wingtips, consequently the center of lift moves rapidly forward, causing the airplane to pitch up, thus deepening the stall, and increasing the angle of attack (AOA) to a point where control surfaces have little or no effect, and recovery into normal flight is impossible.

    The A330 aircraft has never been test stalled, and it’s behaviour is unknown. Airbus Industrie excuse this by saying that the computerized fly-by-wire system is too smart to allow a stall. It does this very largely by monitoring the airspeed readouts from the pitot-static system, which is a known troublemaker on A330.

    One of the messages received from the on-board monitoring system said the fly-by-wire had switched into “alternate mode” which means it had given up trying to outsmart the aircraft, and was consequently not providing any stall protection.

    FYI…when a large aircraft of this sort is stall tested a stall recovery drogue (parachute) system is installed under the tail, so that if a deep stall is encountered, the drogue can be deployed and this pitches the nose down to recover the aircraft…either that or ejector seats!!!

  • Paul Simison

    Readers of this site may be interested in:

  • Russell Fogg

    I would imagine there is some sort of cover up going on as the facts of how this plane come down have never truly been reveiled. And i would also like to know why no one used the parachutes. god bless.

  • Paul Simison

    Russell Fogg…there are no parachutes!!! The drogue I mentioned on 31Dec09 is only used during test flying of a new airplane type. It is not fitted to production aircraft.

    The idea is that you are going to deliberately stall the test airplane to find out how it behaves during a stall and how to recover it into normal flight. As there is a danger that a deep stall may occur, the drogue is fitted. After that you can put the necessary procedures into the Pilots Manual for the airplane.

    In this case they decided that the fly-by-wire system was so perfect that there was no need to find out how it behaves during a stall.

    During flight testing of the new Cessna small plane called the Skycatcher, they found that at certain center-of-gravity conditions it was unrecoverable from a stall, and the pilot had to use the BRS. Design changes were made to prevent this hapenning.

    BRS (Ballistic Recovery System) is a large parachute that can lower the whole aircraft gently to the ground. It is not practical to fit one to large aircraft because the parachute would be enormous.

    The facts you mention are hidden in the Cockpit Voice Recorders and data recorders at the bottom of the Atlantic. The BEA say they will resume the search for them in about April when the winter storms die down. But you are right…I suspect that there are gentlemen abed in Toulouse who pray daily that they are never found.

    Note that the US Navy recovered the cargo door of UA811 from 14,000 feet of water in September 1990. Since then technology has moved ahead, but in this case the ocean floor is severely mountainous.


  • Dave

    “but in this case the ocean floor is severely mountainous.”

    And covered with junk / trash that some places dump at sea. These created numerous false targets for the past 2 searches.

    Still, you’d think something this size would stand out..

  • Paul Simison


    That,s interesting…hadn’t thought of that, but it isn’t surprising after two world wars etc.

    Trouble is…it may not be “that size” any more…by the look of the stuff that was recovered it hit VERY hard, and may be in a bunch of pieces by now.

    I have a few ideas how the pingers on the recorders could be improved…but nobody seems interested.

    Paul Simison..


  • Dave

    It will be to Airbus’s advantage if they never find them and all the heaters are upgraded. Similar to Toyota delaying a recall until they had a spin and possible solution.

  • Paul Simison


    I am a bit puzzled as to how a pitot head can malfunction. It is a brutally simple device. There is a requirement that the heater be monitored. The simple way is to monitor the input current. If there is current, there is heat. I suspect that heaters are not the problem as such. One of my persistent thoughts is that if you heat the pitots, but then run the pipe along the very cold skin, any water that gets into the pipe will freeze there, not in the head.

    I can imagine a heater that is in two or more sections, and one section goes open circuit. In that case, the monitor has to be able to give an alarm at reduced current, not zero current…not a difficult design task!!!

    One of the things I am wondering about is the static ports. They are not heated I believe, and I wonder if they could become iced.

    Speed is computed from the difference between Pt (ram pressure) and Ps (Static pressure).

    If you descend (to try to get out of turbulence), and all three static ports are blocked, Ps will remain constant due to air trapped in the plumbing, but Pt will rise due to reduced altitude, and the computer will think speed is increasing.

    This will cause the autothrust to throttle back, possibly leading to a stall.

    As to Airbus’ advantage, I can imagine battles royal going on in Airbus engineering management offices, between the ones who want to find the problem and fix it before a few hundred more people are killed, and the ones who want simply hope and pray that upgrading the pitot heads will do the trick.


  • Eric

    I have not seen the Thales p/n c16195 design, only it’s sales brochure(1) on the web, so this is conjecture.

    This was a ferocious thunderstorm. Exceptionally cold, freezing rain/ice. It’s very conceivable to me that conditions exceeding nominal design envelope could be encountered.

    If the heat loss (to the rain, ice, airstream) is greater than heater input (~320W max) the pitot tube WILL freeze up. This is a certainty.

    Note (1):

  • Paul Simison


    Interesting. I note that Thales are curiouusly stumm about the pitot heater wattage…but the AOA sensor is shown as 320 W.

    You are absolutely right about overpowering the heater. I note the fairly massive mounting neck which will be very thermally conductive, transferring heat from the Pitot to the very cold airframe skin. I wonder if the Pt pipe is well insulated from the Pitot tube neck??

    I wonder if all three Pitots could be iced up??? In that case, the Air Data system would see no mis-compare.


  • Eric


    Why is a “deep stall” not recoverable? Increasing air speed is the solution to a normal stall, correct? But in a deep stall yoke inputs to nose down won’t work because the control surfaces have been rendered ineffective. I’m sure there’s a good reason, but why won’t increasing the throttle work in increase air speed? Hypersonic maybe (just a wild ass guess)?


  • Paul Simison


    Good question…

    I suspect that as the Angle of Attack (AOA) is nearly 90 deg, the engines may be starved of air. I know that in the first documented case (a BAC111), the deep stall was encountered at something like 30,000 ft, and the crew tried everything, transmitting the results as they went down. For sure, if you could apply enough thrust, it should work, but enough thrust may not be available.

    I have often wondered if differential flap might do something.


  • Paul Simison


    You might like to look at:

    Scroll down to “The Deep Stall That Wasn’t”.

    I bet the A330 doesn’t have that kind of thrust reverser!!!


  • Mitul

    What a tragic event. I hope someday we find the black boxes and identify what cause AF447 to crash into the Atlantic. The wreckage lies somewhere on the ocean floor; I don’t see why we can’t fund more investigation/search and recovery.

    If we were able to discover and find South African Airways Flight 295’s wreckage, we should damn well find AF447 – we owe it to the victim’s families and all current and future passengers!

  • Paul Simison

    Mitul…I think the most remarkable deep sea recovery was the cargo door from UA811, fished up from 14,000 feet in 1990. This is a small flat object about 8 feet square which was in two pieces, so quite insignificant objects, compared to a whole large airliner.

    I believe the Anne Candies and the Seabed Worker are now “on station”, and the search should be getting under way very soon.

    Paul Simison..

  • Paul Simison

    I went to le Figaro website…the searchers say they have "localised" the recorders within 5Km. I suspect that means that they have started to find the debris field, and they think the debris field may be as much as 5 Km wide.

    Paul Simison..

  • Eric

    Yet the BAE press release reads like the two ships are in two distinctly different locals. Clear as mud I say!

    Nonetheless, I hope they are indeed zeroing in on the CVR/FDR. So many questions could be answered should they be recovered. Of course, they may be virtually void of data if the electricity to systems or communication were cut – can you say flight TWA800?

  • Paul Simison


    We know that electrical power was available, because the ACARS was busily chatting with mother. The problem with all those error messages is that they are not necessarily sent in the order the problems occur, and anyway, the most useful thing is the CVR, because what the pilots say is very much in response to what they see. I suspect that electrical power would be available right up to the moment of impact…unlike TW800, where the airplane was shredded by a large explosion…I very much doubt that the crew said anything from that moment. AF447 was a slow-motion crash by comparison.


  • Marty

    A. Pitot tubes fail being of old type known to fail
    B. Airbus autopilot system disengages and give pilots manual control
    C. Pilots have no idea what speed they are flying at, they overspeed.
    D. Major hull parts break apart – some passangers fall strait out, no clothes.
    E. Some remaining passengers already dead floatout of sinking hull
    F. A few floating items bob up and break away. Especially the tail prone to being the first
    part of an airbus to break away, made of carbon fibre attached to metal.

    Airbus consortium are liable for failure to install correct Pitot tubes leading to inability of control of the aircraft (System failures) and loss of life and ongoing effect of the familiesof flight 447. My condolencies go out to the families of flight 447

  • Paul Simison


    Correct in many ways!!

    A…The Pitot tubes are known troublemakers…but what I cannot discover is how they fail.

    B…There are three Pitot tubes, and three computers (Air data computers) computing speeds etc to feed the autopilot. If they start disagreeing with each other, they will disconnect the autopilot. Now pilots must hand-fly with no speed info. Very difficult.

    C…At this flight altitude there is only about 15 knots difference between Mne and Vs.
    Mne is a mach number that must NOT be exceeded…bits start falling off the airplane, or control is lost.
    Vs is stall speed…the speed where most wing lift is lost and the airplane tries to fall out of the sky. Other nasties happen, like deep-stalls, spins, cemetry spirals etc.
    Also…Inertial vertical reference (IRU's) failed, so now the crew have no idea which way is up…dark night, no visible horizon!! Theyr'e in the shit up to their necks!!!

    D…I don't think there was an inflight breakup, the debris would be scattered even farther I think. Not certain.!! Interesting ACARS message was the one showing cabin altitude rate excessive. This means that the cabin pressure was changing rapidly…but in which direction??? If the pressure was falling, cabin altitude increasing, then there was some kind of hole in the hull. If the cabin pressure was increasing, altitude decreasing, then the aircraft had probably reached the cabin set altitude on its way down, and the inflow valves were open.

    The automatic pressurization system is adjusted by the crew to keep the cabin altitude at some pre-determined altitude…say 7000ft. If the aircraft then descends below 7000 ft, the inflow valves will open to allow air to enter and keep the internal pressure the same as the outside pressure. If this is the case, the hull was reasonably intact up to that point.
    The clothes thing has me intrigued…does a near supersonic airblast strip clothing off??? I would expect massive bruising as well.

    E…I don't think the hull was "sinking"…it probably certainly hit very fast and went under in milliseconds.

    F…The tail fin is a question. It is a separate bolt on assembly. I note when reading Len Deighton's excellent book about the events surrounding the Battle of Britain (Fighter) that R.J. Mitchell took vertical stabilizer strength seriously when he designed the Spitfire, because the fin is an integral part of the fuselage, not a bolt on attachment.
    Is there anyone out there who can discuss the vertical stabilizer construction of other aircraft…Boeing, Douglas, Lockheed, BAE, etc???
    The real smoking gun is the Fly By Wire (FBW) system. It contains "envelope protection" which is intended to prevent stalls, overspeeds, excessive rudder forces etc. However, it relies on airspeed data from the Pitot tubes (etc), and when that info disappears, it goes into an alternate mode where it provides little or no protection.


  • Marty

    Hi paul. my simplistic synopsys was a quick ABC withoutgetting into detail as we all know we can only rely on reported information, pathilogical, Acars to the ground crews, slicks etc etc.Have a look at and see what you think of the Concorde summary. Very interisting.

    Well – Pitot tubes upgraded after the "incident" are of a type that has better heating system able to handle more extrememe weather. As for the carbon fibre tail the littile I can find that it is bolted on with some metal bolts and some composite bolts. How it handles the different pressure bulkhead expansion I do not know. There is an American military large aircraft the name escapes me that has a composite tail that they scan after every three flites as visual assessment is impossible. Anyone else that can answer the question Paul has posted would interest me as as well. Thanks

  • Russell Fogg

    im sorry Eric and Paul but you do not have the knowledge i have of these kind of aircrafts i have been flying for 23 years and i know this type of plane is tested against extreme high voltage shocks and would of absorbed lightning strikes. the pilot however has not judged the speed of the aircraft correctly. i have flown with my partner Barry Weekes who has actually piloted air france planes and he agrees with me. god bless victims and families.

  • Marty

    Hi Russell. Since you have the knowledge of "These type of aircrafts" I assume Airbus you can tell Eric, Paul an myself how th tailplane is "married" to the metallic hull. Since my father in law, may he rest in peace is an airframe and electrical that worked on the first Airbus cockpit design and seating arrangement could not understand why they would have a composite tail attached to taitanium/metal etc. He worked on all types of aircraft from vampires, venoms etc to 707s, Airbus, 747s, 767, and many more and milatary aircraft with composite tails scanned every three flights. As for lighning strikes yes I agree with russell since the Lockheed aircraft where taken down by lightning (1950s) from then aircraft had lightning strips and development ventured to more technical developments. There are many lightning strike of aircrafy each year, no probs. Well thats all from me. As the truth will never be known about 447. Sorry to say I wouldn't trust the BEA. That's all from me. Regards


  • Paul Simison

    Russel & Marty..

    Two things…
    I have never thought that lightning could be to blame. Lightning has (mainly) two effects:
    1…Weakening of some composite structures. This was illuminated in NASA publication 1008, which was a study of lightning as part of the Space Shuttle program If something got weakened, I don't think Fi-Fi would be muttering to mother about Air Data.

    2…Damage to electrical equipment due to voltage transients. In an electronic aircraft like this, that could be serious, but the ACARS messages seem to cluster around Air Data. Possible though. I suppose a big strike could disable all three ADC's, but then they would fail together, and ACARS seems to say they failed one after the other. You will have difficulty persuading me that there were multiple strikes that selectively killed one ADC after another.

    Also: Most lightning strikes happen when aircraft are parked on the ground, so checking after each flight is not very productive.

    When I was working as avionics consultant at the Farnborough F1 project, I discovered that the composite they were using had two maximum temperatures…
    Temp 1. Temperature above which the aircraft has to be grounded until it cools.
    Temp 2. Temperature which permanently damages the structure. We were contemplating some sort of full time monitoring device, in case the aircraft was left parked in full sun in the tropics. Rio for example!
    You will note that high performance sailplanes are usually painted white.

    Second thing…
    If the fin came off in flight, the aircraft would become uncontrollable. Until impact, Air Data would continue to work though. Although the rudder limiter would protect the fin from crew control inputs, it can't protect it from thunderstorm forces. However, a failed fin wouldn't trigger a series of Air Data related errors.

    The fin seems to have failed in a forward direction. I expect it is designed with backward forces in mind, and might be quite weak in the face of a forward force, such as would happen in the case of a belly flop with significant forward velocity.


  • Paul Simison


    I stand corrected…two lightning crashes:
    PanAm 214.
    Lansa 508.

    Both of these involved fuel tank explosions triggered by lightning. Fuel tanks are vented to atmosphere, and in an attempt to prevent external ignition, the vent lines have flame suppressors in them. However, a stiocastic (near ideal) fuel/air mixture has two modes of flame propagation. The obvious one is simply a flame that travels through a gas cloud, fairly slowly, and which is blocked by a flame arrester.

    The less obvious one is an explosive propagation, akin to the detonation wave that travels through TNT when it is detonated. It moves MUCH faster, and isn't blocked by flame arresters. In order to initiate such a propagation event, a fairly violent trigger has to occur, rather analogous to the use of a detonator to trigger explosives. A lightning strike on the lip of a tank vent might well do it.

    In the case of AF447, I think we can discount this as ACARS would not have been chatting to Mother all that time.


  • Russell Fogg

    Hi Me Russell hear again im refusing to answer silly questions about parts of that particular aircraft i thought this was a forum for adults. i have just got back from flying an air france air craft and i believe this is typical of the French i have flown many boeing 747s and believe the french model is the less adequate and my co pilot barry weekes agrees.

  • Marty

    I do agree this has gone from an adult forum to me me me I know of bla bla bla and Im an experienced do da andknow all this includes you Russell. To sum it up I hope the BEA who I understand have sent the black box search data to to a technical firm and are re searching for the wreckage and hopefully black boxes. I hope this comes off and the BEA proves themselves to provide an honest professional report.


  • Rami

    Well honestly Marty, even if they find the black boxes I doubt this will silence many of the childish people on this site. I am sure everyone has to give their two cents and some unfortunately will resort to immature means to do so.
    One thing we must not forget is although this is an online community. One of the purposes of this site is not only to find answers but also to provide closure for friends and family of the victims. I think the same amount of respect should be observed here as one would observe at any memorial or mourning service. Now I am not meaning to say that we should all just feel sad and flop over, but at least to refrain from the finger pointing and name calling as I know no one would ever dare do that in real life.

    Anyways, I hope you and Russel and everyone else here is having a good day and enjoying themselves.

  • Paul Simison

    FYI: The BEA have terminated the third stage search, with about 200 sq. Miles of the target area un-searched. This is because they went on what appears to a wild goose chase when the French Navy and Thales thought they had extracted pinger sounds from recordings made when the submarine "Emeraude" searched the area. The unmanned submarines that they were using were under contract to go to another task.

    BEA are under intense pressure from victims families and the pilots' union to finish the job.

    For good info on this, go to the website of Le Figaro newspaper.
    < > and enter AF447 in the search box.


  • Paul Simison


    Who do you fly for???


  • Marty

    This site was set up to gather information by Jonathan about the crash with a family friend being lost on the flight. We have all had our opinions about a complex aircraft and various "reports" but the fact is wether we can learn from thecrash or not I have only one last thing to offer.

    Honour the persons passing by living your life to the full.

    Last comment


  • Russell Fogg

    This air craft would not of been recoverable if deep stall had occured even with increased throttle i think this is a tragic accident and to terminate the 3rd stage stage with area unsearched is disgraceful.

  • Russell Fogg

    by the way i fly for BA myself and Barry Weekes co pilot

  • Marty

    Thanks Russell we all note your self promoted pedestal status. The airline pilots I know who also fly warbirds in their spare time are down to earth and do not promote their status nor who ther co pilots are nor the heavy aircraft they fly. They know nothing about deep recovery, remote ROVs, deep underwater cutting, changeable arms on deep recovery vehicles side scan sonar "Mowing the lawn" in all deep water conditions. The boxes may be unrecoverable but video of the airframe, if it parted and how far apart are the sections are or is it one mess. Either way this would give a site where closure for the families to visit the exact area and give closure to those that wish to visit. Me, I am not discosing my experience or what my expertise is and I would like to see opinion from others that can give some edcuated comment. I studied the schematics of the Airbus which is extremely complex as is the 777 but woukd love to see an operational manual. Regards all


  • Russell Fogg

    Marty – you miss understand the reason i say this is i was answering a question from Paul as to whom i fly with this was the reason for my adding this. I agree expertise and experience is not what this forum is all about but please understand i was answering a childish request by another user Paul.

  • Marty

    Hi Russell – apologies I missed the question on who yoy fly for… From study the black boxes look to be way past gaining any information unless the casings are completely un compremised and my opinion unlikely (I would love to be proven wrong) . I still see the worthyness of searching for the wreck not only for closure but for the posibility (Yes totaly optimistic) of avoiding this kind of tradgey happening again. We have better technology these days to locate items between trenches and depths. Good luck all and I must stop gawking at the net about plane crashes. Theres info out there I have found from 1920 to current.

  • Peter
  • Marty

    Sorry I missed the comment from Paul. Well all I can hope for is the hull/hulls are located and explored and mapped. It would be very good if the black boxes are not compromised however this is very very very optimisitic at this stage. This ones a tough one especially the area of non radar cover. Reading the comments we have all thrown in our opinions and I stand by my past opinions. Thats about it from me.

  • Paul Simison


    This is not really the forum for this, but as it is open, I will attempt to close it!!

    The site you quote contains the sort of voodo science that silly conspiracy-mongers toss around in the sure and certain knowledge that Hollywood will swallow it whole.

    Consider: The B757 is not a fly-by-wire (FBW) aircraft. That means that the cockpit controls are mechanically linked to the control surfaces. If a control surface (eg: the elevator) moves, the pilot's control yoke WILL move. So any outside control will be apparent to the crew. I would imagine that if an airline crew found themselves being overridden, they would have something to say about it.

    Consider: Secretly converting a B757 to FBW would be a MASSIVE task, involving hundreds of people inside the project, and thousands who would see clues from outside the project.

    Consider: How would you prevent the crew from sounding the alarm by radio? You would have to disable three VHF Comm radios (at least), one HF (Probably), Two ATCRBS transponders, and ACARS. The disappearance of the ATCRBS mode C and mode S replies would be a major clue.

    Consider: A surreptitiously installed FBW system would feel and react differently to the usual mechanically coupled system, and any pilot using it would notice in a heartbeat. The pilots would almost certainly reject the aircraft as soon as they did the control freedom check in the startup check list.

    This has no connection with the subject of this site…AF447… unless you are suggesting that someone in mid-atlantic took over the flight and crashed it!!! Perhaps it was little green men from Venus!!!

    Paul Simison..

  • Marty

    Hi Peter. Sorry but I can not refrain from asking what the hell is you link related to solving the mystery of where flight 447 lies. Take some fliying lessions and do some instrument training. See how hard it is to fly a small plane and land it. Lucky in a two seater you can hear the sound of the engine either labouring or going too fast. Now add pure darkness storms and no engine noise to gauge speed. Take away the speed indicators add a few hundred tons and 228 people including yourself to save. How are you going to do this? and how are tou going to find the plane that did not make it and have the expertise to solve what happened?

  • Marty

    Hi Peter. I did a reply 3 days ago but the little green men from venus must have stolen it . Little buggers pinched my watch too. Well I have run out of valid comment, bored myself to death on research and had no reply to any of my questions so I will just watch the site.

    Goodbye all and thanks to the ones offering information or challenging my comments.

  • Paul Simison


    I think all the answerable questions have been answered…all that remains is to find the recorders and answer the presently un-answerable questions.

    Keep an eye on the Le Figaro website.


  • Quaheem

    I’m Quaheem. I’m obsessed with airplanes. I loved air france 447 I’m 8 years old I’m the only one with my aunt that survived the air france 447 crash. We were ready for impact because we had our life jackets on and braced ourselves. We saw the Atlantic coming closer and closer. We knew the plane was stalling because: Rule 1 of flying airbuses : If you pull the nose up the airbus 330, 380 or whatever will stall. And also even if the cockpit door was closed I heard the stall warning. In the crash I was 5 years old. Good bye

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