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.