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Subject: French plane lost in ocean storm

Written By: Philip Eno on 06/01/09 at 1:23 pm

Full rreport on BBC News Online

An Air France plane carrying 228 people from Brazil to France has vanished over the Atlantic after flying into turbulence, airline officials say.

The Airbus sent an automatic message at 0214 GMT, four hours after leaving Rio de Janeiro, reporting a short circuit. It may have been damaged by lightning.

It was well over the ocean when it was lost, making Brazilian and French search planes' task more difficult.

France's president said the chances of finding survivors were "very small".

"It is a catastrophe the likes of which Air France has never seen," Nicolas Sarkozy said after meeting relatives and friends of passengers at a crisis centre at Charles de Gaulle airport.

Earlier, Air France chief executive Pierre-Henri Gourgeon told reporters: "We are without a doubt faced with an air disaster."

He added: "The entire company is thinking of the families and shares their pain."

Flight AF 447 left Rio at 1900 local time (2200 GMT) on Sunday. It had 216 passengers and 12 crew on board, including three pilots. The passengers included one infant, seven children, 82 women and 126 men.

Some 60 Brazilians are said to have been aboard. Other passengers included between 40 and 60 French people, and at least 20 Germans, the French government said.

Six Danes, five Italians, three Moroccans and two Libyans are also believed to have been aboard. Two passengers were from the Republic of Ireland, one was an Irish citizen from Northern Ireland and two were from the UK.


Subject: Re: French plane lost in ocean storm

Written By: Ashkicksass on 06/01/09 at 1:55 pm

That's horrible.  :(

Subject: Re: French plane lost in ocean storm

Written By: nally on 06/01/09 at 2:18 pm

I heard a news report about it this morning. Horrible, indeed. :\'(

Subject: Re: French plane lost in ocean storm

Written By: CeramicsFanatic on 06/01/09 at 2:41 pm

So, so tragic!  :\'(

Subject: Re: French plane lost in ocean storm

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 06/01/09 at 4:02 pm

I'm sure gland I wasn't on that plane.  Sounds like a real nail-biting experience all the way to a watery grave!
http://www.inthe00s.com/smile/14/sad5.gif

Subject: Re: French plane lost in ocean storm

Written By: 80sfan on 06/01/09 at 6:52 pm

This hit home for me because some of my family members just went flying to Vietnam yesterday! I pray my family's okay!  :-[

Oh, and I pray the French plane is okay also!

Subject: Re: French plane lost in ocean storm

Written By: Reynolds1863 on 06/01/09 at 7:00 pm

All those people lost.  *sigh*  I feel for the families.  :\'(

Subject: Re: French plane lost in ocean storm

Written By: coqueta83 on 06/01/09 at 7:18 pm

Frightening and tragic!  :\'(  :\'(  :\'(

Subject: Re: French plane lost in ocean storm

Written By: LyricBoy on 06/01/09 at 9:16 pm

Have they launched a search and rescue effort yet?

Subject: Re: French plane lost in ocean storm

Written By: Philip Eno on 06/02/09 at 1:28 am

Rescuers are searching waters deep in the Atlantic for a French airliner which disappeared in a storm early on Monday.

The search, involving ships and planes from many nations, was part-suspended overnight, but aircraft with monitoring equipment continued to scour the sea.

Subject: Re: French plane lost in ocean storm

Written By: Philip Eno on 06/02/09 at 8:24 am

Brazilian aircraft searching for a missing Air France airliner spot debris in the Atlantic but cannot confirm if it is from the jet.

Subject: Re: French plane lost in ocean storm

Written By: 80sfan on 06/02/09 at 9:06 am

There's something disturbing about this, and I can't quite put my finger on it.  :-\\

This is the first thing on the news that affected me emotionally ever. 

Subject: Re: French plane lost in ocean storm

Written By: Philip Eno on 06/02/09 at 9:10 am


There's something disturbing about this, and I can't quite put my finger on it.  :-\\

An expert on the Jeremy Vine Radio2 Show was saying that turbulence and thunder cannot bring a plane down, you are right it does sound disturbing.

The latest I heard there were five British passengers on the plane.

Subject: Re: French plane lost in ocean storm

Written By: 80sfan on 06/02/09 at 9:33 am


An expert on the Jeremy Vine Radio2 Show was saying that turbulence and thunder cannot bring a plane down, you are right it does sound disturbing.

The latest I heard there were five British passengers on the plane.


Makes my stomach churn hearing that.

Subject: Re: French plane lost in ocean storm

Written By: karen on 06/02/09 at 1:03 pm


An expert on the Jeremy Vine Radio2 Show was saying that turbulence and thunder cannot bring a plane down, you are right it does sound disturbing.

The latest I heard there were five British passengers on the plane.


I wouldn't say cannot bring a plane down, but it is unusual for turbulence or lightning to affect a plane of this size.

Subject: Re: French plane lost in ocean storm

Written By: LyricBoy on 06/02/09 at 6:19 pm


An expert on the Jeremy Vine Radio2 Show was saying that turbulence and thunder cannot bring a plane down, you are right it does sound disturbing.

The latest I heard there were five British passengers on the plane.


It is unusual for a plane to go down in this way.

However not unprecedented.  Remember that the Airbus that went down in New York City in 2001 essentially "fell out of the sky" because its tail rudder fell off.

There is also record of a B-52 that went down due to loss of the tail rudder, and an F-117 spontaneously disintegrated in flight.

What is notable to me is that the plane sent an automated message that the cabin had depressurized.  Now, if we had some sort of failure that caused the aircraft to become non-aerodynamic, it could have gone into a tumble, which would wreak major structural damage and cause cabin pressure loss.

Or a bomb coulda gone off, or a fuel tank explosion.

Subject: Re: French plane lost in ocean storm

Written By: anabel on 06/02/09 at 6:38 pm


An expert on the Jeremy Vine Radio2 Show was saying that turbulence and thunder cannot bring a plane down, you are right it does sound disturbing.

The latest I heard there were five British passengers on the plane.




If there was an electrical storm going on at the time, if lightning struck an engine or wing, that could do it.
Either way, it's so sad.  :(

Subject: Re: French plane lost in ocean storm

Written By: Philip Eno on 06/03/09 at 1:02 am

Debris spotted by planes in waters 650km (400 miles) off Brazil's coast belongs to a missing French airliner, the Brazilian government has confirmed.

A Brazilian search plane saw a band of wreckage along a 5km (3m) strip, said Defence Minister Nelson Jobim.

A Brazilian navy ship is expected to arrive in the area shortly to begin the task of recovering wreckage.

Flight AF 447 was heading from Rio to Paris with 228 people on board when it was lost early on Monday.

France is to hold religious ceremonies to remember the missing, while three days of national mourning have been declared in Brazil.

Subject: Re: French plane lost in ocean storm

Written By: Foo Bar on 07/17/11 at 7:50 pm

So it took a couple of years, but the mystery's close to having been solved.

Since the NOVA documentary aired in February 2011, the Flight Data Recorders have been recovered.  Analysis of the data continues.

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