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Airbus Air France AF447: The victims have no burns nor water in lungs

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posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 11:18 AM
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reply to post by Essan
 


Essan, concise and to the point, as usual!

The intent of this thread is to point out the lack of burns, and water inhaled by the victims. This shows A) that there was no 'explosion' and, B) that the victims were dead before entering the water.

There are few similar inflight break up scenarios to compare to this one.

There is TWA 800 (An explosion, but there is still controversy over what exploded...)

Pan Am 103 (A terrorist bomb)

KAL 007 (A shoot down by USSR. Would be interesting to research the state of those bodies, because I don't remember hearing much)

An Air Lauda B767, in the 1980s broke up in mid air, because of a mechanical problem...a thrust reverser deployed. Again, I don't know much else.

Then, there was the problem with the first true passenger jet, the British Gloucester Meteor. A design flaw -- square windows -- in the pressurised cabin led to metal fatigue at the corners. Not anticipated, obviously.

I believe two of those broke up, mid flight.




posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 12:30 PM
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reply to post by Kailassa
Thanks Kailassa, I had no idea it was that cold at that height


People fly too high, I think. The Russians back in the cold war days built a monster plane that flew a few meters off the sea using the warm sea air to their advantage.

I suppose the only disadvantage with that is collisions with ships or very large waves.



posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 12:42 PM
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those yellow cups n bags that drop are actually a self contained system - when they are deployed O2 is made from a chemical reaction in the overhead panel.



posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 01:02 PM
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reply to post by star in a jar
 



I had no idea it was that cold at that height...


Standard adiabatic lapse rate:

2 degrees Celsius per 1000 feet.

"Standard" temperature, at Mean Sea Level (MSL) is 15 degrees Celsius.

15 minus 35X2(70) = minus 55 Celsius

Actual temperatures, at altitudes, will vary by latitude and local conditions.



posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 01:23 PM
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In the KAL 007 case, the Wikipedia article has this about the "Passenger pain and suffering" level to help reach the level of compensation paid by Korean Air Lines .


Two expert witnesses testified at a Court of Appeals trial on the issue of pre-death pain and suffering. Captain James McIntyre, an experienced Boeing 747 pilot and aircraft accident investigator, testified that shrapnel from the missile caused rapid decompression of the cabin, but left the passengers sufficient time to don oxygen masks: "McIntyre testified that, based upon his estimate of the extent of damage the aircraft sustained, all passengers survived the initial impact of the shrapnel from the missile explosion. In McIntyre's expert opinion, at least 12 minutes elapsed between the impact of the shrapnel and the crash of the plane, and the passengers remained conscious throughout."


In this case the plane fell from, at most, an altitude of 1,000 feet, when it disappeared from the radar.

 


In the case of Japan Airlines Flight 123, all people survived the failure of the rear pressure bulkhead, and while the masks were not good enough to keep all people breathing for all the time it took them to try to reach land (32 minutes, the flight attendants had to use hand-help oxygen tanks), nobody died because of the decompression (they died on the crash), and, incredible as it may look, four people survived the decompression and the crash in the mountains (and more could have been found alive if the pilot of the helicopter that found the crash site had not reported that there were no survivors, apparently there were several that died during the night, while awaiting for rescue).

 


The China Airlines Flight 611 broke up in the air at 35,000 feet, and some of the bodies were found without clothes, some partially clothed and some completely clothed, according to the proximity to the area where the plane broke (I think it was the tail), the clothes probably taken away or partially destroyed by the explosive decompression.

Reading the Wikipedia article for this accident I think there are several common points, so it's one more thing that points to a breaking up while in flight.

Both the KAL007 and the CAL611 had previous small accidents that were not properly repaired and that were the cause of the final accident.

 


The United Airlines Flight 811 was also a victim of an explosive decompression, and while 9 people were killed by the decompression that destroyed part of the floor of the cabin above the cargo door that was the breaking point, all other people aboard (346) survived.

They were flying at a lower altitude, between 22,000 and 23,000 feet.



posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 01:46 PM
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reply to post by ArMaP
 



The United Airlines Flight 811 was also a victim of an explosive decompression, and while 9 people were killed by the decompression...


Yes, I know about the UAL 811. It was a Forward Cargo door that was not closed properly, and let loose at between 20,000 and 25,000 feet.

The nine deaths were because of, either those not belted, or the fact that portions of the cabin floor gave way, during the decompression...some seats, with people belted in, were dislodged and left the airplane.

China Air Lines?? Will have to look that one up.

JAL? Yes, terrible. The rear pressure bulkhead was damaged, likely from an earlier 'tail strike' incident. The damage from that incident went unnoticed.

Another ATS poster mentioned a wing-tip incident with the accident AF447 airplane, S/N 660. Sometimes these are considered minor, but (and this is just speculation) IF some unseen damage occurred, during that incident. (Back in 2006). Could, in time, lead to a potential failure, under extreme force.

A bit off, but similar, is the American Airlines 191 in Chicago. The engine, pylon and all, detached during the take-off. This was traced to minor, but critical fractures that developed in the mounting structures, because of certain maintenance practices NOT APPROVED by the manufacturer (McDonnell Douglas).

I've said it before: These sorts of tragedies don't stem from ONE instance, but from a series of seemingly unrelated events. The 'llinks' in the chain.....



posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 04:53 PM
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Airbus "broke apart" in mid-air

The absence of any traces of an explosion, such as burn marks or inhaled smoke, supports the view of investigators that the disaster was caused by a combination of factors, possibly beginning with the blockage of speed sensors. The sensors, called pitot tubes, are prone to getting clogged with ice and insects. One theory is that the "inconsistent" speed readings caused the automatic pilot to disengage, leaving the crew trying to fly manually -- a difficult task at high altitude without knowing the plane's speed.

It has emerged that the same sequence of events occurred in six emergencies reported by Airbus pilots over a year beginning in February 2008. Air France advised pilots on November 6 last year about the "significant number of incidents" in which false speed readings had confused the automated flight system. As early as 2001 an airworthiness directive from the US Federal Aviation Administration noted problems with pitot tubes on the Airbus A330. With no indication of how fast the plane is flying, the pilot risks applying too much jet thrust or too little. At high altitude -- in circumstances known as "coffin corner" -- too much thrust will put a plane into a nosedive and too little will make it stall.

Without the ability to read their speed, the crew of Flight 447 may have mistakenly believed there was a danger of stalling. If they applied extra thrust, it could have tipped the plane out of control, tearing it apart in the turbulence. The recovery of the "vertical stabiliser" from the tail of the aircraft has strengthened suspicions among experts that the plane went out of control and broke up as a result of flying either too slowly or too quickly in turbulence.




Faulty Pitot Tubes Probably Would Have Made Doomed Air France A330 Fly too Fast

One might assume a plane as sophisticated as the A330-200 which I flew across the Atlantic a week before the May 31st crash would be smart enough to compensate for faulty airspeed readings. After all, the principal under which Pitot tubes measures airspeed is stunningly simple - the same as “sticking your hand out the car window,” according to MIT professor of aeronautics and astronautics John Hansman.
. . . .
“Pitot tubes tend to collect ice and are heated which apparently was not sufficient to deal with very severe icing conditions. If the tubes were blocked, the airspeed would indicate low,” he explained. Those readings would tell the computers running the plane to throttle up the engines.
. . . .
“It would be impossible to tell until they were going way too fast. When the computer increases the engines, they don’t [physically] move the [cockpit] throttles. They were in the vicinity of thunderstorms and were expecting to get bounced around. There’s also not a lot of noise from the engines or mechanical feel from the controls,” he said.
. . . .
“If you’re going too fast, you start get shock waves on the wings which can cause the airplane to go nose down. That was significant hazard with the first generation of swept-wing jets. It’s a condition known as Mach tuck.




Airbus Cited Sensor Concerns Before A330 Jet Crash

Airbus SAS advised airlines more than a year ago to replace airspeed sensors on its A330 jet, the model that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on an Air France flight to Paris, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The service bulletin about the Thales SA parts was a recommendation, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the memo was confidential. Officials are said to be studying whether flawed data from ice-damaged sensors could have confused the flight computer or pilots on the June 1 flight.

“Recommendations are frequent and not issued in cases where there’s a truly pressing concern,” said Richard Aboulafia, vice president at consultant Teal Group in Fairfax, Virginia. In cases deemed critical, regulators put out binding directives.




Air France Received Speed Sensors Days Before Crash

Air France received a delivery of new speed sensors for its Airbus SAS A330 planes just days before 228 people died in a crash that may have been triggered by unreliable readings on the aircraft’s velocity.

The sensors, known as Pitot tubes, are meant to replace older versions from Thales SA that Airbus recommended should be upgraded as long ago as September 2007. Chief Executive Officer Pierre Henri Gourgeon told a press briefing he’s “not convinced” that the probes were the cause of the crash.

Air France planned to swap the components only when there was an indication that they needed replacing, Gourgeon said today at the briefing in Paris, where the carrier is based. He said the sensors were ordered April 27 and had arrived on May 29 -- three days before the June 1 crash.


Is this why Air France was so quick to suggest lightning as a probable cause?

Because they could already guess the cause and knew they were at fault?




posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 05:12 PM
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as i said previously - my gut feeling is that air france , actually replaced the pitot probe on this aircraft to the thales type (not the older BF Goodrich type) which is why they`re not mentioning the probes anymore.

[edit on 14/6/09 by Harlequin]



posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 06:02 PM
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Originally posted by Harlequin
as i said previously - my gut feeling is that air france , actually replaced the pitot probe on this aircraft to the thales type (not the older BF Goodrich type) which is why they`re not mentioning the probes anymore.

[edit on 14/6/09 by Harlequin]


I was under the impression old Thales tubes were already on the Airbuses, and needed to be upgraded to a newer version, also made by Thales. And this was about to be done when the crash happened.



Despite No Firm Link, Pitot Tubes Spotlighted

The speed sensor anomaly occurred at 2:10 UTC after other fault warnings had already appeared. But it has driven particular attention to a potential fault in the pitot tubes. Air France was upgrading the Thales sensor (Goodrich also provides A330 pitot tubes) but Flight 447's A330 had not yet been upgraded, says Paul-Louis Arslanian, head of the French air accident investigation office (BEA).

In a message to operators, Airbus states that the new Thales pitot tube "has been developed to enhance water drainage encountered during heavy rain conditions on takeoff or landing phases." But the aircraft maker insists that the old design can continue to be operated safely and points out that the new device is not entirely immune to icing either.


Do you believe the Thales pitot tubes were inferior to those made by rival companies?



posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 06:32 PM
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reply to post by Kailassa
 


I'm going to defer to both you, Kailassa, and Harlequin on this.

I have mentioned, previously, about the Air/Ground sensing switches, and how most modern jets employ those to change the current to the pitot probes and static ports, so they don't overheat whilst energised during ground operations.

(I suppose we've all seen the discoloration of pitot tubes, from the excessive heat??)

SO...is there a definitive answer, yet? Do the product manufactured by Thale prove inadequate, in certain conditions?? Is it a matter of circuitry, and voltage? ARE we just going to see this become fodder for the Attorneys, for years to come???



posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 08:31 PM
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reply to post by superdebz
 


Air is compressed by the engines through bleed air. It's cooled through air conditioning "PACKS". If that fails the plane would likely decompress slowly until alarms go off. IIRC, the backup emergency masks are a pretty robust system. One of the ACARS messages was rapid decompression which indicates cabin pressure was rising relatively fast - IMO, the plane structurally failed.

I might add that my speculation is probably wrong, as it usually is in the case of air crashes,


Well, should be two ADIRU, each supplying data to its respective pilots' side instruments. We should consider the possiblity of the inadequate pitot heat also...

3? Or is one backup?



holy **** - mach 0.86 is 586 mph , m 0.83 is 547 - thats a margin of 20 mph before you get `issues` - which if you suddenly drop, your over MMO (maximum mach operating number)

I doubt going too fast would cause the breakup unless it was coupled with other factors such as severe turbulence. A DC-8 broke the sound barrier in the 1960's.



I am posting at school 'cause I don't have internet for a while at home till I get back from holidays.... I probably won't reply.

[edit on 14/6/2009 by C0bzz]



posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 08:56 PM
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Originally posted by C0bzz
reply to post by superdebz
 



Air is compressed by the engines through bleed air.


Yes. C0bzz is correct.

However, it is a time to explain what "bleed air" means.

IN a jet engine, there are various stages of compression, as the air is funneled through. In some engines, there as many as over fifteen actual 'stages' of compressibility, as air is run through the engine.

"bleeding" is tapping off, at certain points, from the engine, to use the highly compressed air for certain purposes. OF COURSE, it took some of the energy away....but it was for a purpose!!!!
HE PURPOSE of this 'tapped' high pressure air was, in most instances, used to pressurize your airplane!!!!!! SO THAT you could comfortably enjoy your cabin pressure environment!!!







It's cooled through air conditioning "PACKS". If that fails the plane would likely decompress slowly until alarms go off. IIRC, the backup emergency masks are a pretty robust system. One of the ACARS messages was rapid decompression which indicates cabin pressure was rising relatively fast - IMO, the plane structurally failed.

I might add that my speculation is probably wrong, as it usually is in the case of air crashes,


Well, should be two ADIRU, each supplying data to its respective pilots' side instruments. We should consider the possiblity of the inadequate pitot heat also...

3? Or is one backup?



holy **** - mach 0.86 is 586 mph , m 0.83 is 547 - thats a margin of 20 mph before you get `issues` - which if you suddenly drop, your over MMO (maximum mach operating number)

I doubt going too fast would cause the breakup unless it was coupled with other factors such as severe turbulence. A DC-8 broke the sound barrier in the 1960's.



I am posting at school 'cause I don't have internet for a while at home till I get back from holidays.... I probably won't reply.

[edit on 14/6/2009 by C0bzz]



posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 09:09 PM
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Originally posted by weedwhacker
I'm going to defer to both you, Kailassa, and Harlequin on this.

I have mentioned, previously, about the Air/Ground sensing switches, and how most modern jets employ those to change the current to the pitot probes and static ports, so they don't overheat whilst energised during ground operations.

(I suppose we've all seen the discoloration of pitot tubes, from the excessive heat??)

SO...is there a definitive answer, yet? Do the product manufactured by Thale prove inadequate, in certain conditions?? Is it a matter of circuitry, and voltage? ARE we just going to see this become fodder for the Attorneys, for years to come???


Please don't defer to me. I only pilot a broomstick.


Airbus state that the pitot tubes needed upgrading to enhance their performance at ground level.


In a message to operators, Airbus states that the new Thales pitot tube "has been developed to enhance water drainage encountered during heavy rain conditions on takeoff or landing phases." But the aircraft maker insists that the old design can continue to be operated safely and points out that the new device is not entirely immune to icing either.


If there was a problem with the pitot tubes on the Airbus it could be that it was simply age combined with particularly icy weather conditions. Perhaps the plane flew into a patch of supercooled rain.

I see no reason to doubt the integrity of anyone experienced in flying these people-filled beasts around the world. I expect such a job would breed a sense of responsibility. So I expect you are right when you say the likeliest case of this tragedy was a cascade of incidents leading to loss of control. From the reading I've done it seems to my untrained mind that an incorrectly low reading from the pitot tubes, causing the pilot or automated system to suddenly try increasing speed, could have led to an instability and caused the tail, (which has recently been recovered,) to break off.

If I'm wrong, I'd consider it an honour to be set right by you.



posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 09:28 PM
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reply to post by Kailassa
 



If I'm wrong, I'd consider it an honour to be set right by you.


That is a nice sentiment....but, we ALL are just speculating, at this point.

As always, even with experience, even I can be wrong, when speculating based on scant evidence.

I acknowlege this, even as I try to understand, from a pilots' perspective....so everything I offer, as opinion...is to be taken as a point-of-view from someone who is trying to put himself into the scenario, in order to understand....



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 01:15 AM
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It's just awful what happened. I've been following the story and reading various blogs about this and it makes me sick to my stomach thinking about it and yet my curiosity still is pretty high as to what happened.

I was thinking that if it was a rather violent break up, as I suspect it was (given the lack of mayday by either a very busy or maybe demobilized crew), then at speeds above 500 mph the G's and the sudden wind and such may have knocked everyone out immediately. I just hope there was no suffering.

Despite these tragedies I just want to add, as others already have, that modern commercial aviation is still a very safe way to travel and with nearly every accident experts are able to add to the wealth of knowledge as to what leads to fatal events to improve training and to build the system of travel even better.

One other thing I've been thinking about is composite vs. all metal and "fly by wire" vs. traditional... each has advantages, but some of the disadvantages seem troubling although I'm no engineer.

Time will tell hopefully what occurred and why so that hopefully future accidents can be deterred.



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 02:44 AM
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KAL007: Air to air missile, similar to a navy sidewinder, exploded approaching the aircraft just damaging control surfaces, causing the passenger jet to tailspin. It was not a direct hit.



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 04:20 AM
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reply to post by Kailassa
 


and i was under the impression that the pitot probes used (as on the quantas A330 as well) were made by BF Goodrich , and were replaced by the `improved` ones from thales.

edit:

boeing jets arn`t immune to pitot probe icing either - theres many links elsewhere on the other thread about all 7xx series having issues;


since they operate at very cold temperatures - a sudden rise could cut off the or lower the amount of heating needed and a sudden drop could freeze it up solid if the system could react quick enough - which could be the case.

[edit on 15/6/09 by Harlequin]



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 03:36 PM
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reply to post by Harlequin
 


These are the best references I can find re the pitot tubes:


Brazil flies bodies to mainland; Pitot tubes eyed

An official with the Alter union, speaking on condition of anonymity because the memo was not publicly released, said there is a "strong presumption" among its pilot members that a Pitot problem precipitated the crash. The memo says the airline should have grounded all A330 and A340 jets pending the replacement, and warns of a "real risk of loss of control" due to Pitot problems.

Air France said it began replacing the Pitot tubes on the Airbus A330 model on April 27 after an improved version became available, and will finish the work in the "coming weeks." The monitors had not yet been replaced on the plane that crashed.

David Epstein, Qantas Airways General Manager for Government and Corporate Affairs, said two companies manufacture the Pitot monitors for the A330 planes — France's Thales Group and Charlotte, North Carolina-based Goodrich Corp.

The Air France plane uses sensors made by Thales while Qantas uses those by Goodrich for its 28 A330 planes, he said.




Eurocockpit UNION's open letter to pilots/colleagues:
ALTER Advice
Vitry, 08 June 2009
. . . .
- The A330 pitot tubes were not modified;
. . . .



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