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LE BOURGET, France — Air France Flight 447 plunged vertically into the Atlantic Ocean intact at a very high speed, a top French investigator said Thursday, adding that problems with the plane's speed sensors were not the direct cause of the crash.
Alain Bouillard, who is leading the investigation into the June 1 crash for the French accident agency BEA, says the sensors, called Pitot tubes, were "a factor but not the only one.
Speaking at the briefing, the BEA's Alain Bouillard said: "As of today we are far from having any real idea of the causes of this accident."
"Alain Bouillard of the investigating team said the plane probably hit the water belly-first. He said the plane "appears to have hit the surface of the water in flying position with a strong acceleration".
The investigators also said that faulty speed sensors, which were suspected of being behind the crash, had been "a factor but not the cause". "
Interesting story, what would make the aircraft drop like a stone?
surely even if it suffered a total engine failure would it not be able to glide for a while?
and if it plunged almost vertically would the resulting g forces not tear the aircraft to pieces whilst in the air?
Originally posted by weedwhacker
If you lost a portion, or all, of the horizontal stab, the airplane would nose over and there would be no control whatsoever.
Originally posted by scared angel
I thought the bodies recovered had no clothes or limited clothing which I always thought was due to falling from a great height outside a plane not in it ?
Any thoughts on that one anyone?
Originally posted by franspeakfree
My guess (and I am sticking my head out here) it was the act of testing a new weapon or an assasination on the important passengers that were on that VERY flight.
[edit on 3-7-2009 by franspeakfree]
...you would still have half a minute to send a distress signal. the lack of mayday calls is a problem...
Originally posted by princeofpeace
How does a plane fall vertically? We arent talking about a helicopter here. Planes will glide for dozens of miles if they lose all power depending on altitude and this plane should have been at altitude as the incident dod not occur right after take off.
...nick name...given to the plane "Black Widow", ...was the DC9 or DC10...
First dive and recovery
At 4:09 p.m., the flight crew was able to unjam the horizontal stabilizer with the primary trim system, however, upon being freed, it quickly moved to an extreme "nose-down" position, forcing the aircraft into a dive. Alaska 261 went from about 31,500 feet to between 23,000 and 24,000 feet in around 80 seconds. Both pilots struggled together to regain control of the aircraft, and only by exerting a pulling force of 130 to 140 pounds (59.1 to 63.6 kg) on the controls were the flight crew able to arrest the 6,000 foot-per minute descent of the aircraft and stabilize themselves at approximately 24,400 feet.
Alaska 261 informed Air Traffic Control (ATC) of their control problems. After the flight crew stated their intention to land at LAX, ATC inquired if they wanted to proceed to a lower altitude in preparation for approach. The captain replied: "I need to get down to about ten, change my configuration, make sure I can control the jet and I'd like to do that out here over the bay if I may." Later, during the public hearings into the accident, the request by the pilot not to overfly populated areas was specifically commended by NTSB board members. During this time the flight crew considered, and rejected, any further attempts to correct the runaway trim. They proceeded to descend to a lower altitude and start to configure the aircraft for landing at LAX.
Second dive and crash
Beginning at 4:19 p.m., the CVR recorded the sounds of at least four distinct "thumps", followed 17 seconds later by an "extremely loud noise". The aircraft rapidly pitched over into a dive. Several aircraft in the vicinity had been alerted by ATC to maintain visual contact with the stricken jet and they immediately contacted the controller. One pilot radioed "that plane has just started to do a big huge plunge", another reported "Yes sir, ah, I concur he is, uh, definitely in a nose down, uh, position descending quite rapidly".
Russians order Flight Changes, after Massive Magnetic Shift downs Airliners...
Commanders have issued warnings to all of their aircraft to exercise “extreme caution” during flights “in and around” an area defined as Latitude 17 North [North Atlantic Ocean] Latitude 3 South [South Atlantic Ocean] to Latitude 8 North [Indian Ocean] Latitude 19 South [Indian Ocean] between the Longitudes of 46 West, 33 West, 46 East and 33 East, and which covers the greater part of the African Tectonic Plate.
The reason for this unprecedented warning, these reports state, are the rapid formations of “geomagnetic storms” emanating from the boundaries of the African Tectonic Plate that due to their intensity have caused the loss of two major passenger aircraft during the past month leaving nearly 300 men, women and children dead.
The first aircraft to be downed by this phenomenon was Air France passenger flight 447, and which these reports say that upon encountering one of these geomagnetic storms, on June 1st, near the western boundary of the African Tectonic Plate close to Brazil’s Fernando de Noronha Islands, was “completely annihilated” causing the deaths of 216 passengers and 12 crew members as their plane plunged in pieces into the Atlantic Ocean.