First report on AF447

This BBC story is a good one on the first French analysis of the crash of Air France 447. Most surprising is that the investigators believe the A330-200 was intact when it hit the water in what sounds like a more-or-less level position, on its belly. Earlier reports suggested the plane broke apart in the air.

This CNN story has additional detail. This Reuters story says there is no need to ground the airplanes; hysterical headlines yesterday suggested this might be the case, often failing to distinguish that the suggestion was from a lawyer representing victims and not from a government agency. This London Times report has additional detail.

9 Comments on “First report on AF447

  1. So the tail came off after it hit the water on its belly?

    Was there a great deal of distance between where the bodies were found and the tail? Are the ocean currents that strong? Are currents involved at all?

  2. “So the tail came off after it hit the water on its belly?”

    Unsurprisingly, the tragic loss of AF 447 has caused an expected, but still an unprecedented degree of uproar by the anti-Airbus crowd, where many of whom seem to be using the accident — for all it’s worth — trying to rip apart the supposedly flawed design of both the Vertical Tail Plane (VTP) assemblies of Airbus aircraft and the Airbus FBW systems with envelope protection.

    As for the VTP to “come off” after water impact, I would suggest that you do take a close look at what happened to the VTP of the Air New Zealand A322, on test flight GXL888T when it crashed:

    For example, look closely at the first image at:


    Finally, the BEA has just published the interim report:

  3. “Earlier reports suggested the plane broke apart in the air.”

    Scott, there were never reports suggesting that, only the wild speculation, as soon as the pictures of the tail appeared on the internet.

    “For example, look closely at the first image at:”

    OV-099, correct. Also look at the Kenya Airways A310 crash into the water. Download the crash report:
    Look on page 122.

  4. Actually when the first bodies were autopsied, the lack of fire burns, clothes ripped as if free fall in a slip stream and certain trauma injuries prompted the Brazilian coroner to surmise the passengers free-fell from an in-flight break up of the airplane. This was reported in the media.

    We also know from talking with others with vested interest in the accident that there was speculation of an in-flight break-up due to over-speeding and exceeding design limits.

  5. “bodies were autopsied”
    Preliminary report states, the results of the autopsies are not yet known! How can you conclude this!?

    “clothes ripped”
    The bodies picked up, were fully clothed, according to the report.

    “Brazilian coroner”
    Scott, come on. Has anybody from the investigation team said that so far the indications are that the plane broke apart in mid air.

    “an in-flight break-up due to over-speeding and exceeding design limits.”
    You cannot conclude this without looking at the flight parameters of the DFDR!

    • UK, don’t blow a gasket. Carefully reread what we wrote. We didn’t conclude anything. Neither should you about what we wrote–and didn’t write.

      • I am not blowing my gasket. I merely noted that there were no official reports surrounding the mid air break up…. just some wild speculation, based mainly on the photograph of a floating tail.

        The preliminary report released today and linked by OV-099, is what should be taken as the official statement, rather than what Brazilian coroner has or has not been saying. It is an interesting read.

  6. How does a jet come down 35,000 feet and make a high speed “belly” landing on the ocean?

    I find it hard to beleive the jet came down as they described “high speed belly landing”. Pilots just do not let that happend – easily.

    My gut feel says the plane had some significant issues (weather, sever turburlence, data mishaps, computer failures, etc…) during cruise flight at 35,000 feet causing an unrecoverable flight stress situation where “a part broke off” (either wing or tail) and the plane instantly depressurized. From there an uncontrollable plane with dead passengers made a high speed decent into the ocean.

    I have nothing against Airbus (I love the aircraft and ride them often) but this plane flew into an overstressed flight situation and had a mid air failure of the integrity of the plane.

    I say – stay away from storms period. Everything else does, why fly an aircraft through them?

  7. Tail of Airbus A330 made out of composite material like plastic. It is not durable as aluminum, simple crack may cause it to broke off in harsh turbulence. It happen once before in New York. Air France try to hide it now, they occupy all families of victims with their lawyers ( ), families will get close to nothing, but main think no investigation will be made other then Air France ones. It’s sad that other people now in great danger of flying those airplanes from Airbus. Airbus French based company, probably owned by same people as Air France. Euros rules, isn’t they? How many more people have to die?

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