AF447: investigators reveal facts so far, no in-flight break-up

The press conference is still going on. It’s being given head of investigation Alain Bouillard. Not a huge amount to say, but here it is so far.

He says: “As of today we are far from having any real idea of the causes of this accident.”

  • No pre-existing faults reported by crew or ACARS
  • Aircraft did experience inconsistent speed indications

  • Aircraft “was not destroyed while it was in flight and the aircraft seems to have hit the water on bottom of fuselage with a sharp vertical acceleration” – derived from damage to recovered parts, especially galleys
  • The aircraft reached the sea whole – it had not been damaged at that point

  • Aircraft did not blow up in flight

  • More than 640 pieces of debris found from all over the aircraft. Notably internal furnishings.
  • No distress call of any type
  • No inflated lifejackets been recovered
  • Black box pingers last for 30 days nominal with up to 10 days possible after that
  • Search with submarines and robots to continue to 10 July
  • Second phase using different techniques to begin 14 July
  • Other aircraft encountered storms and diverted by 10-80nm and all had trouble communicating with Dakar.

More to come

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One Response to AF447: investigators reveal facts so far, no in-flight break-up

  1. Kieran Daly April 7, 2013 at 11:06 pm #

    I’m familiar with this phenomenon in the maritime context, but it is it really likely to extend up to 35,000ft? Perhaps it is.

    Nevertheless I think for now Occum’s Razor is an appropriate tool, and we are really trying to explain how this aircraft came to be flying in these meteorological conditions and what mechanism led the crew to lose control in the end. Of course it’s entirely possible that it will turn out to be more complex than that.

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