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228 Feared Dead as Air France Jet Is Lost Off Brazil
New York Times International Herald Tribune ^ | June 1, 2009 | CAROLINE BROTHERS and SHARON OTTERMAN

Posted on 06/01/2009 4:48:26 PM PDT by Cincinna

An Air France passenger jet traveling from Rio de Janeiro to Paris disappeared and was presumed to have crashed after its electrical systems malfunctioned during a violent electric storm on Sunday evening. Officials said Monday that a search had begun for the wreckage in a vast swath of the Atlantic Ocean.

Experts were at a loss to explain fatal damage to a modern jetliner from either lightning or turbulence, even that of a tropical storm.

“Air France is extremely distraught and the whole team of Air France is suffering,” Pierre Henri Gourgeon, the chief executive of Air France-KLM, told reporters in Paris. “We would like to say to the relatives of the victims that we are totally with them and will make every effort to help them.”

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France said: “It’s a tragic accident. The chances of finding survivors are tiny.”

The plane, an Airbus 330-200, was carrying 216 passengers, 9 cabin crew members and 3 pilots, the airline said. In all, people of 32 nationalities were on the plane, most of them Brazilian or European. There were also two Americans, the airline said.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: airfrance; aviation; deathtoll; france; planecrash; terrorism

1 posted on 06/01/2009 4:48:26 PM PDT by Cincinna
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To: Cincinna

did you even look at the forum sidebar?


2 posted on 06/01/2009 4:54:11 PM PDT by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: Cincinna; nctexan; MassachusettsGOP; paudio; ronnie raygun; Minette; fieldmarshaldj; untenured; ...

*** FRENCH POLITICS AND CULTURE PING LIST *** FREEPMAIL ME IF YOU WANT TO JOIN ***

May God bless the lost passengers and bring comfort to their families.

The latest from French News is that President Sarkozy has declared it "highly unlikely" that any survivors would be found. He met with every family member waiting at Roissy Airport, where the Sarko government assembled teams of doctors and psychologists, as well as a Priest, to counsel and treat the families. Jean-Louis Borloo and Bernard Kouchner accompanied the President to meet with the families.

Experienced Air France pilots who have flown this and similar planes, say a lightening strike should be ruled out as a cause.

Because of the vastness of the search area, and the depth of the waters, it is highly unlikely that the black boxes would be located.

IMHO they are thinking the unthinkable, and the unspeakable.... terrorism.


President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, right, with his transport minister, Jean-Louis Borloo, held a news conference at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris on Monday.


3 posted on 06/01/2009 5:04:34 PM PDT by Cincinna (TIME TO REBUILD * PALIN * JINDAL * CANTOR 2012)
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To: Cincinna

Generally, terrorists crow about killing.

I’ve heard no one take credit.


4 posted on 06/01/2009 5:07:00 PM PDT by Jewbacca (Yes, I am very hairy and good with small arms.)
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To: All

UPDATES WILL BE POSTED ON THIS THREAD AS THEY ARRIVE


5 posted on 06/01/2009 5:10:51 PM PDT by Cincinna (TIME TO REBUILD * PALIN * JINDAL * CANTOR 2012)
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To: Cincinna

Several nationalities on board - majority being Brazilian - has anyone on board surfaced as a more likely terrorist target - e.g. Mossad agents...


6 posted on 06/01/2009 5:14:52 PM PDT by VRWCTexan (History has a long memory - but still repeats itself)
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To: Cincinna
IMHO they are thinking the unthinkable, and the unspeakable.... terrorism.

Yeah. And the terrorist just thought to wait until they flew through severe turbulence to camouflage his actions. Or do you think it was someone in a dingy in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with a missile that could reach 35,000 feet?

Some people have no clue.

ML/NJ

7 posted on 06/01/2009 5:15:39 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: ml/nj

LOL. Right? And he didn’t want a plane full of Americans...he went for the French and Brazilians.


8 posted on 06/01/2009 5:16:53 PM PDT by riri
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To: ml/nj
Yeah. And the terrorist just thought to wait until they flew through severe turbulence to camouflage his actions.

From what I've seen reported, the plane encountered the turbulence an hour before it disappeared. And it disappeared out over deep ocean, where radar coverage was unavailable. Do recall the plane plot from '06? The Islamists were going to blow up the planes over the mid-Atlantic, IIRC. I don't know what happened in this case, but I hope authorities aren't ruling anything out yet.

9 posted on 06/01/2009 5:18:23 PM PDT by mewzilla (In politics the middle way is none at all. John Adams)
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To: Cincinna

The network AVIATION expert tonIght announced that it was 50-50 an EXPLOSION!


10 posted on 06/01/2009 5:20:04 PM PDT by eleni121 (The New Byzantium - resurrect it!)
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To: riri
And he didn’t want a plane full of Americans...he went for the French and Brazilians.

I didn't want to pile on! (But maybe there was a Jew on the plane?)

ML/NJ

11 posted on 06/01/2009 5:26:26 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: ml/nj

The French Secret Service and military and visited the homes and searched the belongings of each and every passenger.

It could possibly have been someone on board with a device.


12 posted on 06/01/2009 5:35:16 PM PDT by Cincinna (TIME TO REBUILD * PALIN * JINDAL * CANTOR 2012)
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To: Cincinna
Alright, I'm stupid. I have never been over the ocean....

but HOW CAN an airliner disappear?!?! There has got to be something out there! Are they on the LOST island? We are told there are satellites that can see buildings, but they can't see airplanes?

13 posted on 06/01/2009 5:42:51 PM PDT by eccentric (a.k.a. baldwidow)
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To: Cincinna

Thanks Cincinna. I carelessly forgot to ping ya to the other one:

Fears for 228 as Air France jet vanishes
CNN | June 1, 2009
Posted on 06/01/2009 3:50:07 AM PDT by rdl6989
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2262007/posts

and I’d not seen this one:

No Hope For 228 Passengers And Crew Feared Dead In Air France Catastrophe
London Times | June 01st 2009
Posted on 06/01/2009 10:13:17 AM PDT by Steelfish
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2262250/posts


14 posted on 06/01/2009 5:43:12 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________ Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: ml/nj
It may not be terrorism, but the scenarios you provide are not the only ones. A group of terrorists could have taken over the aircraft ala 9/11. Weapons could have been prepositioned on the aircraft by ground support personnel. Or an exposive device could have been placed in the baggage or the baggage compartment. Lots of other scenarios. No security system is foolproof, especially in a country like Brazil.

I don't believe it was terrorism in this case.

15 posted on 06/01/2009 5:45:16 PM PDT by kabar
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To: Cincinna

This is terrible...

I fear the plane has crashed in the sea...

I pray for all on the plane and their families..


16 posted on 06/01/2009 5:48:42 PM PDT by aimee5291
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To: eccentric
The satellite would have to be over the site at just the right time. Very little of the world's land mass is covered by RT satellite imagery and almost none of the ocean.
17 posted on 06/01/2009 5:50:11 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (When you're spinning round, things come undone. Welcome to Earth 3rd rock from the Sun!)
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To: Cincinna

Prayers...as always.


18 posted on 06/01/2009 5:52:31 PM PDT by Winstons Julia (doubleplusungood)
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To: ml/nj

Wow. Harsh.

What I heard tonight was that planes fly through what this plane flew through all the time without disappearing.

They are thinking bomb on board.


19 posted on 06/01/2009 5:53:49 PM PDT by Winstons Julia (doubleplusungood)
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To: eccentric
HOW CAN an airliner disappear?

Do you ever browse Google Earth? Sometimes people bookmark aircraft in flight, it is surprising how far you have to zoom in to see them. Unless a large piece of the aircraft is floating it may be incredibly hard to spot the debris from the air.

I spent 5 years at sea in my youth and I have been on multiple flights over the Atlantic and Pacific. Oceans are incredibly big.

20 posted on 06/01/2009 6:03:08 PM PDT by SC Swamp Fox (Aim small, miss small.)
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To: Winstons Julia
planes fly through what this plane flew through all the time without disappearing

There's only three kinds of turbulence: light, moderate, and severe. I only encountered moderate turbulence once. (I really didn't think it was that bad, but that's what the folks ahead of me were calling it.) When I did, the non-pilot who was riding with me kissed the ground after we landed. These guys supposedly encountered severe turbulence; and then the bomb went off, I guess.

ML/NJ

21 posted on 06/01/2009 6:06:27 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: ml/nj

“Some people have no clue.”

At this point no one knows for sure with the information that is public.
The scenarios will narrow rapidly as more information is gathered.


22 posted on 06/01/2009 6:07:58 PM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (I agree with Rick..)
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To: ml/nj

I’m just telling you what I heard. I’m not a pilot or an authority on it and I can’t even tell you what I was watching. I just heard that planes fly through storms all the time and don’t vanish. Since this one did, they are wondering about other “issues” - i.e. a bomb.


23 posted on 06/01/2009 6:17:31 PM PDT by Winstons Julia (doubleplusungood)
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To: eccentric

“...but HOW CAN an airliner disappear?!?! “

Back in the 90s, when dh was deployed aboard ship, two of the a/c launched and took off into the night sky. Within minutes, one of the planes disappeared. There were no distress calls made. It was believed that the pilot perhaps, experienced vertigo and hit the water. The pilot in the other plane circled back to locate his squadron mate, and others were called in for assistance in the search.

Nothing was found. The entire MEU was halted and rescue teams searched for 24-48 hours - and they were RIGHT there! They had the exact area within a few square miles. No debris was found anywhere.

So...I’m just saying.


24 posted on 06/01/2009 6:21:48 PM PDT by getmeouttaPalmBeachCounty_FL (****************************Stop Continental Drift**)
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To: Cincinna; All
From a popular blogsite - Flight Level 390 run by a U.S. airline pilot (archives are fascinating reading about flying conditions, aircraft types, work schedule and company ops):

I spilled my coffee when I saw a breaking news report on the overhead TV about an A330 lost over the Atlantic. Say again, please...

I have been listening to the media talking heads and the aviation experts for about an hour since waking from my nap. Overall, I think the mainstream coverage is within the proverbial ball park on this one. I cannot believe I am saying this...

But, here are two things being reported with which I will disagree:

1. (Media says,"A bolt of lightning cannot, by itself, bring down a modern airliner.") A bolt of lightning could easily wreck an aircraft and cause a crash by itself. Yes, lightning strikes on aircraft occur everyday. I have been struck many times over my career. Usually, it is a non-event causing only minor damage or none at all. However, if an aircraft is in the vicinity of a very large thunderstorm, it could be struck by a super bolt of lightning reeking total havoc with disastrous results.

2. (Media says,"Turbulence cannot, by itself, bring down a modern airliner.")Turbulence could easily wreck an aircraft and cause a crash by itself. Severe turbulence in the vicinity of a very large thunderstorm, or even a lesser one, has to be experienced to be believed. I have been inside thunderstorms several times in my career. It is unavoidable when you are a professional pilot. Anyone who disagrees with the previous sentence has not flown enough miles or has been very lucky. As a Line pilot, I go to great, even extreme lengths to stay out of thunderstorms for obvious reasons. Passengers pay me to deliver them safely to their loved ones.

A thunderstorm is a violent and scary entity. It has the power, and I mean real power, to easily rip the wings from an A330, or any other make or model of aircraft. No problem whatsoever.

On the automatic radio messages sent to Mother... Yep, Fi-Fi will send a message to the mainframe (think H.A.L.) when certain key malfunctions have occurred. It is a design feature of the Airbus Industries aircraft. Think you can hide a pesky malfunction from Mother so that you can do that last turn of the day and get home to Momma? You better be careful.

I will put forward two scenarios that may have happened to this jet:

First- Struck by a super bolt which fried the electronics causing depressurization, loss of electrical power and finally, a high altitude upset in IFR conditions (dark, turbulent, scary) leading to catastrophe.

Second- Encountered severe turbulence between or in thunderstorms. Airframe damage and/or failure leads to depressurization, loss of electrical power and finally, disaster.

Whatever happened, it was not pretty. The pax were terrified and the pilots were surely fighting until impact.

An A330 has crashed in the Atlantic... That fact is unbelievable.

Life on the Line continues...

25 posted on 06/01/2009 6:40:00 PM PDT by SloopJohnB (Annoy a Liberal: Work hard and live free)
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To: SloopJohnB

Thanks for the material from FL390, very good info from an obviously informed source on airline ops.

And, just because it hasn’t appeared in this thread yet: If it ain’t Boeing, I ain’t going.


26 posted on 06/01/2009 6:47:20 PM PDT by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: HereInTheHeartland
At this point no one knows for sure with the information that is public.

Speak for yourself. I've seen the weather radar, and heard reports that they encountered severe turbulence. Have you seen what Andrew did to Homestead, or Katrina did to New Orleans? If the atmosphere wants to destroy an airplane it can. I've also heard reports of decompression, which would mean a hole somewhere; and then the plane would be extremely vulnerable to being finished off.

ML/NJ

27 posted on 06/01/2009 6:51:07 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: Winstons Julia
I’m just telling you what I heard. I’m not a pilot or an authority on it and I can’t even tell you what I was watching. I just heard that planes fly through storms all the time.

You heard this from an idiot. Planes do not fly through severe turbulence all the time. The fact is they hardly ever fly through severe turbulence. Planes divert, even for moderate turbulence, if they can. And the smart ones turn around in the face of severe turbulence. (Just in case you don't know, severe turbulence is when unsecured items will fly around the interior of the plane. I've never encountered this on any flight, private or commercial.)

ML/NJ

28 posted on 06/01/2009 7:00:01 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: Winstons Julia

There may be another explanation that the media hasn’t picked up on. There have been known control issues with the Airbus 330. A Qantas 330 experienced control issues from a faulty air data inertial reference unit (ADIRU) last October. Here is a link to the article;

http://www.eturbonews.com/5633/qf72-incident-may-lead-grounding-airbus-a330-300-models

Here is another article from Aviation Week on the same incident:

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=comm&id=news/FLIGHT10148.xml


29 posted on 06/01/2009 7:01:12 PM PDT by petenmi
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To: All

According to the latest story in Paris Match, it was lightening that caused the plane to crash.


Airbus A330-200


30 posted on 06/01/2009 7:13:42 PM PDT by Cincinna (TIME TO REBUILD * PALIN * JINDAL * CANTOR 2012)
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To: ml/nj

Maybe they fly over it? Not sure.

I’m not leaping to the conclusion that it was a bomb, just saying that I wouldn’t neccessarily poo poo the idea.


31 posted on 06/01/2009 7:17:31 PM PDT by Winstons Julia (doubleplusungood)
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To: Cincinna; All

Thanks for the ping. Interesting thread. Thanks to all posters.

Condolences to family and friends of all who perished.


32 posted on 06/01/2009 7:52:14 PM PDT by PGalt
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To: Winstons Julia

Thunderstorms can go up to 40,000 ft, you don’t just “fly over it”.


33 posted on 06/01/2009 9:05:22 PM PDT by Republican Party Reptile
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To: Winstons Julia
Maybe they fly over it? Not sure.

Commercial airliners cannot overfly very large thunderstorms which reach above 60,000 feet. Some people do know about this stuff. You should just read, and not make uninformed speculation.

ML/NJ

34 posted on 06/02/2009 2:50:58 AM PDT by ml/nj
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To: ml/nj

Yes. Someone else commented that, that you can’t overlfy. I thought you could sometimes.

But look, I really don’t need a hand-slapping from you on what I should do. This whole board is composed of people reading and speculating.


35 posted on 06/02/2009 10:36:40 AM PDT by Winstons Julia (doubleplusungood)
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To: Winstons Julia
This whole board is composed of people reading and speculating.

Excuse me lady. We try to keep it to informed speculation. You're new here. Step back and observe for a while.

ML/NJ

36 posted on 06/02/2009 11:48:15 AM PDT by ml/nj
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To: ml/nj

Are you a pilot? I have read what has been posted on the thread by people who know. I appreciate the insights.

I don’t think anyone knows for sure what brought the plane down yet. I had heard on the news (not that the news is always informed, but at least it’s the news) that there were people wondering if it could have been a bomb. They made the point that planes aren’t usually brought down by storms.

Plane lossses over the ocean are extremely rare.

There was supposedly a terrorist plan to blow some planes up while they were in the air.

There was speculation in the media, there was some speculation on the thread. It’s only natural and doesn’t hurt a soul.

In fact, the article posted contains THIS sentence:

“Experts were at a loss to explain fatal damage to a modern jetliner from either lightning or turbulence, even that of a tropical storm.”

You responded to the original poster, who is a very nice person, with THIS gem:

“Yeah. And the terrorist just thought to wait until they flew through severe turbulence to camouflage his actions. Or do you think it was someone in a dingy in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with a missile that could reach 35,000 feet?

Some people have no clue.”

That was sweet of you, wasn’t it? You failed to consider what some people can speculate with free minds. That maybe there was a bomb on board.


But don’t worry. I don’t have any more to say on the thread. I appreciate the knowledgeable comments, but you have been nothing but RUDE from the beginning. And you might be an “enlightened expert”, but you have still been rude from the beginning. And I haven’t seen any evidence that you are any more informed than anyone else here.

People are just commenting on the article that was posted, but maybe go make yourself a cardboard badge that says “Board Police” or something productive...


37 posted on 06/02/2009 12:01:46 PM PDT by Winstons Julia (doubleplusungood)
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To: Winstons Julia
Are you a pilot?

I think I implied as much in post #21 on this thread which was addressed to you. FTR, I'm inactive now and I've only flown single engine planes. I do have an instrument rating.

ML/NJ

38 posted on 06/02/2009 12:17:25 PM PDT by ml/nj
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