Ocean search for Air France jet

2009-06-02 07:07
Relatives of passengers of the Air France flight 447 wait for news of their loved ones. (Ricardo Moraes, AP)

Relatives of passengers of the Air France flight 447 wait for news of their loved ones. (Ricardo Moraes, AP) (Ricardo Moraes)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Rio de Janeiro - Two Brazilian aircraft equipped with sensors to peer through the night were early on Tuesday sweeping a remote part of the Atlantic Ocean where an Air France plane mysteriously disappeared, officials said.

An air force Hercules C130, searching for a signal from the Air France plane's emergency beacon, and an Embraer P-99 AWAC jet with onboard radar and infrared gear able to spot bodies in water were flying over an area 1 100km off Brazil's northeastern coast.

That zone - located deep in the Atlantic Ocean almost halfway between the South American and African continents - was determined by the last signal received from Air France flight AF 447: an automatic data signal telling of multiple electric and pressurisation failures.

The Air France Airbus A330 was carrying 216 passengers and 12 crew when it vanished at 02:20 GMT on Monday, four hours into an 11-hour flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. No distress message was sent.

Just over half the passengers were either French or Brazilian. The remainder came from 30 other countries, mostly in Europe.

The accident sent a shudder through France and Brazil, which on Tuesday were sharing the grief of what appeared to be the worst aviation disaster in a decade, and the worst in Air France's 70-year history.

Finding the remains of the aircraft was key to elucidating the enigma of what caused it to come down out in a stretch of water beyond the reach of land-based radar.

Orange marks in the ocean

The lack of answers has given rise to several hypotheses, including Air France's suggestion that its plane was hit by lightning that somehow knocked out its systems - despite modern aircraft being built to survive such a relatively common phenomenon.

The Airbus A330, previously considered a safe transatlantic workhorse, was under scrutiny. The theories of pilot error or extreme turbulence were also raised.

A consensus was forming that a sequence of problems must have been to blame - but what, exactly, would have to be gleaned from the plane's black boxes, if they can be found.

A search all day on Monday involving eight Brazilian air force aircraft and two French military aircraft operating from Africa failed to find any trace of flight AF 447.

Nightfall meant operations were limited to the two specially equipped Brazilian aircraft into daylight on Tuesday, when three Brazilian navy vessels and other aircraft were to take over.

One possible lead came from a pilot on board a Brazilian TAM Airlines flight who passed through the zone half an hour after the ill-fated French jet.

According to a Brazilian air force spokesperson, Colonel Jorge Amaral, the TAM pilot thought he saw orange marks in the ocean, in an area under the responsibility of Senegalese air traffic control.

However, the pilot was unable to make out whether the marks were buoys or flames.

Read more on:    brazilian air force  |  paris  |  brazil  |  rio de janeiro  |  atlantic ocean  |  france  |  lightning  |  air france plane missing  |  airbus a330
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

We will give you police - Zille

A total of 250 000 police on the streets is one of the election promises Helen Zille made during an anti-drugs and gangsterism march in Manenberg, Cape Town.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia Lumia 800

The stunningly social Nokia Lumia 800 features head-turning design, ...

From R2395.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.