The Mystery of Flight 447
How Could a Plane Carrying Almost 250 People Simply Disappear?



 
The Mystery of Flight 447
How Could a Plane Carrying Almost 250 People Simply Disappear?

 
"Lost: The Mystery of Flight 447", a one hour documentary detailing an independent investigation into the crash employing the skills of an expert pilot, an expert accident investigator, an aviation meteorologist and an aircraft structural engineer.

Using the publicly-available evidence and information, without the black boxes, a critical chain of events was postulated.

 

The disappearance of Air France Flight 447, an Airbus A-330, is one of aviation's biggest mysteries.

As investigation teams prepare for their third underwater search for the black-box and other pieces of wreckage in February 2010, it's clear that what we already know about the crash raises important questions about air safety: How could a plane carrying almost 250 people simply disappear in the age of radar and surveillance?

Without the black boxes, which may never to be found, how can we discover what brought down the jetliner? How much control does a pilot really have over their aircraft?

Is it time to replace outdated black-boxes with 21st century technology or would the costs outweigh the benefits?

The official inquiry into the crash of Flight 447 is not expected to conclude until the end of 2010. Darlow Smithson Productions has assembled its own team of internationally respected aviation experts.

Air France Flight 447 was a scheduled airline flight from Rio de Janeiro-Galeão (GIG) to Paris-Roissy (CDG) involving an Airbus 330-200 aircraft that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on 1 June 2009, killing all 216 passengers and 12 aircrew.

The investigation is still ongoing, and the cause of the crash has not yet been formally determined.

An interim report from the BEA on 27 May 2011 revealed that the aircraft crashed following an aerodynamic stall. It further revealed that minutes prior to the crash, the pitot tubes (speed sensors) started to give inconsistent readings.

The cause of the faulty readings is yet to be determined, but a theory is that ice formed on the pitot tubes, which would have caused them to freeze, giving inconsistent measurements owing to their reliance on air pressure measurements to give speed readings.

Pitot tube blockage is suspected of having contributed to airliner crashes in the past — such as Birgenair Flight 301 in 1996. A later report from the BEA, released on 29 July 2011, indicated that the pilots had not been trained to fly the aircraft "in manual mode or to promptly recognize and respond to a speed-sensor malfunction at high altitude", nor that this was a standard training requirement at the time of the accident.

The investigation into this accident was initially hampered by the lack of any eyewitness evidence and radar tracks, as well as by difficulty finding the aircraft's black boxes, which were located and recovered from the ocean floor two years later in May 2011.

The accident was the deadliest in the history of Air France. Paul-Louis Arslanian, the head of the BEA (Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety), described it as the worst accident in French aviation history.

This was the deadliest commercial airliner accident to occur since the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in New York City in 2001. It was the first fatal accident to befall an Airbus A330 airliner while in passenger service.