Air France Airbus Flight 447: Victim of Faulty Speed Data?

June 5, 2009

(ChattahBox)—French naval ships and aircraft searching 800 miles of the Atlantic Ocean off the Coast of Brazil are in a race against time to find the crash site of the Air France Airbus 330, which disappeared in a violent storm on Monday. Previous reports from Brazilian authorities of debris and an oil slick believed to belong to the crashed Airbus, turned out to be ocean trash and now the frantic search continues to find the flight recorders.

All 228 passengers aboard Air France Flight 447 perished in the tragic crash and family members continue to gather in Brazil for the opportunity to be flown to see the watery grave of their loved ones, with their own eyes. But the exact crash site is not yet known, and at this point, the search area is about to be expanded.

The French searchers have not found any identifiable debris since they began their search on Monday and are anxious to find some answers from the data recorders, but the possibility exists that the crash site may never be found.

Despite the absence of the data recorders, Air France investigators have a series of automatic alert messages that were transmitted from the Airbus in the final four minutes, as the plane made a nosedive into the Atlantic Ocean disappearing off the radar.

An analysis of the automatic alert messages by the Bureau of Accidents and Analysis, revealed the data shows a breakdown in the Airbus’ speed monitoring systems, which displayed conflicting speed-readings to the pilots. This breakdown may have led to the plane’s computerized controls making corrections based on faulty speed-readings, causing the Airbus to nose dive in the ocean.

The alerts also show the automatic pilot and computer flight control systems becoming disconnected at the same time, with the final reading showing excessive vertical speed as it crashed into the Atlantic.

Investigators don’t know at this point, how abnormal air-speed readings could have caused the other system breakdowns. Some officials theorize that perhaps ice from the storm blocked the outside probes, which read the pressure of oncoming air.

Either way, at 35,000 feet and at full capacity, the pilots of the Airbus faced a near impossible situation, grimly dubbed “coffin corner,” which refers to the narrow margin of safety between flying too slow, causing a stall and flying too fast, causing violent buffeting.

Flight experts believe that it would have been near impossible for the pilots to fly the Airbus manually under those conditions, even if they were able.

In an unprecedented move, so soon after a crash before a full investigation is completed, Airbus alerted all of its pilots to proper procedures to follow, when airspeed readings become faulty. This action confirms that Airbus officials believe faulty airspeed readings either caused or contributed to the crash of Air France Flight 447.

The Airbus is a unique aircraft that is virtually always controlled by a computer, even when autopilot is turned off. Pilots have long complained of the Airbus’ design, which allows computers too much control over the aircraft.

Two recent Airbus crashes also point to a break down in the computer system indications, issuing false readings to the pilots.

On October 7, 2008, Qantas flight Airbus 330 QF72, experienced false spike values on the angle of the plane, which led to the flight control computers to command the aircraft to pitch down twice, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing. Although 40 passengers were injured, no one died. Investigators determined a faulty component called the air data inertial reference unit was responsible for the false readings.

Another Airbus over the Mediterranean Sea on November 28, 2008, was not so lucky as the Quanta aircraft. On November 28, 2008, an Air New Zealand Airbus 320 crashed into the ocean, killing the entire crew of seven aboard the plane. No passengers were on the flight.

The data recorders were recovered and showed the Airbus suddenly went into an irreversible nosedive and crashed into the Mediterranean. Investigators have not yet released an official report of the crash, but what is known is that the aircraft inexplicably reduced its speed to such an extent, that the plane stalled and went into a nosedive.

With two Airbus crashes and one near crash in just two years, questions linger regarding the computerized systems of the Airbus.

Meanwhile the victim’s families wait for answers and Air France changed the number of its Rio-Paris flight to from 447 to 445, which is an airline tradition when a flight crashes.

Source


Comments

5 Responses to “Air France Airbus Flight 447: Victim of Faulty Speed Data?”

  1. billy on June 5th, 2009 8:33 pm

    The author of the article really should be more educated on the Airbus product, along with being better informed on past event on the Airbus Aircraft. I would recommend to review the reports of the “two recent crashes” as mentioned above, and re-issue the article to include factual information from a reliable/knowlegable source.

  2. Air France Airbus Flight 447: Victim of Faulty Speed Data … on June 6th, 2009 7:29 am

    […] post by unknown aggregated by […]

  3. THEA on June 6th, 2009 10:04 am

    DEAR SIR
    I HOPE THAT YOU GET IN REAL SITUATION ..AIR BUS DID KILL MORE THAN 2OOO PEOPLE.YOU NEED TO TAKE A ACTION IN THIS PLANE
    I AM NOT GET IN AIR BUS EVER
    I HOPE THAT YOU WAKE UP ..THIS IS TERRIBLE
    I HOPE THAT THE FAMILY DO A LAW CRIMINAL SUIT
    TKS

  4. Bonzer on June 7th, 2009 12:44 am

    …another peice of French Junk…..it’s a shame so many people perished…good on you Thea….don’t park your butt on one of these death traps. Now I’m REALLY worried…I have to fly back to Australia in a month or so on one of these aerial washing machines…..better get some life insurance

  5. kensley on June 10th, 2009 9:45 am

    very sad for the famlies!! yet its not the end man!!!
    evry1 has things to do on the earth in their own manner but i think that the plane should have changed its way than getting into the storm!!!
    im WORRY
    bkoz 2 menbers of mine are going to take their flight to mauritius!!!
    hope that they will have a nice flight!!!
    my mind predict that there will be an end to the planet earth!!!
    make as if the sea is 20 degrees and now it has been increased to 20.5 degrees if the temp. increases by 0.5 there would be the END!!!!
    AS A SCIENCE STUDENT ITS GOOD TO TEACH THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW……..

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