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Air France Jet Carrying 228 Missing Over Atlantic

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hdood    145
Satellite navigation can't find unknown objects. If the plane has crashed it will be at the bottom of the sea by now, as stated it doesn't have enough fuel to be flying. Once a plane either lands (after being shut down) or crashes its transponder stops working, which is the only means of identifying it.

If they were flying out over water surely chances are they were far far out of range of both primary radar and the transponder. I believe the only means of tracking them once they fly out over the ocean is by manual reports to air traffic control over shortwave (which I don't think are very frequent), and by automatic reporting over a private satellite link to the airline (which I believe they all use to track and communicate with their fleet at all times). If one assumed that the satellite radio kept working up until the last moment, the airline probably has information on its last known location, which might be a ten mile radius of the crash site or something like that at best or hundreds if it suffered an electrical failure and stopped transmitting.

In any case, this is a modern western airline and I don't believe they have "no clue" as to what might have happened to the plane or where it is. They probably just won't release any specifics to the media, other than that they are looking for the plane. I don't think an airliner has ever made a successful ocean landing though, and since it hasn't landed anywhere else it's probably sadly fair to assume that it has crashed.

Also, even if a plane is designed to try to direct the lightning away from any critical systems, that still doesn't mean that something can't go wrong. Nothing is perfect!

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Lee G.    236

Very worrying :no:

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Subject Delta    108
I thought planes were designed to allow lightening to pass through them or something?

Or does it just depend where it gets hit?

Lightening is meant to be able to pass through them, yes, but the composite materials used in the A330 and a lot of other newer planes can provide some resistance to electrical current, besides it is possible for some of the electrical current to jump into wires and down into the fuel tank, kinda like what happened to TWA flight 800, so not all of the current needs to flow into the tank to cause an explosion, in fact I think it only takes a very small amount of energy given the right conditions.

If they were flying out over water surely chances are they were far far out of range of both primary radar and the transponder. I believe the only means of tracking them once they fly out over the ocean is by manual reports to air traffic control over shortwave (which I don't think are very frequent), and by automatic reporting over a private satellite link to the airline (which I believe they all use to track and communicate with their fleet at all times). If one assumed that the satellite radio kept working up until the last moment, the airline probably has information on its last known location, which might be a ten mile radius of the crash site or something like that at best or hundreds if it suffered an electrical failure and stopped transmitting.

In any case, this is a modern western airline and I don't believe they have "no clue" as to what might have happened to the plane or where it is. They probably just won't release any specifics to the media, other than that they are looking for the plane. I don't think an airliner has ever made a successful ocean landing though, and since it hasn't landed anywhere else it's probably sadly fair to assume that it has crashed.

Also, even if a plane is designed to try to direct the lightning away from any critical systems, that still doesn't mean that something can't go wrong. Nothing is perfect!

Well the thing is that no matter how modern the plane, and how evolved the country it comes from, there is no telemetry beamed to ground, and because of the incredible complexity of jets there could be any one of thousands of failure points that could have downed the plane, so until they recover the CVR and FDR, and maybe examine the wreckage, speculating to the cause would be pointless. I do believe that commercial aircraft communicate using VHF radio waves, and at high altitude they can travel for hundreds of miles so I find it unlikely that they would deliberately mislead people.

And also, again due to the altitude that commercial aircraft fly at, their transponders will always show up on radar, as they pass from jurisdiction to jurisdiction they will continue to show up. Signals from planes transponders can sometimes be obscured by buildings if they fly over populated areas, but that loss is usually a only 5-30 seconds or so.

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hdood    145
Well the thing is that no matter how modern the plane, and how evolved the country it comes from, there is no telemetry beamed to ground

[...]

And also, again due to the altitude that commercial aircraft fly at, their transponders will always show up on radar, as they pass from jurisdiction to jurisdiction they will continue to show up. Signals from planes transponders can sometimes be obscured by buildings if they fly over populated areas, but that loss is usually a only 5-30 seconds or so.

Yes, but only if they are within range. Once you fly out over the ocean, there is no radar or VHF coverage so they resort to a combination of shortwave and satellite. All western airlines have modern datalink equipment that relays data (telemetry, if you want) and messages back and forth between the fleet and airline. They don't fly around over the Atlantic for hours with no contact with anyone. All I'm saying is that the airline will have a last known position of the plane which depending on exactly what happened and if the equipment failed could be the crash site itself or a hundred miles away.

As for misleading people, I'm not suggesting they are intentionally doing so, but they don't tend to give out complete details until they are certain and have located the wreckage, which means the media has to fill in the blanks with their own speculations.

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webeagle12    948
Lightening is meant to be able to pass through them, yes, but the composite materials used in the A330 and a lot of other newer planes can provide some resistance to electrical current, besides it is possible for some of the electrical current to jump into wires and down into the fuel tank, kinda like what happened to TWA flight 800, so not all of the current needs to flow into the tank to cause an explosion, in fact I think it only takes a very small amount of energy given the right conditions.

Well the thing is that no matter how modern the plane, and how evolved the country it comes from, there is no telemetry beamed to ground, and because of the incredible complexity of jets there could be any one of thousands of failure points that could have downed the plane, so until they recover the CVR and FDR, and maybe examine the wreckage, speculating to the cause would be pointless. I do believe that commercial aircraft communicate using VHF radio waves, and at high altitude they can travel for hundreds of miles so I find it unlikely that they would deliberately mislead people.

And also, again due to the altitude that commercial aircraft fly at, their transponders will always show up on radar, as they pass from jurisdiction to jurisdiction they will continue to show up. Signals from planes transponders can sometimes be obscured by buildings if they fly over populated areas, but that loss is usually a only 5-30 seconds or so.

you are right about VHF radio waves

this is actually a list of VHF stations this aircraft supposed to contact:

Recife-ACC on VHF

Atlantico ACC on HF <<<< never reached this point

Dakar Oceanic ACC on HF

Sal Oceanic ACC on VHF

#1 VHF waves used mainly overland but when in ocean they use HF radios

#2 They can communicate using satellite phones (usually back up option if other systems fail)

#3 They can use Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (it's like email)

Edited by webeagle12

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hdood    145
you are right about VHF radio waves

this is actually a list of VHF stations this aircraft supposed to contact:

Recife-ACC on VHF

Atlantico ACC on HF <<<< never reached this point

Dakar Oceanic ACC on HF

Sal Oceanic ACC on VHF

The oceanic controls there are shortwave (HF), not VHF (which is line of sight and only possible over land), but the plane is also in direct contact with the airline separately from air traffic control and in fact sent an automated diagnostic message to the airline about an electrical failure after passing through a thunderstorm. In other words, the airline has constant access to large amounts of data that air traffic controllers don't (and normally don't need), and which they pass on to the authorities that are doing the search. If they crashed at sea and sunk though, I doubt it will be easy to find even if they have an idea of the location.

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webeagle12    948
The oceanic controls there are shortwave (HF), not VHF (which is line of sight and only possible over land)

that what I said

"Atlantico ACC on HF" ;)

This also will be first fatal A330-200 crash when confirmed

Edited by webeagle12

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Azusa    930
If it was electrical problem, it can cut power to anything on a plane, and that includes disabling communication systems.

They would have a back up system for things like that.

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webeagle12    948
They would have a back up system for things like that.

not always works when you got "short circuit" which also can cause fire.

Remember, captain message was included words "short circuit"

this crash reminds me of Swiss Air 111 :(

Edited by webeagle12

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limok    63

The plane sent an automatic signal to Air France informing them of the short circuit. As many have said there are many ways to contact traffic controllers and the pilots clearly havn't, which leads me to only one conclusion - the plane may have crashed into the ocean.

After seeing many episodes of Air Crash Investigation there are many possibilities of what may have happened but all possibilities usually lead to one outcome.

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Eric    1,605

I hope the passenger and crew are ok, but somehow I knew it would be an Airbus.

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hdood    145

Well it is Air France. They'd get the guillotine for treason if they flew Boeing.

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The Rev    438

Wow, that totally sux :(

My heart goes out to the families.

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hdood    145

Planes do float until they fill up with water and sink if you manage to make a perfect landing on the ocean, which is unlikely when you consider that there are likely other problems with the plane, that the ocean may not be very calm, that the engines protrude below the fuselage and that they or a wing might hit the water first and tear it apart. As far as I know no one has ever made such a landing. It always ends in the plane being torn to shreds.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zuLP-QYiy0.swf

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Techno_Funky    19

Oh Man! I just hope everyone is safe somehow safe.

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SuperJediMedia    48

Does anyone have a link to continuous coverage of this news in English?

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ToneKnee    326
Planes do float until they fill up with water and sink if you manage to make a perfect landing on the ocean, which is unlikely when you consider that there are likely other problems with the plane, that the ocean may not be very calm, that the engines protrude below the fuselage and that they or a wing might hit the water first and tear it apart. As far as I know no one has ever made such a landing. It always ends in the plane being torn to shreds.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zuLP-QYiy0.swf

Someone did land a plane on water a few months ago.

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Black Flash    36

We just picked my aunt up from the airport 2 days ago, I can't think of what those families must be going through.

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Panacik    27
Planes do float until they fill up with water and sink if you manage to make a perfect landing on the ocean, which is unlikely when you consider that there are likely other problems with the plane, that the ocean may not be very calm, that the engines protrude below the fuselage and that they or a wing might hit the water first and tear it apart. As far as I know no one has ever made such a landing. It always ends in the plane being torn to shreds.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zuLP-QYiy0.swf

Not true. It was done in NYC only a few months back i believe and a few times before that in various other places.

Someone did land a plane on water a few months ago.

NYC i believe.

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Vykranth    527
Does anyone have a link to continuous coverage of this news in English?

France 24's latest article

The current hypothesis is that the plane was struck by lightning

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Mazhar    55

May Allah Almighty help them!

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starburst1980    0

Too bad noone on the plane can Twit this...

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SuperJediMedia    48

All CNN does now is GM

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Eric    1,605
Not true. It was done in NYC only a few months back i believe and a few times before that in various other places.

NYC i believe.

Yep. Right in the middle of the river in Manhattan. It was amazing. If you watch the security video of it you can hardly even tell anything happened. No break-up, no serious injuries or fatalities. One hopes the pilot of this plane is as skilled.

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