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Air France Jet Missing, Flight AF447, an Airbus A330-200, took off from Rio on Sunday at 7 p.m

JimMac
post Jun 1 2009, 01:56 PM
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Air France plane missing

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- An Air France jet flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris with 228 people on board went missing over the Atlantic on Monday after suffering an electrical-system short circuit during strong turbulence, the airline said.

Flight AF447, an Airbus A330-200, took off from Rio on Sunday at 7 p.m. local time, with 216 passengers and 12 crew members on board.

It had been expected to land at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport at 11.15 am local time, but contact was lost with the aircraft roughly 200 miles northeast of the coastal Brazilian city of Natal, near the Brazilian archipelago of Fernando de Noronha.

An Air France plane on its way from Brazil to Paris is missing with 228 on board. The Brazilian air force is on a search mission over the Atlantic Ocean. Video courtesy of Reuters.

Air France said in a statement that the aircraft flew into a storm at 2 a.m. GMT. The airline received an automatic message 14 minutes later signaling a short circuit on the electrical system. Brazilian and French traffic control authorities then unsuccessfully tried to establish radio contact with the aircraft.

The French air force tried to locate it, to no avail.

Radar, a World War II-era technology that sends out radio waves that bounce off objects in the sky and collects the returning signals to plot positions, has limited range and can't see far out over large bodies of water.

As a result, when planes fly across the Atlantic, they report their position over to controllers by radio.

Air France said the pilot had 11,000 hours of flying experience including 1,700 hours on the A330. The four-year-old aircraft, equipped with GE CF6-80E engines, was last serviced on April 16.

The Airbus A330, a model that first flew in 1992, has a strong safety record.

Airbus said that it has offered full technical assistance to the investigation board and said it would be "inappropriate" for it to speculate into the causes of the accident.

In July 2000, Air France flight 4590, a Concorde charter with 109 people on board, crashed just after take-off at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.

Brazil had two major plane crashes in 2006 and 2007.
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georgie101
post Jun 1 2009, 03:33 PM
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My first question is.. Who was on that flight?
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JFK
post Jun 1 2009, 04:01 PM
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QUOTE (georgie101 @ Jun 1 2009, 03:33 PM) *
My first question is.. Who was on that flight?


This is the first names which I have found...

http://www.theadvertiser.com/article/20090...601026/-1/rss01

QUOTE
Lafayette couple on Air France flight

Lafayette natives Anne Debaillon Harris and her husband Michael Harris were aboard Air France Flight 447, which disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday en route from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Paris.

The U.S. Consulate has confirmed that Anne Harris, 54, and Michael Harris, 60, were listed on the passenger manifest for the flight. The couple, who transferred to Rio from The Woodlands, Texas, last July, were flying to France for a training seminar for Michael Harris’ work with Devon Energy, as well as vacation time in France and Spain.

“Timothy Eydelmant with the consulate office said they were on the manifest, so I fully expect they were on the plane,” said Lafayette’s Mary Miley, Anne Harris’s sister. “We’re all in a state of shock.”

Air France spokeswoman Brigitte Barrand said the 4-year-old Airbus A330 left Rio on Sunday at 6:03 p.m. EDT with 216 passengers and 12 crew members on board. The plane left Brazil radar contact, beyond the Fernando de Noronha archipelago, at 9:48 p.m. EDT, indicating it was flying normally at 35,000 feet and traveling at 522 mph.

About a half-hour later, the plane “crossed through a thunderous zone with strong turbulence.” It sent an automatic message 14 minutes later at 10:14 p.m. EDT reporting electrical failure and a loss of cabin pressure. Air France told Brazilian authorities the last information they heard was that automated message reporting a technical problem before the plane reached a monitoring station near the Cape Verde islands.
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Omega892R09
post Jun 1 2009, 05:20 PM
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QUOTE (JFK @ May 30 2009, 06:01 PM) *
This is the first names which I have found...

http://www.theadvertiser.com/article/20090...601026/-1/rss01

QUOTE
About a half-hour later, the plane “crossed through a thunderous zone with strong turbulence.” It sent an automatic message 14 minutes later at 10:14 p.m. EDT reporting electrical failure and a loss of cabin pressure. Air France told Brazilian authorities the last information they heard was that automated message reporting a technical problem before the plane reached a monitoring station near the Cape Verde islands.

That is a significant piece, highlighted in red, more than the BBC late evening news offering.

A different generation of aircraft to those I was used to which had hydraulic powered flying controls, albeit with electro/mechanical selector valves. But then all piperuns were electrically bonded at joints and to the airframe so as to provide a clear path for any static.

However in storm cells there can be terrific windshear and strong turbulence. Aircraft on-board radar normally looks ahead out for such weather and any aircrew try to circumvent such condition, or so I thought.
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JFK
post Jun 1 2009, 05:35 PM
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http://www.airbus.com/crisis/index.html





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JimMac
post Jun 1 2009, 06:01 PM
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QUOTE (Omega892R09 @ Jun 1 2009, 05:20 PM) *
That is a significant piece, highlighted in red, more than the BBC late evening news offering.

A different generation of aircraft to those I was used to which had hydraulic powered flying controls, albeit with electro/mechanical selector valves. But then all piperuns were electrically bonded at joints and to the airframe so as to provide a clear path for any static.

However in storm cells there can be terrific windshear and strong turbulence. Aircraft on-board radar normally looks ahead out for such weather and any aircrew try to circumvent such condition, or so I thought.


Please excuse my ignorance, but:

(1) are there any instances of modern day Boeing aircraft or an Airbus being downed by lighting strike? and;
(2) If was a storm cell, with high wind currents, would that be found at 33 to 39,000 feet? assuming that was the altitude range? And if so, it would not just form all that quickly, I think. (guessing).

I flew Air France trans Atlantic a few years ago (10 yrs?) Paris/NY, and if i recall they flew at 39,000. It was a wonderful flight, i really like AF.

Its also interesting the Reuters release mentions that Brazil had two major plane crashes in 2006 and 2007.. For one, the plane had not been confirmed crashed yet, and two, what has Air France have to do with Brazil stats? The AF flight just originated there and it was a few hrs out into the Atlantic (just mentioning, maybe i am too suspicious these days. )

As a person who has done quite a bit of passenger travel, i have researched airline safety a bit, read public transcripts of flight recordings of crashes and so on. I have been told by an airline industry friend that usually when a plane crash occurs, its a combination of 4 or 5 things that all go wrong simultaneously. (Rare and freakish)
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JimMac
post Jun 1 2009, 07:22 PM
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Air France jet hits thunderstorms over Atlantic; Canadian among missing

By The Associated Press

SAO PAULO, Brazil - An Air France jet carrying 228 people from Rio de Janeiro to Paris ran into a towering wall of thunderstorms and disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean. French President Nicolas Sarkozy told families of those aboard Monday that "prospects of finding survivors are very small."

Air France officials have confirmed that a Canadian was on board the plane. Radio station CJOY in Guelph, Ont., says the passenger was a man with family members in the city.

The area where the plane could have gone down is vast, in the middle of very deep Atlantic Ocean waters between Brazil and the coast of Africa. Brazil's military searched for it off its northeast coast, while the French military scoured the ocean near the Cape Verde Islands off the West African coast.

If all 228 were killed, it would be the world's deadliest commercial airline disaster since 2001.

Sarkozy, speaking at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport, said the cause is unclear and that "no hypothesis" is being excluded. He called it "a catastrophe like Air France has never before known."

"(I met with) a mother who lost her son, a fiancee who lost her future husband. I told them the truth," he said.

Sarkozy said "it will be very difficult" to find the plane because the zone where it is believed to have disappeared "is immense." He said France has asked for U.S. satellite help to locate the plane.

Chief Air France spokesman Francois Brousse said "it is possible" the plane was hit by lightning, but aviation experts expressed doubt that a bolt of lightning was enough to bring the plane down.

Air France Flight 447, a four-year-old Airbus A330, left Rio Sunday night with 216 passengers and 12 crew members on board, said company spokeswoman Brigitte Barrand.

The plane indicated it was still flying normally more than three hours later as it left Brazil radar contact, beyond the Fernando de Noronha archipelago, at 10:48 local time (9:48 p.m. EDT). It was flying at 10,670 metres and travelling at 840 km/h.

About a half-hour later, the plane "crossed through a thunderous zone with strong turbulence." It sent an automatic message fourteen minutes later, reporting electrical failure and a loss of cabin pressure.

Air France told Brazilian authorities the last information they heard was that automated message, reporting a technical problem before the plane reached a monitoring station near the Cape Verde islands. Brazilian, African, Spanish and French air traffic controllers tried in vain to establish contact with the plane, the company said.

Brazilian Air Force spokesman Col. Jorge Amaral said seven aircraft had been deployed to search the area far off the northeastern Brazilian coast. Brazil's navy sent three ships.

"We want to try to reach the last point where the aircraft made contact, which is about 745 miles (1,200 kilometres) northeast of Natal," Amaral told Globo TV.

Meteorologists said tropical storms are much more violent than thunderstorms in the United States and elsewhere.

"Tropical thunderstorms ... can tower up to 50,000 feet (15,240 metres). At the altitude it was flying, it's possible that the Air France plane flew directly into the most charged part of the storm - the top," Henry Margusity, senior meteorologist for AccuWeather.com, said in a statement.

Portuguese air control authorities say the missing plane did not make contact with controllers in Portugal's mid-Atlantic Azores Islands nor, as far as they know, with other Atlantic air traffic controllers in Cape Verde, Casablanca, or the Canary islands.

In Washington, a Pentagon official said he'd seen no indication that terrorism or foul play was involved. He spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the subject.

The 216 passengers included 126 men, 82 women, seven children and a baby, Air France said. There were 61 French and 58 Brazilians; 30 other countries were represented, including two Americans and the one Canadian.

In Brazil, sobbing relatives were flown to Rio de Janeiro, where Air France was assisting the families. Andres Fernandes, his eyes tearing up, said a relative "was supposed to be on the flight, but we need to confirm it," Globo TV reported.

At the Charles de Gaulle airport north of Paris, family members declined to speak to reporters and were brought to a cordoned-off crisis centre.

Air France said it expressed "its sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew members" aboard Flight 447. The airline did not explicitly say there were no survivors, leaving that subject to Sarkozy.

Air France-KLM CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon said the pilot had 11,000 hours of flying experience, including 1,700 hours flying this aircraft.

Experts said the absence of a mayday call meant something happened very quickly.

"The conclusion to be drawn is that something catastrophic happened on board that has caused this airplane to ditch in a controlled or an uncontrolled fashion," Jane's Aviation analyst Chris Yates told The Associated Press. "Potentially it went down very quickly and so quickly that the pilot on board didn't have a chance to make that emergency call."

But aviation experts said the risk the plane was brought down by lightning was slim.

"Lightning issues have been considered since the beginning of aviation. They were far more prevalent when aircraft operated at low altitudes. They are less common now since it's easier to avoid thunderstorms," said Bill Voss, president and CEO of Flight Safety Foundation, Alexandria, Va.

He said planes have specific measures built in to help dissipate electricity along the aircraft's skin, and are tested for resistance to big electromagnetic shocks and equipped to resist them. He said the plane should be found, because it has backup locators that should continue to function even in deep water.

If all 228 people were killed, it would be the deadliest commercial airline disaster since Nov. 12, 2001, when an American Airlines jetliner crashed in the New York City borough of Queens during a flight to the Dominican Republic, killing 265 people. On Feb. 19, 2003, 275 people were killed in the crash of an Iranian military plane carrying members of the Revolutionary Guards as it prepared to land at Kerman airport in Iran.

The worst single-plane disaster was in 1985 when a Japan Air Lines Boeing 747 crashed into a mountainside after losing part of its tail fin, killing 520 people.

"Our thoughts are with the passengers and with the families of the passengers," said Airbus spokeswoman Maggie Bergsma.

She said it was the first fatal accident of a A330-200 since a test flight in 1994 went wrong, killing seven people in Toulouse.

The Airbus A330-200 is a twin-engine, long-haul, medium-capacity passenger jet that can hold up to 253 passengers. There are 341 in use worldwide, flying up to 12,500 kilometres a trip.

GE Aviation spokesman Rick Kennedy discounted engine trouble as a possible cause. He said the plane's CF6-80E engine "is the most popular and reliable engine that we have for big airplanes in the world," and is being used in more than 15,000 airplanes.
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p.w.rapp
post Jun 1 2009, 07:42 PM
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Good questions, JimMac!

Although tops of thunderstorms can reach up to 45,000 ft, the 'lightning-strike'- OT (with total electrical failure and loss of cabin pressure) is not plausible IMO.
Air France themselves published this speculation at a very early stage.

Air France also published, that
-the departure in Rio was at 00:19 GMZ
-last radio contact with Brasilian ATC was at 3:30 GMT
-they have received an automatic message at 4:14 GMT. indicating an electrical failure.

According to that the crash site should be somewhere here!!!


see black circle


So why are they searching for the aircraft only some 900 miles north of Rio???




*edit*
flight-path updated - see red line (=Airway UL369)
green circle: that is where the A330 should have been after 4h of flight!

courtesy LR, TakeoffandFlyForum
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JFK
post Jun 1 2009, 08:35 PM
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http://www.nypost.com/seven/06012009/news/..._447_172029.htm

QUOTE
PASSENGER LIST FROM FLIGHT 447
June 1, 2009
Posted: 2:22 pm
June 1, 2009

The official list of victims will be released by Air France, accordingly to the Brazilian Agency of Civil Aviation (ANAC), but accordingly to information by relatives, friends and assistants, the names listed below were in the flight when it left from Rio to Paris last night.

1.) Eirch Heine - President of Admistration Council of ThyssenKrupp-Companhia Siderurgica do Atlantico(CSA)

2.) Luis Roberto Anastacio - President Michelin South America

3.) Antonio Guerios - IT Director Michelin

4.) Christin Pieraerts - Employee Michelin

5.) Dr. Roberto Correa Chem - Plastic Surgeon - Director of Skin Bank and Chief of Plastic Surgery Service of Porto Alegre Hospital.(Porto Alegre is a City in the South of Brazil)

6.) Vera Chem (Wife of Dr. Chem)

7.) Leticia Chem (daughter of Dr. Chem - International Roaming manager of OI Phone Company

8.) Deise Possamai

9.) Marcelo Parente - Chief of Staff of Rio de Janeiro Mayor.

10.) Leonardo Veloso Dardengo - Oceanographer

11.) Pedro Luiz de Orleans e Braganca - Prince - Descendant of Don Pedro II Brazilian Emperor 1822-1831

12.) Rino Zandonai - Director of the Trentini Nel Mondo Onlus Association - Italy

13.) Giambattista Lenzi - Regional Conselor of Trentino Alto Adige - Italy

14.) Gianni Zortea - Mayor, Canal San Bovo - Italy

15.) Silvio Barbato - Conductor Rio Municipal Theater.
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JimMac
post Jun 1 2009, 10:45 PM
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CBC just did an interview tonight with an Air France pilot based in Montreal. He said there is only one case of a lightning strike (that he is aware of) taking down a commercial aircraft, back in 1962 (i think he said '62), then they went into a discussion of all the improvements in bonding that have been upgraded since the NASA research of something like 700 strikes in a tests where they flew planes into thunder clouds to gather test results. He also made the statement: ' we know that, turbulence does not bring down aircraft.' and went on to talk about the odds of lightning strike causing a problem, saying it was in the millions to one based on flight numbers world over and the historical data (i.e. millions of flights) Then he said that there is the existing thought that a lightning strike might have caused a short circuit, resulting in an onboard fire. He said they have discarded terrorism. (i heard that and thought it was a strange statement, 'discarded'. Maybe he forgot to insert the word 'not' discarded. They discussed the fact that the cabin lost pressure, 'which raises all kinds of questions' .

Listening to the commentator, our CBC's Peter Mansbridge, and the A.F. pilot Reading between the lines, their exchanged looks back and forth, you could easily tell they were thinking the unthinkable, but would not say the words, 'Who was on that plane?"

This the worst calamity in the history of Air France. A sad day for so many families; one Canadian family, the man 49 years old, a Coke executive living with his wife and two sons in France.
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bill
post Jun 2 2009, 08:03 AM
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Airbus sucks

they still don't know why 587 crashed in 2001

structural failure of the verticle stabilizer at well below Va !?!?

they never grounded the airbus fleet then and I don't think they will now

I rode back from Baltimore last Friday next to a USAir Airbus 320 pilot

I asked him about 587

He refused to talk about it

saying only that he thought there was big money involved in making the 'problem' go away and that the inspections of the Airbus fleet was not what it should be



if it isn't Boeing I'm not going
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Omega892R09
post Jun 2 2009, 12:17 PM
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QUOTE (bill @ May 31 2009, 10:03 AM) *
Airbus sucks


saying only that he thought there was big money involved in making the 'problem' go away and that the inspections of the Airbus fleet was not what it should be



if it isn't Boeing I'm not going

And Boeing never tried to keep the lid on anything eh?
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SKYDRIFTER
post Jun 2 2009, 02:04 PM
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My prayers to the family.

This may turn out to be one hell of a nightmare. Under international treaties, there is a small upper-limit on financial liability to the surviving relatives.

The NYC Airbush crash had three major structural failures, the vertical stabilizer & two engines - which broke off at the wing-to-pylon point, not at the engine mount attachment points. The FAA certification requirement is that no one failure can lead to catastrophic failure.

All of which defy FAA certifications standards, which foreign aircraft are also bound by.

1. Was the structural weakness of the vertical fin mounting ever addressed, as part CFR Part 25 requires that the vertical fin be (safely) resistant to a radical rudder movement.

2. The particular Airbus series had a history of rudder actuator failures, producing random motion.

3. Was the engine break-away (at the wing-to-pylon attachment point) ever investigated - and/or redesigned or otherwise repaired.

4. Most importantly, is the entire Airbus fleet equally vulnerable? (And Airbus got the U.S. Tanker contract?)

5. The FAA being so famous as a sales agent for the corporate world, what else don't we know?

Stand by, this crash is destined to be fascinating.
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bill
post Jun 2 2009, 04:23 PM
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QUOTE (Omega892R09 @ Jun 2 2009, 11:17 AM) *
And Boeing never tried to keep the lid on anything eh?




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bill
post Jun 2 2009, 04:27 PM
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Sailors 'spot debris in Atlantic'


http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story...12335%2C00.html
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p.w.rapp
post Jun 3 2009, 08:45 AM
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@Bill
Boeing vs Airbus...
regrettable chauvinism tongue.gif

The Captains of 2 German aircrafts on the same route (one 30min earlier was actually a Boeing wink.gif ) said, they had no turbulence.
This was also confirmed by the World Meterological Organization (WMO).
http://genevalunch.com/tag/af-477/

The debris-field in the Atlantic is reported to extend to several miles.
Example
QUOTE
Brazil's military found a three-mile trail of airplane seats, oil and other debris from Air France Flight 447 in the Atlantic Ocean

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124394381881876429.html

In order to spread debris of an object flying 7 miles high over a distance of 3 miles, you have to start spreading the debris very high up, right?

Any idea how this could have been achieved?
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JimMac
post Jun 3 2009, 09:10 AM
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QUOTE (p.w.rapp @ Jun 3 2009, 08:45 AM) *
@Bill
Boeing vs Airbus...
regrettable chauvinism tongue.gif

The Captains of 2 German aircrafts on the same route (one 30min earlier was actually a Boeing wink.gif ) said, they had no turbulence.
This was also confirmed by the World Meterological Organization (WMO).
http://genevalunch.com/tag/af-477/

The debris-field in the Atlantic is reported to extend to several miles.
Example

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124394381881876429.html

In order to spread debris of an object flying 7 miles high over a distance of 3 miles, you have to start spreading the debris very high up, right?

Any idea how this could have been achieved?


That is an excellent point.

Furthermore, have you noticed in the last 48 hrs, several incidents of so-called 'terrorism' has been occuring? I could list at least three that hit the news wires...
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dMz
post Jun 3 2009, 09:26 AM
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QUOTE (Omega892R09 @ Jun 2 2009, 10:17 AM) *
And Boeing never tried to keep the lid on anything eh?

Out of respect for the "as-'undetermined'?", I left out the laughing emoticons this time O892 (but I am laughing WITH YOU on that statement). Speaking from experience working with MIL-STD Boeing engineers, I can tell you that YES! they can "keep a secret." "Our people" were considerably better at it than theirs, and they recruited "ours" heavily when we met (which was against OUR corporate policy, of course). whistle.gif

P.S. On the Airbus thing- there was a very new Airbus that had an incredibly "solid" feel to it IMHO (from the pax side, although I considered thrust, wing flex, turbulence, much more than "most" might on an average flight...) I don't recall the number on that Airbus, but it was FAST, SOLID, and superior to the Boeing competition IMHO (and I am a natural U.S. citizen who spent considerable time flying). Sorry, bill. wink.gif
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Omega892R09
post Jun 3 2009, 09:42 AM
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QUOTE (dMole @ Jun 1 2009, 12:26 PM) *
P.S. On the Airbus thing- there was a very new Airbus that had an incredibly "solid" feel to it IMHO (from the pax side, although I considered thrust, wing flex, turbulence, much more than "most" might on an average flight...) I don't recall the number on that Airbus, but it was FAST, SOLID, and superior to the Boeing competition IMHO (and I am a natural U.S. citizen who spent considerable time flying). Sorry, bill. wink.gif

And was not the survival of passengers in the Hudson earlier in this year partly attributed to the strength of the aircraft as particularly compared with a Boeing of similar configuration? The pilot and crew also did a good job.

This one, which I think has a thread around here:
US Airways Airbus regional jet splashes into Hudson River

Brazil. Terror plots. Hum!

Was not Charles de Menezes, shot by armed state thugs, a probable as a contract electrician for work on the London Underground pre' 7/7?

Power surges and then explosions seeming to come from under the trains.

Now who was on that plane?

Fantasy. Sheer fantasy of course. whistle.gif

Lot a whistle.gif ling going on around here of late.
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Omega892R09
post Jun 3 2009, 09:44 AM
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QUOTE (bill @ May 31 2009, 07:23 PM) *
video clip link removed

I figure that one was down to pilot error.
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