Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Was Air France Downed By Terrorism?
Experts are baffled as to what happened to the flight. CS Monitor:
...many aviation analysts are puzzled by the circumstances of the missing plane.
The plane, a twin-engine Airbus A330-200, took off from Galeão Airport at 7:30 p.m. local time with 228 people on board. It was last heard from three hours later when it radioed to say it would enter Senegalese air space within the hour, according to a statement from Aeronautica, which is in charge of Brazilian air space.
At that point, the plane was flying "normally" at 35,000 feet. About a half hour later, Air France says the plane sent out an automatic message reporting "a loss of pressure and failures of the electrical system." Then silence.
The Airbus A330 has an excellent safety record – in fact, it's never been involved in a fatal commercial crash. One reason is the way it's designed: It has multiple redundancies that kick in if there's an electrical or any other kind of failure. And with authorities in France ruling out terrorism or a hijacking, many analysts say they are baffled by the plane's disappearance.
"These planes go through turbulence all the time and they do get hit by lightning – while it may startle the passengers it's not something that should create a problem that would cause a jet to stop flying. They're designed so things can fail and the plane can continue to fly without any problems," says Clint Oster, an aviation analyst at Indiana University in Bloomington.
The first line of defense is the outer skin of a commercial jet which is made of aluminum or a composite with interwoven conductive fibers which provides a path for the electric current. When lightning strikes the skin of an airplane, it travels along the outside of the aircraft and discharges back into the air. Passengers on board might not even know the aircraft was struck unless they happen to see the flash or hear the thunder through the roar of the engines. Pilots may notice a short flickering of lights or jumps in their instrumentation, but it should never cause a failure.We can thank NASA for this.
NASA conducted several tests in the 1980’s in which pilots deliberately flew an F106B jet into thunderstorms to gather data and see what affects lightning would have on the aircraft. Despite being struck over 700 times on 1400 missions the aircraft never sustained any damage. However, it was concluded based on the data collected that on board instrumentation could be affected by small electrical charges caused by the lightning.
It is estimated that on average, each airplane in the U.S. commercial fleet is struck lightly by lightning more than once each year.
Although passengers and crew may see a flash and hear a loud noise if lightning strikes their plane, nothing serious should happen because of the careful lightning protection engineered into the aircraft and its sensitive components.
Every circuit and piece of equipment that is critical or essential to the safe flight and landing of an aircraft must be verified by the manufacturers to be protected against lightning in accordance with regulations set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or a similar authority in the country of the aircraft's origin.
The other main area of concern is the fuel system, where even a tiny spark could be disastrous. Engineers thus take extreme precautions to ensure that lightning currents cannot cause sparks in any portion of an aircraft's fuel system.
Coming from islamic France, I doubt that very much.
Unless if the terrorrists are those crazy Baptists again. You know how they have the habit of bringing down planes, and flying them against innocent buildinds, right Dave?
The timing is all too suspect. If terrorism brought the flight down, that info would look bad since Dear Leader is over in Egypt appeasing terrorists. So that may be the reason for the conflicting stories.
I dunno. What do you think?
I am pretty much used to communists distorting history and hiding the facts in order to advance their cause.
Resuming, I wouldn't be surprised if after the Hollywood trip Apeaser-in-Chief makes to the child molesting lands, everyone "suddenly" remember that there had been a bomb threat.
Let's wait for more data.
Agreed. Although a morning news report on (I think it was ABC news) said considering the spread of airplane wreckage distributed over the ocean may indicate the plane blew up in the air before it crashed, thus adding some legitimacy to the theory that it was blown up (a bomb?) while in the air.
Time will tell, or it will be a cover up just like TWA 800 was covered up during the Clinton Admin.
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