Air France Flight 447

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Air France Flight 447
F-GZCP, the aircraft lost in the accident, in Charles de Gaulle Airport two years before the crash.
Date1 June 2009
SummaryEntered high-altitude stall, impacted ocean
SiteAtlantic Ocean
near waypoint TASIL[1][page needed]

3°03′57″N 30°33′42″W / 3.06583°N 30.56167°W / 3.06583; -30.56167Coordinates: 3°03′57″N 30°33′42″W / 3.06583°N 30.56167°W / 3.06583; -30.56167
Aircraft typeAirbus A330-203
OperatorAir France
IATA flight No.AF447
ICAO flight No.AFR447
Call signAIRFRANS 447
Flight originRio de Janeiro–Galeão Airport
DestinationParis-Charles de Gaulle Airport

Air France Flight 447 (AF447/AFR447)[a] was a scheduled international passenger flight from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Paris, France, which crashed on 1 June 2009. The Airbus A330, operated by Air France, stalled and did not recover, eventually crashing into the Atlantic Ocean at 02:14 UTC, killing all 228 passengers and crew on board.

The Brazilian Navy removed the first major wreckage and two bodies from the sea within five days of the accident, but the initial investigation by France's Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile (BEA) was hampered because the aircraft's flight recorders were not recovered from the ocean floor until May 2011, nearly two years later.

The BEA's final report, released at a news conference on 5 July 2012, concluded that the aircraft crashed after temporary inconsistencies between the airspeed measurements – likely due to the aircraft's pitot tubes being obstructed by ice crystals – caused the autopilot to disconnect, after which the crew reacted incorrectly and ultimately caused the aircraft to enter an aerodynamic stall, from which it did not recover.[2][3](p7)[4] The accident is the deadliest in the history of Air France, as well as the deadliest aviation accident involving the Airbus A330.


The aircraft involved in the accident was an Airbus A330-203, with manufacturer serial number 660, registered as F-GZCP. Its first flight was on 25 February 2005, and was delivered 2 months later to the airline. At the time of the crash, it was Air France's latest A330.[5][6] The aircraft was powered by two General Electric CF6-80E1A3 engines with a maximum thrust of 68,530/60,400 lb (take-off/max continuous),[7] giving it a cruise speed range of Mach 0.82–0.86 (871–913 km/h, 470–493 knots, 540–566 mph), at 35,000 ft (10.7 km altitude) and a range of 12,500 km (6750 nmi, 7760 statute miles). On 17 August 2006, this A330 was involved in a ground collision with Airbus A321-211 F-GTAM, at Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris. F-GTAM was substantially damaged while F-GZCP suffered only minor damage.[8] The aircraft underwent a major overhaul on 16 April 2009 and at the time of the accident had accumulated about 18,870 flying hours.[9]

Passengers and crew[edit]

Nationality Passengers Crew Total
 Argentina[10] 1 0 1
 Austria 1 0 1
 Belgium 1 0 1
 Brazil 58 1 59
 Canada 1 0 1
 China 9 0 9
 Croatia 1 0 1
 Denmark 1 0 1
 Estonia 1 0 1
 France 61 11 72
 Gabon 1 0 1
 Germany 26 0 26
 Hungary 4 0 4
 Iceland 1 0 1
 Ireland[11] 3 0 3
 Italy 9 0 9
 Lebanon 3 0 3
 Morocco 3 0 3
 Netherlands[12] 1 0 1
 Norway[13] 3 0 3
 Philippines 1 0 1
 Poland 2 0 2
 Romania [14] 1 0 1
 Russia 1 0 1
 Slovakia 3 0 3
 South Africa 1 0 1
 South Korea 1 0 1
 Spain[15] 2 0 2
 Sweden[16] 1 (2) 0 1 (2)
  Switzerland 6 0 6
 Turkey[17] 1 0 1
 United Kingdom 5 0 5
 United States 2 0 2
Total (33 nationalities) 216 12 228
Nationalities shown are as stated by Air France on 1 June 2009.[18]
Attributing nationality was complicated by the holding of multiple citizenship
by several passengers.
Passengers who had citizenship in one country but were attributed to
another country by Air France are indicated with parentheses ().

The aircraft was carrying 216 passengers, three aircrew and nine cabin crew in two cabins of service.[19][20][21] Among the 216 passengers were 126 men, 82 women and eight children (including one infant).[22]

There were three pilots in the aircrew:[23]

  • The captain, 58-year-old Marc Dubois (PNF-Pilot Not Flying)[24] had joined Air France (at the time, Air Inter) in February 1988 and had 10,988 flying hours, of which 6,258 were as captain, including 1,700 hours on the Airbus A330; had carried out 16 rotations in the South America sector since he arrived in the A330/A340 division in 2007.
  • The first officer, co-pilot in left seat, 37-year-old David Robert (PNF-Pilot Not Flying) had joined Air France in July 1998 and had 6,547 flying hours, of which 4,479 hours were on the Airbus A330; had carried out 39 rotations in the South America sector since he arrived in the A330/A340 division in 2002. Robert had graduated from École Nationale de l'Aviation Civile (ENAC), one of the elite Grandes Écoles, and had transitioned from a pilot to a management job at the airline's operations center. He served as a pilot on this flight in order to maintain his flying credentials.[25]
  • The first officer, co-pilot in right seat, 32-year-old Pierre-Cédric Bonin (PF-Pilot Flying) had joined Air France in October 2003 and had 2,936 flight hours, of which 807 hours were on the Airbus A330; had carried out five rotations in the South America sector since arriving in the A330/A340 division in 2008.

Of the 12 crew members (including aircrew and cabin crew), 11 were French and one was Brazilian.[26]

The majority of passengers were French, Brazilian, or German citizens.[27][28] The nationalities, as released by Air France, are shown in the adjacent table.[18] The passengers included business and holiday travelers.[29]

Air France had gathered approximately 60 to 70 relatives and friends who arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport to pick up arriving passengers. Many of the passengers on Flight 447 were connecting to other destinations worldwide, so other parties anticipating the arrival of passengers were instead to appear at various other airports that were the passengers' final destinations.[30]

On 20 June 2009, Air France announced that each victim's family would be paid roughly €17,500 in initial compensation.[31]

Notable passengers[edit]


Rio de Janeiro
22:03, 31 May
Fernando de Noronha
01:33, 1 June
Last known position
N2.98 W30.59
02:10, 1 June
Expected at 09:10,
1 June
Approximate flight path of AF 447. The solid red line shows the actual route. The dashed line indicates the planned route beginning with the position of the last transmission heard. All times are UTC.

The aircraft departed from Rio de Janeiro–Galeão International Airport on 31 May 2009 at 19:29 local time (22:29 UTC),[24] with a scheduled arrival at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport at 11:03 (09:03 UTC) the following day, after an estimated flight time of 10:34.[40] The last voice contact with the aircraft was at 01:35 UTC, 3 hours and 6 minutes after the 22:29 UTC departure, when it reported that it had passed waypoint INTOL (1°21′39″S 32°49′53″W / 1.36083°S 32.83139°W / -1.36083; -32.83139), located 565 km (351 mi) off Natal, on Brazil's north-eastern coast.[41] The aircraft left Brazilian Atlantic radar surveillance at 01:49 UTC, and entered a communication dead zone.[42]

The Airbus A330 is designed to be flown by a crew of two pilots. Because the 13-hour "duty time" (flight duration, plus pre-flight preparation) for the Rio-Paris route exceeds the maximum 10 hours permitted by Air France's procedures for pilots to operate an aircraft without a break, Flight 447 was crewed by three pilots: a captain and two first officers.[43] With three pilots on board, each of them can take a rest during the flight, and for this purpose the A330 has a rest cabin, situated just behind the cockpit.[44]

In accordance with common practice, captain Dubois had sent one of the co-pilots for the first rest period with the intention of taking the second break himself.[45] At 01:55 UTC, he woke first officer Robert and said: "... he's going to take my place". After having attended the briefing between the two co-pilots, the captain left the cockpit to rest at 02:01:46 UTC. At 02:06 UTC, the pilot warned the cabin crew that they were about to enter an area of turbulence. Probably two to three minutes after this the aircraft encountered icing conditions (the cockpit voice recorder recorded what sounded like hail or graupel on the outside of the aircraft, and the engine anti-ice system came on) and ice crystals started to accumulate in the pitot tubes (pitot tubes measure how fast the aircraft is moving through the air).[46] Bonin turned the aircraft slightly to the left and decreased its speed from Mach 0.82 to Mach 0.8 (the recommended "turbulence penetration speed").[47]

The aircraft's vertical stabilizer after its recovery from the ocean

At 02:10:05 UTC the autopilot disengaged because the blocked pitot tubes were no longer providing valid airspeed information, and the aircraft transitioned from normal law to alternate law 2.[48] The engines' auto-thrust systems disengaged three seconds later. Without the auto-pilot, the aircraft started to roll to the right due to turbulence, and Bonin reacted by deflecting his side-stick to the left. One consequence of the change to alternate law was an increase in the aircraft's sensitivity to roll, and the pilot's input over-corrected for the initial upset. During the next 30 seconds, the aircraft rolled alternately left and right as Bonin adjusted to the altered handling characteristics of his aircraft.[49] At the same time he abruptly pulled back on his side-stick, raising the nose. This action was unnecessary and excessive under the circumstances.[50] The aircraft's stall warning sounded briefly twice due to the angle of attack tolerance being exceeded, and the aircraft's recorded airspeed dropped sharply from 274 knots (507 km/h; 315 mph) to 52 knots (96 km/h; 60 mph). The aircraft's angle of attack increased, and the aircraft started to climb above its cruising level of FL350. By the time the pilot had control of the aircraft's roll, it was climbing at nearly 7,000 feet per minute (36 m/s)[49] (for comparison, typical normal rate of climb for modern airliners is only 2,000–3,000 feet per minute (10–15 m/s) at sea level, and much smaller at high altitude).

At 02:10:34 UTC, after displaying incorrectly for half a minute, the left-side instruments recorded a sharp rise in airspeed to 223 knots (413 km/h; 257 mph), as did the Integrated Standby Instrument System (ISIS) 33 seconds later[51] (the right-side instruments are not recorded by the recorder). The icing event had lasted for just over a minute.[52][53][54] The pilot continued making nose-up inputs. The trimmable horizontal stabilizer (THS) moved from three to 13 degrees nose-up in about one minute, and remained in that latter position until the end of the flight.

At 02:11:10 UTC, the aircraft had climbed to its maximum altitude of around 38,000 feet (12,000 m). There, its angle of attack was 16 degrees, and the engine thrust levers were in the fully forward Takeoff/Go-around detent (TOGA). As the aircraft began to descend, the angle of attack rapidly increased toward 30 degrees. A second consequence of the reconfiguration into alternate law was that stall protection no longer operated. Whereas in normal law, the aircraft's flight management computers would have acted to prevent such a high angle of attack, in alternate law this did not happen. (Indeed, the switch into alternate law occurred precisely because the computers, denied reliable speed data, were no longer able to provide such protection – nor many of the other functions expected of normal law).[55] The wings lost lift and the aircraft stalled.[3][page needed]

In response to the stall, first officer Robert took over control and pushed his control stick forward to lower the nose and recover from the stall; as Bonin was still pulling his control stick back, the inputs cancelled each other out.

At 02:11:40 UTC, captain Dubois re-entered the cockpit after being summoned by first officer Robert. Noticing the various alarms going off, he urgently asked the two crew members: "What the hell are you doing?". The angle of attack had then reached 40 degrees, and the aircraft had descended to 35,000 feet (11,000 m) with the engines running at almost 100% N1 (the rotational speed of the front intake fan, which delivers most of a turbofan engine's thrust). The stall warnings stopped, as all airspeed indications were now considered invalid by the aircraft's computer due to the high angle of attack.[56] The aircraft had its nose above the horizon but was descending steeply.

Roughly 20 seconds later, at 02:12 UTC, the pilot decreased the aircraft's pitch slightly, airspeed indications became valid, and the stall warning sounded again; it then sounded intermittently for the remaining duration of the flight, but stopped when the pilot increased the aircraft's nose-up pitch. From there until the end of the flight, the angle of attack never dropped below 35 degrees. From the time the aircraft stalled until its impact with the ocean, the engines were primarily developing either 100 percent N1 or TOGA thrust, though they were briefly spooled down to about 50 percent N1 on two occasions. The engines always responded to commands and were developing in excess of 100 percent N1 when the flight ended. First officer Robert responded with: "We've lost all control of the aeroplane, we don't understand anything, we've tried everything" and then: "Climb climb climb climb". When Bonin replied: "But I've been at maximum nose-up for a while!" captain Dubois realized Bonin was causing the stall, causing him to shout: "No no no, don't climb!"

The aircraft was now too low to recover from the stall. Shortly thereafter, the Ground proximity warning system sounded an alarm, warning the crew about the aircraft's now imminent crash with the ocean. Bonin, realizing the situation was now hopeless, said: "Fuck! We're going to crash! This can't be true. But what's happening?" The last CVR recording was captain Dubois saying: "[ten] degrees pitch attitude."

The flight data recordings stopped at 02:14:28 UTC, or three hours 45 minutes after takeoff. At that point, the aircraft's ground speed was 107 knots (198 km/h; 123 mph), and it was descending at 10,912 feet per minute (55.43 m/s) (108 knots (200 km/h; 124 mph) of vertical speed). Its pitch was 16.2 degrees (nose up), with a roll angle of 5.3 degrees left. During its descent, the aircraft had turned more than 180 degrees to the right to a compass heading of 270 degrees. The aircraft remained stalled during its entire 3 minute 30 second descent from 38,000 feet (12,000 m).[57] The aircraft crashed belly-first into the ocean at a speed of 152 knots (282 km/h; 175 mph), comprising vertical and horizontal components of 108 knots (200 km/h; 124 mph) and 107 knots (198 km/h; 123 mph) respectively. The Airbus was destroyed on impact; all 228 passengers and crew on board were killed instantly by extreme trauma.[58]

Automated messages[edit]

Air France's A330s are equipped with a communications system, Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), which enables them to transmit data messages via VHF or satellite.[b] ACARS can be used by the aircraft's on-board computers to send messages automatically, and F-GZCP transmitted a position report approximately every ten minutes. Its final position report at 02:10:34 gave the aircraft's coordinates as 2°59′N 30°35′W / 2.98°N 30.59°W / 2.98; -30.59.[c]

In addition to the routine position reports, F-GZCP's Centralized Maintenance System sent a series of messages via ACARS in the minutes immediately prior to its disappearance.[59][60][61][dead link] These messages, sent to prepare maintenance workers on the ground prior to arrival, were transmitted between 02:10 UTC and 02:15 UTC,[62] and consisted of five failure reports and nineteen warnings.[63][64][65][66] Until the black box flight recorders were recovered two years later, these messages represented the only recorded data available to the investigators. While they offered insights into the nature of the incident, with these alone a full accounting of what had happened to Flight 447 remained elusive.[citation needed]

Recife, 8 June 2009; Captain Tabosa shows the map with the location of the remains of the Airbus A330-203.

Among the ACARS transmissions at 02:10 is one message that indicates a fault in the pitot-static system.[62][66] Bruno Sinatti, president of Alter, Air France's third-biggest pilots' union, stated that "Piloting becomes very difficult, near impossible, without reliable speed data."[67] The 12 warning messages with the same time code indicate that the autopilot and auto-thrust system had disengaged, that the TCAS was in fault mode, and flight mode went from 'normal law' to 'alternate law.'[68][69]

The remainder of the messages occurred from 02:11 UTC to 02:14 UTC, containing a fault message for an Air Data Inertial Reference Unit (ADIRU) and the Integrated Standby Instrument System (ISIS).[69][70] At 02:12 UTC, a warning message NAV ADR DISAGREE indicated that there was a disagreement between the three independent air data systems.[d] At 02:13 UTC, a fault message for the flight management guidance and envelope computer was sent.[71] One of the two final messages transmitted at 02:14 UTC was a warning referring to the air data reference system, the other ADVISORY was a "cabin vertical speed warning", indicating that the aircraft was descending at a high rate.[59][72][73][74]

Weather conditions[edit]

Weather conditions in the mid-Atlantic were normal for the time of year, and included a broad band of thunderstorms along the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ).[75] A meteorological analysis of the area surrounding the flight path showed a mesoscale convective system extending to an altitude of around 50,000 feet (15,000 m) above the Atlantic Ocean before Flight 447 disappeared.[76][77][78][79] During its final hour, Flight 447 encountered areas of light turbulence.[80]

Commercial air transport crews routinely encounter this type of storm in this area.[81] With the aircraft under the control of its automated systems, one of the main tasks occupying the cockpit crew was that of monitoring the progress of the flight through the ITCZ, using the on-board weather radar to avoid areas of significant turbulence.[82] Twelve other flights shared more or less the same route that Flight 447 was using at the time of the accident.[83][84]

Search and recovery[edit]

Brigadier Cardoso speaks to the media about the search for the crashed aircraft.

Surface search[edit]

Flight 447 was due to pass from Brazilian airspace into Senegalese airspace at approximately 02:20 (UTC) on 1 June, and then into Cape Verdean airspace at approximately 03:45. Shortly after 04:00, when the flight had failed to contact air traffic control in either Senegal or Cape Verde, the controller in Senegal attempted to contact the aircraft. When he received no response, he asked the crew of another Air France flight (AF459) to try to contact AF447; this also met with no success.[85]

After further attempts to contact Flight 447 were unsuccessful, an aerial search for the missing Airbus commenced from both sides of the Atlantic. Brazilian Air Force aircraft from the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha and French reconnaissance aircraft based in Dakar, Senegal led the search.[22] They were assisted by a Casa 235 maritime patrol aircraft from Spain[86] and a US Navy Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion anti-submarine warfare and maritime patrol aircraft.[87][88]

By early afternoon on 1 June, officials with Air France and the French government had already presumed the aircraft had been lost with no survivors. An Air France spokesperson told L'Express that there was "no hope for survivors",[89][90] and French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced there was almost no chance anyone survived.[91] On 2 June at 15:20 (UTC), a Brazilian Air Force Embraer R-99A spotted wreckage and signs of oil, possibly jet fuel, strewn along a 5 km (3 mi) band 650 km (400 mi) north-east of Fernando de Noronha Island, near the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago. The sighted wreckage included an aircraft seat, an orange buoy, a barrel, and "white pieces and electrical conductors".[92][93] Later that day, after meeting with relatives of the Brazilians on the aircraft, Brazilian Defence Minister Nelson Jobim announced that the Air Force believed the wreckage was from Flight 447.[94][95] Brazilian vice-president José Alencar (acting as president since Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was out of the country) declared three days of official mourning.[95][96]

Lt. Col. Henry Munhoz describes the recovery of Airbus A330 wreckage from the ocean.

Also on 2 June, two French Navy vessels, the frigate Ventôse and helicopter-carrier Mistral, were en route to the suspected crash site. Other ships sent to the site included the French research vessel Pourquoi Pas?, equipped with two mini-submarines able to descend to 6,000 m (20,000 ft),[97][98] since the area of the Atlantic in which the aircraft went down was thought to be as deep as 4,700 m (15,400 ft).[99][100]

On 3 June, the first Brazilian Navy ship, the patrol boat Grajaú, reached the area in which the first debris was spotted. The Brazilian Navy sent a total of five ships to the debris site; the frigate Constituição and the corvette Caboclo were scheduled to reach the area on 4 June, the frigate Bosísio on 6 June and the replenishment oiler Almirante Gastão Motta on 7 June.[101][102]

Early on 6 June 2009, five days after Flight 447 disappeared, two male bodies, the first to be recovered from the crashed aircraft, were brought on board the Caboclo[103] along with a seat, a nylon backpack containing a computer and vaccination card, and a leather briefcase containing a boarding pass for the Air France flight. At this point, and with this evidence, investigators confirmed the plane had crashed killing everyone on board.[104][105] The following day, 7 June, search crews recovered the Airbus's vertical stabilizer, the first major piece of wreckage to be discovered. Pictures of this part being lifted onto the Constituição became a poignant symbol of the loss of the Air France craft.[1][page needed][106]

The bodies found in the ocean being transferred to the morgue in Brazil for autopsy and identification.

The search and recovery effort reached its peak over the next week or so, as the number of personnel mobilized by the Brazilian military exceeded 1100.[e][107] Fifteen aircraft (including two helicopters) were devoted to the search mission.[108] The Brazilian Air Force Embraer R99 flew for more than 100 hours, and electronically scanned more than a million square kilometers of ocean.[109] Other aircraft involved in the search scanned, visually, 320,000 square kilometres of ocean and were used to direct Navy vessels involved in the recovery effort.[107]

By 16 June 2009, 50 bodies had been recovered from a wide area of the ocean.[110][111][112] They were transported to shore, first by the frigates Constituição and Bosísio to the islands of Fernando de Noronha and thereafter by air to Recife for identification.[112][113][114][115] Pathologists identified all 50 bodies recovered from the crash site, including that of the captain, by using dental records and fingerprints.[116][117][118] The search teams logged the time and location of every find in a database which, by the time the search ended on 26 June, catalogued 640 items of debris from the aircraft.[110]

The BEA documented the timeline of discoveries in its first interim report.[119][120][121]

Colour bathymetry relief map of the part of Atlantic Ocean into which Air France Flight 447 crashed. Image shows two different data sets with different resolution.[f]

Underwater search[edit]

On 5 June 2009, the French nuclear submarine Émeraude was dispatched to the crash zone, arriving in the area on the 10th. Its mission was to assist in the search for the missing flight recorders or "black-boxes" that might be located at great depth.[122] The submarine would use its sonar to listen for the ultrasonic signal emitted by the black boxes' "pingers",[123] covering 13 sq mi (34 km2) a day. The Émeraude was to work with the mini-sub Nautile, which can descend to the ocean floor. The French submarines would be aided by two U.S. underwater audio devices capable of picking up signals at a depth of 20,000 ft (6,100 m).[124]

Following the end of the search for bodies, the search continued for the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder, the so-called "black boxes". French Bureau d'Enquetes et d'Analyses (BEA) chief Paul-Louis Arslanian said that he was not optimistic about finding them since they might have been under as much as 3,000 m (9,800 ft) of water, and the terrain under this portion of the ocean was very rugged.[125] Investigators were hoping to find the aircraft's lower aft section, since that was where the recorders were located.[126] Although France had never recovered a flight recorder from such depths,[125] there was precedent for such an operation: in 1988, an independent contractor recovered the cockpit voice recorder of South African Airways Flight 295 from a depth of 4,900 m (16,100 ft) in a search area of between 80 and 250 square nautical miles (270 and 860 km2).[127][128] The Air France flight recorders were fitted with water-activated acoustic underwater locator beacons or "pingers", which should have remained active for at least 30 days, giving searchers that much time to locate the origin of the signals.[129]

France requested two "towed pinger locator hydrophones" from the United States Navy to help find the aircraft.[97] The French nuclear submarine and two French-contracted ships (the Fairmount Expedition and the Fairmount Glacier, towing the U.S. Navy listening devices) trawled a search area with a radius of 80 kilometres (50 mi), centred on the aircraft's last known position.[130][131] By mid-July, recovery of the black boxes still had not been announced. The finite beacon battery life meant that, as the time since the crash elapsed, the likelihood of location diminished.[132] In late July, the search for the black boxes entered its second phase, with a French research vessel resuming the search using a towed sonar array.[133] The second phase of the search ended on 20 August without finding wreckage within a 75 km (47 mi) radius of the last position, as reported at 02:10.[134]

The third phase of the search for the recorders lasted from 2 April until 24 May 2010,[135][136][137] and was conducted by two ships, the Anne Candies and the Seabed Worker. The Anne Candies towed a U.S. Navy sonar array, while the Seabed Worker operated three robot submarines AUV ABYSS (a REMUS AUV type).[135][138][139][140] Air France and Airbus jointly funded the third phase of the search.[141][142] The search covered an area of 6,300 square kilometres (2,400 sq mi), mostly to the north and north-west of the aircraft's last known position.[135][139][143] The search area had been drawn up by oceanographers from France, Russia, Great Britain and the United States combining data on the location of floating bodies and wreckage, and currents in the mid-Atlantic in the days immediately after the crash.[144][145][146] A smaller area to the south-west was also searched, based on a re-analysis of sonar recordings made by Émeraude the previous year.[147][148][149] The third phase of the search ended on 24 May 2010 without any success, though the BEA says that the search 'nearly' covered the whole area drawn up by investigators.[135]

2011 search and recovery[edit]

In July 2010, the U.S.-based search consultancy Metron, Inc. had been engaged to draw up a probability map of where to focus the search, based on prior probabilities from flight data and local condition reports, combined with the results from the previous searches. The Metron team used what it described as "classic" Bayesian search methods, an approach that had previously been successful in the search for the submarine USS Scorpion and SS Central America. Phase 4 of the search operation started close to the aircraft's last known position, which was identified by the Metron study as being the most likely resting place of flight 447.[150][151]

Cable ship Île de Sein was assigned to assist in the recovery of materials from the ocean floor.

Within a week of resuming of the search operation, on 3 April 2011, a team led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution operating full ocean depth autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) owned by the Waitt Institute[not in citation given] discovered, by means of sidescan sonar, a large portion of the debris field from flight AF447.[150] Further debris and bodies, still trapped in the partly intact remains of the aircraft's fuselage, were at a depth of 3,980 metres (2,180 fathoms; 13,060 ft).[152] The debris was found lying in a relatively flat and silty area of the ocean floor (as opposed to the extremely mountainous topography originally believed to be AF447's final resting place).[citation needed] Other items found were engines, wing parts and the landing gear.[153]

The debris field was described as "quite compact", measuring 200 by 600 metres (660 by 1,970 ft) and a short distance north of where pieces of wreckage had been recovered previously, suggesting the aircraft hit the water largely intact.[154] The French Ecology and Transportation Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet stated the bodies and wreckage would be brought to the surface and taken to France for examination and identification.[155] The French government chartered the Île de Sein to recover the flight recorders from the wreckage.[156][157] An American Remora 6000 remotely operated vehicle (ROV)[g] and operations crew from Phoenix International experienced in the recovery of aircraft for the United States Navy were on board the Île de Sein.[158][159]

Île de Sein arrived at the crash site on 26 April, and during its first dive, the Remora 6000 found the flight data recorder chassis, although without the crash-survivable memory unit.[160][161] On 1 May the memory unit was found and lifted on board the Île de Sein by the ROV.[162] The aircraft's cockpit voice recorder was found on 2 May 2011, and was raised and brought on board the Île de Sein the following day.[163]

On 7 May the flight recorders, under judicial seal, were taken aboard the French Navy patrol boat La Capricieuse for transfer to the port of Cayenne. From there they were transported by air to the BEA's office in Le Bourget near Paris for data download and analysis. One engine and the avionics bay, containing onboard computers, had also been raised.[164]

By 15 May all the data from both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder had been downloaded.[165][166] The data was analysed over the following weeks, and the findings published in the third interim report at the end of July.[167] The entire download was filmed and recorded.[167]

Between 5 May and 3 June 2011, 104 bodies were recovered from the wreckage, bringing the total number of bodies found to 154. Fifty bodies had been previously recovered from the sea.[120][168][169][170] The search ended with the remaining 74 bodies still unrecovered.[171]

Investigation and safety improvements[edit]

East-west cross-section of Atlantic Ocean portion in which Air France Flight 447 was thought to have crashed, showing depth of the sea floor. The vertical scale is exaggerated by a factor of 100 relative to the horizontal.

The French authorities opened two investigations:

  • A criminal investigation for manslaughter began 5 June 2009, under the supervision of Investigating Magistrate Sylvie Zimmerman from the Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance.[172][dead link] The judge gave the investigation to the Gendarmerie nationale, which would conduct it through its aerial transportation division (Gendarmerie des transports aériens or GTA) and its forensic research institute (the "Institut de Recherche Criminelle de la Gendarmerie Nationale", FR).[173] As part of the criminal investigation, the DGSE (the external French intelligence agency) examined the names of passengers on board for any possible links to terrorist groups.[174]
In March 2011, a French judge filed preliminary manslaughter charges against Air France and Airbus over the crash.[175]
  • A technical investigation, the goal of which was to enhance the safety of future flights. As the aircraft was of French registration and crashed over international waters, this is the responsibility of the French government, under the ICAO convention. The Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile (BEA) is in charge of the investigation.[176] Representatives from Brazil, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States became involved under the provisions of ICAO Annex 13; representatives of the United States were involved since the engines of the aircraft were manufactured there, and the other representatives could supply important information. The People's Republic of China, Croatia, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Norway, South Korea, Russia, South Africa, and Switzerland appointed observers, since citizens of those countries were on board.[177]

On 5 June 2009, the BEA cautioned against premature speculation as to the cause of the crash. At that time, the investigation had established only two facts: the weather near the aircraft's planned route included significant convective cells typical of the equatorial regions; and the speeds measured by the three pitot tubes differed from each other during the last few minutes of the flight.[178]

On 2 July 2009, the BEA released an intermediate report, which described all known facts, and a summary of the visual examination of the rudder and the other parts of the aircraft that had been recovered at that time.[1][page needed] According to the BEA, this examination showed:

  • The airliner was likely to have struck the surface of the sea in a normal flight attitude, with a high rate of descent;[h][1][page needed][179]
  • There were no signs of any fires or explosions.
  • The airliner did not break up in flight. The report also stresses that the BEA had not had access to the post-mortem reports at the time of its writing.[1][page needed][180]

On 16 May 2011, Le Figaro reported that the BEA investigators had ruled out an aircraft malfunction as the cause of the crash, according to preliminary information extracted from the flight data recorder.[181] The following day, the BEA issued a press release explicitly describing the Le Figaro report as a "sensationalist publication of non-validated information". The BEA stated that no conclusions had been made, investigations were continuing, and no interim report was expected before the summer.[182] On 18 May the head of the investigation further stated no major malfunction of the aircraft had been found so far in the data from the flight data recorder, but that minor malfunctions had not been ruled out.[183]

Airspeed inconsistency[edit]

In the minutes before its disappearance, the aircraft's onboard systems sent a number of messages, via the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), indicating disagreement in the indicated airspeed (IAS) readings. A spokesperson for the BEA claimed "the airspeed of the aircraft was unclear" to the pilots[122] and, on 4 June 2009, Airbus issued an Accident Information Telex to operators of all its aircraft reminding pilots of the recommended Abnormal and Emergency Procedures to be taken in the case of unreliable airspeed indication.[184] French Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau said, "Obviously the pilots [of Flight 447] did not have the [correct] speed showing, which can lead to two bad consequences for the life of the aircraft: under-speed, which can lead to a stall, and over-speed, which can lead to the aircraft breaking up because it is approaching the speed of sound and the structure of the plane is not made for enduring such speeds".[185]

Pitot tubes[edit]

Between May 2008 and March 2009, nine incidents involving the temporary loss of airspeed indication appeared in the Air Safety Reports (ASRs) for Air France's A330/A340 fleet. All occurred in cruise between flight levels FL310 and FL380. Further, after the Flight 447 accident, Air France identified six additional incidents which had not been reported on ASRs. These were intended for maintenance Aircraft Technical Logs (ATLs) drawn up by the pilots to describe these incidents only partially, to indicate the characteristic symptoms of the incidents associated with unreliable airspeed readings.[186][187] The problems primarily occurred in 2007 on the A320 but, awaiting a recommendation from Airbus, Air France delayed installing new pitot tubes on A330/A340 and increased inspection frequencies in these aircraft.[188][189]

When it was introduced in 1994, the Airbus A330 was equipped with pitot tubes, part number 0851GR, manufactured by Goodrich Sensors and Integrated Systems. A 2001 Airworthiness Directive required these to be replaced with either a later Goodrich design, part number 0851HL, or with pitot tubes made by Thales, part number C16195AA.[190] Air France chose to equip its fleet with the Thales pitot tubes. In September 2007, Airbus recommended that Thales C16195AA pitot tubes should be replaced by Thales model C16195BA to address the problem of water ingress that had been observed.[191] Since it was not an Airworthiness Directive, the guidelines allow the operator to apply the recommendations at its discretion. Air France implemented the change on its A320 fleet where the incidents of water ingress were observed and decided to do so in its A330/340 fleet only when failures started to occur in May 2008.[192][193]

After discussing these issues with the manufacturer, Air France sought a means of reducing these incidents, and Airbus indicated that the new pitot probe designed for the A320 was not designed to prevent cruise level ice-over. In 2009, tests suggested that the new probe could improve its reliability, prompting Air France to accelerate the replacement program,[193] which started on 29 May. F-GZCP was scheduled to have its pitot tubes replaced as soon as it returned to Paris.[194] By 17 June 2009, Air France had replaced all pitot probes on its A330 type aircraft.[195]

In July 2009, Airbus issued new advice to A330 and A340 operators to exchange Thales pitot tubes for tubes from Goodrich.[196][197][198]

On 12 August 2009, Airbus issued three Mandatory Service Bulletins, requiring that all A330 and A340 aircraft be fitted with two Goodrich 0851HL pitot tubes and one Thales model C16195BA pitot (or, alternatively, three of the Goodrich pitot tubes); Thales model C16195AA pitot tubes were no longer to be used.[199][200] This requirement was incorporated into Airworthiness Directives issued by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on 31 August[199] and by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on 3 September.[201] The replacement was to be completed by 7 January 2010. According to the FAA, in its Federal Register publication, use of the Thales model has resulted in "reports of airspeed indication discrepancies while flying at high altitudes in inclement weather conditions", that "could result in reduced control of the airplane." The FAA further stated that the Thales model probe "has not yet demonstrated the same level of robustness to withstand high-altitude ice crystals as Goodrich pitot probes P/N 0851HL."

On 20 December 2010, Airbus issued a warning to roughly 100 operators of A330, A340-200 and A340-300 aircraft regarding pitot tubes, advising pilots not to re-engage the autopilot following failure of the airspeed indicators.[202][203][204] Safety recommendations issued by BEA for pitot probes design, recommended that "they must be fitted with a heating system designed to prevent any malfunctioning due to icing. Appropriate means must be provided (visual warning directly visible to the crew) to inform the crew of any non-functioning of the heating system".[205]

Findings from the flight data recorder[edit]

On 27 May 2011, the BEA released an update on its investigation describing the history of the flight as recorded by the flight data recorder. This confirmed what had previously been concluded from post-mortem examination of the bodies and debris recovered from the ocean surface: the aircraft had not broken up at altitude but had fallen into the ocean intact.[206][180] The flight recorders also revealed that the aircraft's descent into the sea was not due to mechanical failure or the aircraft being overwhelmed by the weather, but because the flight crew had raised the aircraft's nose, reducing its speed until it entered an aerodynamic stall.[57][dead link][207]

While the inconsistent airspeed data caused the disengagement of the autopilot, the reason the pilots lost control of the aircraft remains something of a mystery, in particular because pilots would normally try to lower the nose in the event of a stall.[208][209][210] Multiple sensors provide the pitch (attitude) information and there was no indication that any of them were malfunctioning.[211] One factor may be that since the A330 does not normally accept control inputs that would cause a stall, the pilots were unaware that a stall could happen when the aircraft switched to an alternate mode due to failure of the airspeed indication.[207][i]

In October 2011, a transcript of the voice recorder was leaked and published in the book Erreurs de Pilotage ("Pilot Errors") by Jean Pierre Otelli.[216] The BEA and Air France both condemned the release of this information, with Air France calling it "sensationalized and unverifiable information" that "impairs the memory of the crew and passengers who lost their lives."[217] The BEA would subsequently release its final report on the accident, and Appendix 1 contained an official cockpit voice recorder transcript that did not include groups of words deemed to have no bearing on flight.[218]

Third interim report[edit]

On 29 July 2011, the BEA released a third interim report on safety issues it found in the wake of the crash.[3] It was accompanied by two shorter documents summarizing the interim report[219] and addressing safety recommendations.[220]

The third interim report stated that some new facts had been established. In particular:

  • The pilots had not applied the unreliable-airspeed procedure.
  • The pilot-in-control pulled back on the stick, thus increasing the angle of attack and causing the aircraft to climb rapidly.
  • The pilots apparently did not notice that the aircraft had reached its maximum permissible altitude.
  • The pilots did not read out the available data (vertical velocity, altitude, etc.).
  • The stall warning sounded continuously for 54 seconds.
  • The pilots did not comment on the stall warnings and apparently did not realize that the aircraft was stalled.
  • There was some buffeting associated with the stall.
  • The stall warning deactivates by design when the angle of attack measurements are considered invalid, and this is the case when the airspeed drops below a certain limit.
  • In consequence, the stall warning came on whenever the pilot pushed forward on the stick and then stopped when he pulled back; this happened several times during the stall and this may have confused the pilots.
  • Despite the fact that they were aware that altitude was declining rapidly, the pilots were unable to determine which instruments to trust: it may have appeared to them that all values were incoherent.[3][page needed]

The BEA assembled a human factors working group to analyze the crew's actions and reactions during the final stages of the flight.[221]

A brief bulletin by Air France indicated that "the misleading stopping and starting of the stall warning alarm, contradicting the actual state of the aircraft, greatly contributed to the crew's difficulty in analyzing the situation."[222][223]

Building 153, the head office of the Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile (BEA) at Le Bourget Airport, where the flight recorders were analysed

Final report[edit]

On 5 July 2012, the BEA released its final report on the accident. This confirmed the findings of the preliminary reports and provided additional details and recommendations to improve safety. According to the final report,[224] the accident resulted from the following succession of major events:

  • temporary inconsistency between the measured speeds, likely as a result of the obstruction of the pitot tubes by ice crystals, causing autopilot disconnection and reconfiguration to alternate law;
  • the crew made inappropriate control inputs that destabilized the flight path;
  • the crew failed to follow appropriate procedure for loss of displayed airspeed information;
  • the crew were late in identifying and correcting the deviation from the flight path;
  • the crew lacked understanding of the approach to stall;
  • the crew failed to recognize the aircraft had stalled and consequently did not make inputs that would have made it possible to recover from the stall.[215]

These events resulted from the following major factors in combination:[224]

  • feedback mechanisms on the part of those involved made it impossible to identify and remedy the repeated non-application of the procedure for inconsistent airspeed, and to ensure that crews were trained in icing of the pitot probes and its consequences;
  • the crew lacked practical training in manually handling the aircraft both at high altitude and in the event of anomalies of speed indication;
  • the two co-pilots' task sharing was weakened both by incomprehension of the situation at the time of autopilot disconnection, and by poor management of the "startle effect", leaving them in an emotionally charged situation;
  • the cockpit lacked a clear display of the inconsistencies in airspeed readings identified by the flight computers;
  • the crew did not respond to the stall warning, whether due to a failure to identify the aural warning, to the transience of the stall warnings that could have been considered spurious, to the absence of any visual information that could confirm that the aircraft was approaching stall after losing the characteristic speeds, to confusing stall-related buffet for overspeed-related buffet, to the indications by the Flight Director that might have confirmed the crew's mistaken view of their actions, or to difficulty in identifying and understanding the implications of the switch to alternate law, which does not protect the angle of attack.

Independent analyses[edit]

Before and after the publication of the final report by the BEA in July 2012, there were many independent analyses and expert opinions published in the media about the cause of the accident.

Significance of the accident[edit]

In May 2011, Wil S. Hylton of The New York Times commented that the crash "was easy to bend into myth" because "no other passenger jet in modern history had disappeared so completely – without a Mayday call or a witness or even a trace on radar." Hylton explained that the A330 "was considered to be among the safest" of the passenger aircraft. Hylton added that when "Flight 447 seemed to disappear from the sky, it was tempting to deliver a tidy narrative about the hubris of building a self-flying aircraft, Icarus falling from the sky. Or maybe Flight 447 was the Titanic, an uncrashable ship at the bottom of the sea."[168] Dr. Guy Gratton, an aviation expert from the Flight Safety Laboratory at Brunel University, said, "This is an air accident the likes of which we haven't seen before. Half the accident investigators in the Western world – and in Russia too – are waiting for these results. This has been the biggest investigation since Lockerbie. Put bluntly, big passenger planes do not just fall out of the sky."[225]

Angle-of-attack indication[edit]

In a July 2011 article in Aviation Week, Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger was quoted as saying the crash was a "seminal accident" and suggested that pilots would be able to better handle upsets of this type if they had an indication of the wing's angle of attack (AoA).[226] By contrast, aviation author Captain Bill Palmer has expressed doubts that an angle-of-attack indicator would have saved AF447, writing: "as the PF seemed to be ignoring the more fundamental indicators of pitch and attitude, along with numerous stall warnings, one could question what difference a rarely used AoA gauge would have made".[227]

Following its investigation, the BEA recommended that EASA and the FAA should consider making it mandatory to have an angle-of-attack indicator on the instrument panel.[228][needs update] In 2014, the FAA streamlined requirements for AoA indicators for general aviation[229][230] without affecting requirements for commercial aviation.

Human factors and computer interaction[edit]

On 6 December 2011, Popular Mechanics magazine published an English translation of the analysis of the transcript of the cockpit voice recorder controversially leaked in the book Erreurs de Pilotage.[216] It highlighted the role of the co-pilot in stalling the aircraft while the flight computer was under alternate law at high altitude. This "simple but persistent" human error was given as the most direct cause of this accident.[207] In the commentary accompanying the article, they also noted that the failure to follow principles of crew resource management was a contributory factor.

The final BEA report points to the Human Computer Interface (HCI) of the Airbus as a possible factor contributing to the crash. It provides an explanation for most of the pitch-up inputs by the pilot flying (PF), left unexplained in the Popular Mechanics piece: namely that the Flight Director (FD) display was misleading.[231] The pitch-up input at the beginning of the fatal sequence of events appears to be the consequence of an altimeter error. The investigators also pointed to the lack of a clear display of the airspeed inconsistencies even though the computers had identified them. Some systems generated failure messages only about the consequences but never mentioned the origin of the problem. The investigators recommended a blocked pitot tube should be clearly indicated as such to the crew on the flight displays. The Daily Telegraph pointed out the absence of angle of attack information, which is so important in identifying and preventing a stall.[232] The paper stated that "though angle of attack readings are sent to onboard computers, there are no displays in modern jets to convey this critical information to the crews". Der Spiegel indicated the difficulty the pilots faced in diagnosing the problem: "One alarm after another lit up the cockpit monitors. One after another, the autopilot, the automatic engine control system, and the flight computers shut themselves off."[233] Against this backdrop of confusing information, difficulty with aural cognition (due to heavy buffeting from the storm as well as the stall) and zero external visibility, the pilots had less than three minutes to identify the problem and take corrective action. The Spiegel report asserts that such a crash "could happen again".

In an article in Vanity Fair, William Langewiesche noted that once the angle of attack was so extreme, the system rejected the data as invalid and temporarily stopped the stall warnings. However, "this led to a perverse reversal that lasted nearly to the impact: each time Bonin happened to lower the nose, rendering the angle of attack marginally less severe, the stall warning sounded again—a negative reinforcement that may have locked him into his pattern of pitching up", which increased the angle of attack and thus prevented the aircraft from getting out of its stall.[25]

Sidestick control issue[edit]

Right-hand side-stick control on an Airbus A380 flight deck (similar to Airbus A330 side-stick)

In April 2012 in The Daily Telegraph, British journalist Nick Ross published a comparison of Airbus and Boeing flight controls; unlike the control yoke used on Boeing flight decks, the Airbus side stick controls give little visual feedback and no sensory or tactile feedback to the second pilot. Ross reasoned that this might in part explain why the pilot flying's fatal nose-up inputs were not countermanded by his two colleagues.[232][234]

In a July 2012 CBS report, Sullenberger suggested the design of the Airbus cockpit might have been a factor in the accident. The flight controls are not mechanically linked between the two pilot seats, and Robert, the left-seat pilot who believed he had taken over control of the aircraft, was not aware that Bonin continued to hold the stick back, which overrode Robert's own control.[235][236][j]


Getting enough sleep is a constant challenge for pilots of long-haul flights.[237] Although the BEA could find no "objective" indications that the pilots of Flight 447 were suffering from fatigue,[238] some exchanges recorded on the cockpit voice recorder (CVR), including a remark made by Captain Dubois that he had only slept an hour,[k] could indicate the crew were not well rested before the flight.[239] The co-pilots had spent three nights in Rio de Janeiro.[240][241]

Other incidents[edit]

Shortly after the crash, Air France changed the number of the regular Rio de Janeiro-Paris flight from AF447 to AF445. The route still uses Airbus A330-200's.[242]

Six months later, on 30 November 2009, Air France Flight 445 operated by another Airbus A330-203 (registered F-GZCK) made a mayday call because of severe turbulence around the same area and at a similar time to when Flight 447 had crashed. Because the pilots could not obtain immediate permission from air traffic controllers to descend to a less turbulent altitude, the mayday was to alert other aircraft in the vicinity that the flight had deviated from its normal flight level. This is standard contingency procedure when changing altitude without direct ATC authorization. After 30 minutes of moderate-to-severe turbulence, the flight continued normally. The flight landed safely in Paris six hours and 40 minutes after the mayday call.[243][244]

Inaccurate airspeed indicators[edit]

There have been several cases where inaccurate airspeed information led to flight incidents on the A330 and A340. Two of those incidents involved pitot probes.[l] In the first incident, an Air France A340-300 (F-GLZL), en route from Tokyo to Paris experienced an event at 31,000 feet (9,400 m), in which the airspeed was incorrectly reported and the autopilot automatically disengaged. Bad weather, together with obstructed drainage holes in all three pitot probes, were subsequently found to be the cause.[245] In the second incident, an Air France A340-300 (F-GLZN), en route from Paris to New York, encountered turbulence followed by the autoflight systems going offline, warnings over the accuracy of the reported airspeed and two minutes of stall alerts.[245]

Another incident on TAM Flight 8091, from Miami to Rio de Janeiro on 21 May 2009, involving an A330-200, showed a sudden drop of outside air temperature, then loss of air data, the ADIRS, autopilot and autothrust.[246] The aircraft descended 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) before being manually recovered using backup instruments. The NTSB also examined a similar 23 June 2009 incident on a Northwest Airlines flight from Hong Kong to Tokyo,[246] concluding in both cases that the aircraft operating manual was sufficient to prevent a dangerous situation from occurring.[247]

Following the crash of Air France 447, other Airbus A330 operators studied their internal flight records to seek patterns. Delta Air Lines analyzed the data of Northwest Airlines flights that occurred before the two companies merged and found a dozen incidents in which at least one of an A330's pitot tubes had briefly stopped working when the aircraft was flying through the Intertropical Convergence Zone, the same location where Air France 447 crashed.[248][249]

In popular culture[edit]

A one-hour documentary entitled Lost: The Mystery of Flight 447 detailing an early independent hypothesis about the crash was produced by Darlow Smithson in 2010 for Nova and the BBC. Using the then-sparse publicly available evidence and information, and without data from the black boxes, a critical chain of events was postulated, employing the expertise of an expert pilot, an expert accident investigator, an aviation meteorologist, and an aircraft structural engineer.[250][251][252][253]

On 16 September 2012, Channel 4 (UK) presented Fatal Flight 447: Chaos in the Cockpit, which showed data from the black boxes including an in-depth re-enactment. It was produced by Minnow Films.

The aviation disaster documentary television series Mayday (also known as Air Crash Investigation and Air Emergency) produced an hour-long episode titled "Air France 447: Vanished" which aired on 15 April 2013 in Great Britain and 17 May 2013 in the U.S.[254]

An article about the crash by American author and pilot William Langewiesche, entitled "Should Airplanes Be Flying Themselves?", was published by Vanity Fair in October 2014.[25]

A 99% Invisible podcast episode about the flight, entitled "Children of the Magenta (Automation Paradox, pt. 1)", was released on 23 June 2015 as the first of a two-part story about automation.[255]

In November 2015, MIT professor David Mindell discussed the Air France Flight 447 tragedy in the opening segment of an EconTalk podcast dedicated to the ideas in Mindell's 2015 book Our Robots, Ourselves: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy.[256] Mindell said the crash illustrated a "failed handoff," with insufficient warning, from the aircraft's autopilot to the human pilots.[257]

Charles Duhigg writes about Flight 447 extensively in his book Smarter Faster Better, particularly about the errors the pilots made due to cognitive tunneling.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ AF is the IATA designator and AFR is the ICAO designator
  2. ^ At the time of its disappearance, F-GZCP was using satellite communication, its position over the mid-Atlantic being too far from land-based receivers for VHF to be effective.
  3. ^ On the map, page 13 the coordinates in BEA's first interim report[41] with the information on page 13) is referenced as the "last known position" (French: Dernière position connue, "last known position").
  4. ^ More precisely: that after one of the three independent systems had been diagnosed as faulty and excluded from consideration, the two remaining systems disagreed.
  5. ^ 850 from its Navy and 250 Air Force.
  6. ^ The areas showing detailed bathymetry were mapped using multibeam bathymetric sonar. The areas showing very generalized bathymetry were mapped using high-density satellite altimetry.
  7. ^ The Remora 6000 remotely operated vehicle was designed and constructed by Phoenix International Holdings, Inc. of Largo, Maryland, United States.
  8. ^ The airliner was considered to be in a nearly level attitude, but with a high rate of descent when it collided with the surface of the ocean. That impact caused high deceleration and compression forces on the airliner, as shown by the deformations that were found in the recovered wreckage.
  9. ^ Some reports have described this as a deep stall,[212] but this was a steady state conventional stall.[213] A deep stall is associated with an aircraft with a T-tail, but this aircraft does not have a T-tail.[214] The BEA described it as a "sustained stall".[215]
  10. ^ There was a similar side-stick control issue in the Air Asia Flight 8501 accident.
  11. ^ "I didn't sleep enough last night. One hour – it's not enough right now." "Cette nuit, j'ai pas assez dormi. Une heure, c'était pas assez tout à l'heure."
  12. ^ For an explanation of how airspeed is measured, see air data reference.

Works cited[edit]

Official sources (in English)

Official sources (in French)

Other sources

  • Otelli, Jean-Pierre (13 October 2011). Erreurs de pilotage : Tome 5 [Pilot Error: Volume 5] (in French). Levallois-Perret: Altipresse. ISBN 979-10-90465-03-9. OCLC 780308849.
  • Roger Rapoport (2011). The Rio/Paris Crash: Air France 447. Lexographic Press. ISBN 978-0-9847142-0-9.
  • Palmer, Bill (20 September 2013). Understanding Air France 447 (paperback). William Palmer. ISBN 9780989785723.


  1. ^ a b c d e BEA first 2009.
  2. ^ BEA final 2012, §4.1 p. 79.
  3. ^ a b c d BEA third 2011.
  4. ^ Clark, Nicola (29 July 2011). "Report on Air France Crash Points to Pilot Training Issues". The New York Times.
  5. ^ "F-GZCP Air France Airbus A330-203 – cn 660". Planespotters. 2014. Archived from the original on 5 May 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  6. ^ "F-GZCP", Aviation civile [Civil aviation] (registration data) (in French), The Government of France, archived from the original on 20 July 2011, retrieved 27 June 2009
  7. ^ "EASA Type Certificate Data Sheet for AIRBUS A330" (PDF). European Aviation Safety Agency. 22 November 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2014. p. 18 sec. 1.2.1
  8. ^ "All Accident + Incidents 2006". Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre. Archived from the original on 7 June 2009. Retrieved 4 June 2009.
  9. ^ "JACDEC Special accident report Air France Flight 447". Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre. Archived from the original on 5 June 2009. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  10. ^ Key figures in global battle against illegal arms trade lost in Air France crash; The Herald (Glasgow), 6 June 2009
  11. ^ Byrne, Ciaran; Kane, Conor; Hickey, Shane; Bray, Allison (2 June 2009). "Three Irish doctors die in mystery jet tragedy". Irish Independent. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  12. ^ "Zeisterse in verdwenen Air France vlucht" (in Dutch). 2 June 2009.
  13. ^ "Alexander kommer aldri tilbake på skolen". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). 3 June 2009. Archived from the original on 6 June 2009. Retrieved 3 June 2009.
  14. ^ "Violeta Bajenaru-Declerck, romanca aflata la bordul Air France 447 (In Romanian)". 2 June 2009. Archived from the original on 20 March 2014.
  15. ^ "Andrés Suárez Montes: Nueva vida en París". ABC (Spain). 4 August 2009.
  16. ^ Thorsson, Eric. "Nya fynd kan lösa gåtan om deras död (Swedish) (New findings may solve the mystery of their deaths)". Aftonbladet.
  17. ^ "The Last Recital in Rio de Janeiro". Korhan Bircan. 6 June 2009. Archived from the original on 19 July 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2009.
  18. ^ a b "Press release N° 5" (Press release). Air France. 1 June 2009. Archived from the original on 4 January 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  19. ^ "Accident description F-GZCP". Flight Safety Foundation. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  20. ^ Naughton, Philippe; Bremner, Charles (1 June 2009). "Air France jet with 215 people on board 'drops off radar'". The Times. London. Retrieved 1 June 2009.
  21. ^ "Air France statement on crashed airliner in the Atlantic". BNO News. 1 June 2009. Archived from the original on 7 June 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2009.
  22. ^ a b "French plane lost in ocean storm". BBC. 1 June 2009. Archived from the original on 3 June 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2009. At 0530 GMT, Brazil's air force launched a search-and-rescue mission, sending out a coast guard patrol aircraft and a specialised air force rescue aircraft. ... France is despatching three search planes based in Dakar
  23. ^ BEA final 2012, §1.5.1 pp. 24–29.
  24. ^ a b BEA final 2012, §1.1 p. 21.
  25. ^ a b c Langewiesche, William; McCabe, Sean. Photo Illustration (October 2014). "The Human Factor". Vanity Fair.
  26. ^ "List of passengers aboard lost Air France flight". Huffington Post. USA. Associated Press. 4 June 2009.
  27. ^ "Air France Update". Flight Air France 447 Rio de Janeiro – Paris-Charles de Gaulle. Air France. 5 October 2009. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  28. ^ "Ships head for area where airplane debris spotted". CNN. 2 June 2009. Archived from the original on 6 June 2009. Retrieved 2 June 2009.
  29. ^ Chrisafis, Angelique and Tom Phillips. "Terminal said 'delayed' but the faces betrayed the truth." The Guardian. 1 June 2009. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
  30. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Air France. Archived from the original on 2009-10-06. Retrieved 2011-08-02. Our first priority was to organize the arrival of 60 to 70 relatives at Roissy. There were not more than this because many passengers were connecting passengers.
  31. ^ "Air France pays $24,500 to crash victims' families". CNN. 2 June 2009.
  32. ^ "Voo Air France 447: últimas informações". Veja (in Portuguese). Brazil: Editora Abril. 1 June 2009. Archived from the original on 5 June 2009. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  33. ^ "Cotidiano – Família Orleans e Bragança confirma que príncipe brasileiro estava no voo AF 447". Folha on line (Brazil) (in Portuguese). Agência Brasil. 1 June 2009. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  34. ^ "Belgisch-Braziliaanse prins onder de slachtoffers" (in Dutch). 2 June 2009. Archived from the original on 5 June 2009. Retrieved 2 June 2009.
  35. ^ "Confira os nomes de 84 passageiros que estavam no voo AF 447" [Confirmation of names of 84 passengers at AF 447]. Correio Braziliense (in Portuguese). 2 June 2009. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  36. ^ "Airbus: apólice de US$ 94 mi e seguro incalculável" (in Portuguese). Sao Paulo: Monitor Mercantil. 1 June 2009. Archived from the original on 6 June 2009. Retrieved 2 June 2009.
  37. ^ "Lista não oficial de vítimas do voo 447 da Air France inclui executivos, médicos e até um membro da família Orleans e Bragança" (in Portuguese). Globo. 1 June 2009. Archived from the original on 14 June 2009. Retrieved 2 June 2009.
  38. ^ "Good Morning – Turkey press scan on 2 June". Hürriyet Daily News. 2 June 2009. Retrieved 6 June 2009.
  39. ^ "Key figures in global battle against illegal arms trade lost in Air France crash". Sunday Herald. 11 June 2009. Archived from the original on 11 June 2009. Retrieved 11 June 2009.
  40. ^ "Safety Investigation Following the Accident on 1st June 2009 to the Airbus A300-203, Flight AF 447 – Summary" (PDF). BEA. July 2012.
  41. ^ a b BEA first 2009, p. 13.
  42. ^ BEA final 2012, p. 49: "The radar data show that AF 447 passed over the SALPU point at 1 h 49 min, the last recorded radar point corresponding to the limit of radar coverage (...)"
  43. ^ BEA first 2009 "Air France procedures"
  44. ^ BEA first 2009, §
  45. ^ BEA final 2012, §,"Choice of time period"
  46. ^ BEA third 2011, p. 73.
  47. ^ Palmer 2013, pp. 4, 39.
  48. ^ Palmer 2013, p. 5.
  49. ^ a b Palmer 2013, p. 86.
  50. ^ BEA final 2012, §,"The excessive amplitude of these [nose-up] inputs made them unsuitable and incompatible with the recommended aeroplane handling practices for high altitude flight."
  51. ^ BEA final appx2 2012:
    2 h 10 min 08: CAS changes from 274kt to 156kt. The CAS ISIS changes from 275 knots to 139 knots then goes back up to 223 knots. The Mach changes from 0.80 to 0.26.
    2 h 10 min 09: CAS is 52kt. The CAS ISIS stabilises at 270 knots for four seconds.
    2 h 10 min 34: CAS increases from 105kt to 223kt in two seconds. The CAS ISIS is 115 knots.
    2 h 11 min 07: The CAS ISIS changes from 129kt to 183kt. The CAS is at 184kt.
    FDR graph parameters (in French):
    – 2 h 10 min 04 to 2 h 10 min 26
    – 2 h 10 min 26 to 2 h 10 min 50
    – 2 h 10 min 50 to 2 h 11 min 47
  52. ^ Palmer 2013, p. 7 "02:11:07 [...] The last of the pitot icing had cleared and all three airspeed indications were then displaying correctly"
  53. ^ Palmer 2013, p. 57 "The pitot icing lasted for about one minute and five seconds"
  54. ^ BEA final 2012, p. 198,"The speed displayed on the left PFD was incorrect for 29 seconds, that of the speed on the ISIS for 54 seconds and the speed displayed on the right PFD for 61 seconds at most."
  55. ^ Palmer 2013, pp. 78–80.
  56. ^ Palmer 2013, p. 57: "This created a situation where the air was pushing into, in addition to flowing over, the static ports. [...] This dynamic accounts for the repeated falling of the airspeed to invalid values."
  57. ^ a b "Flight AF 447 on 1st June 2009, A330-203, registered F-GZCP, 27 May 2011 briefing". BEA. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015.
  58. ^ "Recording Indicates Pilot Wasn't In Cockpit During Critical Phase". 23 May 2011.
  59. ^ a b BEA first 2009, pp. 48–57.
  60. ^ "Concerns over recovering AF447 recorders". Aviation Week. Aviation Week. 3 June 2009. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2009.
  61. ^ "Data Link Messages Hold Clues to Air France Crash". Aviation Week. Aviation Week. 7 June 2009. Archived from the original on 16 November 2011. Retrieved 8 June 2009.
  62. ^ a b "France2 newscast". France2 Online. France Televisions. 4 June 2009. Archived from the original on 20 June 2009. Retrieved 7 June 2009.
  63. ^ BEA first 2009, p. 49.
  64. ^ "France 2" (in French). Archived from the original (video) on 6 July 2009.
  65. ^ "Airbus 330 – Systems – Maintenance System". Flight crew operating manual. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 January 2007. Retrieved 7 June 2009.
  66. ^ a b "Joint aircraft system/component code table and definitions" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration, USA. Retrieved 6 June 2009.
  67. ^ "Air France Captain Dubois Let Down by 1-Pound Part, Pilots Say". Bloomberg L.P. 11 June 2009. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2009.
  68. ^ "Airbus 330 – Systems – Flight Controls". Flight crew operating manual. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 June 2009. Retrieved 7 June 2009.
  69. ^ a b "Crash: Air France A332 over Atlantic on 1 June 2009, aircraft impacted ocean". Retrieved 6 June 2009.
  70. ^ "Airbus ISIS". Flight crew operating manual. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 June 2009. Retrieved 8 June 2009.
  71. ^ "Airbus 330 – Systems – Communications". Flight crew operating manual. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 January 2007. Retrieved 7 June 2009.
  72. ^ "Crash: Air France A332 over Atlantic on 1 June 2009, aircraft lost". Aviation Herald. 2 June 2009.
  73. ^ "Airbus Flight Control Laws". Airbus. Retrieved 3 June 2009.
  74. ^ "Avionics Product Range". Airbus. Archived from the original on 6 June 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  75. ^ BEA final 2012, §1.7.1 p. 46.
  76. ^ Vasquez, Tim (3 June 2009). "Air France Flight 447: A detailed meteorological analysis". Archived from the original on 26 February 2017.
  77. ^ "Air France Flight #447: did weather play a role in the accident?". Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies. 1 June 2009.
  78. ^ "A Meteosat-9 infrared satellite image". BBC News. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
  79. ^ "Plane Vanished in Region Known for Huge Storms". Fox News Channel. 3 June 2009.
  80. ^ BEA final 2012, §1.11.2 p. 58.
  81. ^ Woods, Richard; Campbell, Matthew (7 June 2009). "Air France 447: The computer crash". The Times. UK. Archived from the original on 14 August 2011.
  82. ^ BEA final 2012, § p. 167.
  83. ^ "12 similar flights deepen Air France 447 mystery". CNN. 9 June 2009. Archived from the original on 21 April 2010. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  84. ^ Reuters Two Lufthansa jets to give clues on AirFrance
  85. ^ BEA first 2009, §1.9.2 "Coordination between the control centres".
  86. ^ "Un avión de la Guardia Civil contra la inmigración también busca el avión desaparecido" [An aircraft of the Civil Guard against immigration also searches for the disappeared aircraft]. El Mundo (in Spanish). 1 June 2009. Archived from the original on 5 June 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2009. El avión Casa 235 de la Guardia Civil utilizado... ha sido enviado a primera hora de la tarde a participar en las tareas de búsqueda del aparato de Air France desaparecido en las últimas horas cuando cubría el trayecto Río de Janeiro y París, informaron fuentes del Ministerio del Interior.
  87. ^ "Premières précisions sur l'Airbus d'Air France disparu" [First information about the disappeared Air France Airbus]. L'Express (in French). 1 June 2009. Archived from the original on 5 June 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2009.
  88. ^ "AF 447 may have come apart before crash: experts". Associated Press. 3 June 2009. Archived from the original on 6 June 2009. Retrieved 3 June 2009.
  89. ^ "'Aucun espoir' pour le vol Rio-Paris d'Air France" ['No hope' for the Air France Rio – Paris flight]. L'Express (in French). 1 June 2009. Archived from the original on 5 June 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2009.
  90. ^ Chrisafis, Angelique (1 June 2009). "French plane crashed over Atlantic". The Guardian. UK. Archived from the original on 11 June 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2009.
  91. ^ "Prospect slim of finding plane survivors". KKTV-TV. Associated Press. 1 June 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
  92. ^ "RELATÓRIO DAS BUSCAS DO VOO 447 DA AIR FRANCE" [Report on the Search for Air France Flight 447] (in Portuguese) (6). Brazilian Air Force Bulletin. 2 June 2009. Archived from the original on 11 June 2009.
  93. ^ Negroni, Christine (2 June 2009). "France and Brazil Press Search for Missing Plane". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 15 February 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2009.
  94. ^ "No survivors found in wreckage of Air France jet, official says". CNN. 2 June 2009. Archived from the original on 6 June 2009. Retrieved 2 June 2009.
  95. ^ a b "Ocean search finds plane debris". BBC. 2 June 2009. Archived from the original on 3 June 2009. Retrieved 2 June 2009.
  96. ^ "José Alencar decreta três dias de luto oficial por vítimas do Airbus" [José Alencar decrees three days official mourning for Airbus victims] (in Portuguese). Globo. 2 June 2009. Archived from the original on 12 June 2009. Retrieved 2 June 2009.
  97. ^ a b BEA first 2009, § "Resources deployed by France".
  98. ^ Sá, Evaristo (3 June 2009). "Navy ships seek to recover Air France crash debris". Agence France-Presse.
  99. ^ "Mini-subs sent to look for jet". News24. 2 June 2009. Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved 2 June 2009.
  100. ^ BEA first 2009, § "Context of the searches".
  101. ^ "Brazilian Air Force Finds More Debris from Flight 447". CRI English. 3 June 2009. Archived from the original on 11 June 2009. Retrieved 3 June 2009.
  102. ^ "Buscas à aeronave do voo AF 447 da Air France". Brazilian Navy. 4 June 2009. Archived from the original on 20 May 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2009. ()
  103. ^ "Nota 17: Informações Sobre As Buscas Do Voo 447 Da Air France" [Note 17: Information on the Search for Air France Flight 447]. Ministério da Dafesa. 6 June 2009. Archived from the original on 11 June 2009. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  104. ^ "Bodies 'found' from missing plane". BBC News. 6 June 2009. Archived from the original on 8 June 2009. Retrieved 6 June 2009.
  105. ^ "Brazil: Bodies found near Air France crash site". MSNBC. 6 June 2009. Archived from the original on 7 June 2009. Retrieved 6 June 2009.
  106. ^ "Air France tail section recovered". BBC News. 8 June 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
  107. ^ a b "Press Release 39: Information on the Search for Air France Flight 447". Ministério da Defesa. 22 June 2009. Archived from the original on 25 November 2009. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  108. ^ "Press Release 37: Information on the Search for Air France Flight 447". Ministério da Defesa. 20 June 2009. Archived from the original on 24 June 2009. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  109. ^ "Press Release 31: Information on the Search for Air France Flight 447". Ministério da Defesa. 14 June 2009. Archived from the original on 20 June 2009. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  110. ^ a b BEA first 2009, §1.12.1 "Localisation of the bodies and aircraft parts","All the debris known to the BEA was referenced in a database. By 26 June, this database included 640 items."
  111. ^ Campbell, Matthew; Richard Woods (14 June 2009). "Crash jet 'split in two at high altitude'". The Times. UK. Retrieved 14 June 2009.
  112. ^ a b "Nota 33: Informações Sobre As Buscas Do Voo 447 Da Air France" [Note 33: Information on the Search for Air France Flight 447]. Ministério da Defesa. 16 June 2009. Archived from the original on 20 June 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
  113. ^ "Nota 31: Informações Sobre As Buscas Do Voo 447 Da Air France" [Note 31: Information on the Search for Air France Flight 447]. Ministério da Defesa. 14 June 2009. Archived from the original on 20 June 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2009.
  114. ^ "Nota 22: Informações Sobre As Buscas Do Voo 447 Da Air France" [Note 22: Information on the Search for Air France Flight 447]. Ministério da Defesa. 9 June 2009. Archived from the original on 12 June 2009. Retrieved 12 June 2009.
  115. ^ "Nota 27: Informações Sobre As Buscas Do Voo 447 Da Air France" [Note 27: Information on the Search for Air France Flight 447]. Ministério da Defesa. 11 June 2009. Archived from the original on 15 June 2009. Retrieved 12 June 2009.
  116. ^ BEA second 2009 1.13, page 32 (PDF page 33 of 104) "The autopsies made it possible to identify fifty persons: 45 passengers, 4 flight attendants, and the captain"
  117. ^ Bremner, Charles; Tedmanson, Sophie (23 June 2009). "Hopes of finding Air France Airbus black boxes dashed". The Times. London. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  118. ^ "INFO FIGARO – AF 447 : le corps du pilote identifié". Le Figaro (in French). France. 25 June 2009.
  119. ^ BEA first 2009, Appx A pp. 101–07 "Chronology of recovery of bodies and airplane parts".
  120. ^ a b BEA second 2009, §1.13.
  121. ^ BEA first 2009, §1.12.1 p. 37.
  122. ^ a b "France sends nuclear sub to hunt for jet wreckage". CBC News. 5 June 2009. Archived from the original on 8 June 2009. Retrieved 9 June 2009.
  123. ^ "More bodies found near Air France crash site". Reuters. 7 June 2009. Archived from the original on 8 June 2009. Retrieved 8 June 2009.
  124. ^ Sibaja, Marco; Vandore, Emma (10 June 2009). "Sub helps in hunt for black boxes at Air France crash site". The News Tribune. Associated Press. Retrieved 11 June 2009.[dead link]
  125. ^ a b "Lost jet data 'may not be found'". BBC. 3 June 2009. Archived from the original on 6 June 2009. Retrieved 3 June 2009.
  126. ^ Negroni, Christine (3 June 2009). "Wreckage of Air France Jet is Found, Brazil says". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 15 February 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2009.
  127. ^ Johan Strümpfer (16 October 2006). "Deep Ocean Search Planning: A Case Study of problem Solving". Archived from the original on 6 June 2009. Retrieved 4 June 2009.
  128. ^ "Finding the black box of Air France Flight 447 will be challenging: French probe team". International Business Times. 4 June 2009. Archived from the original on 7 June 2009. Retrieved 4 June 2009.
  129. ^ "Black Box: Locating Flight Recorder of Air France Flight 447 in Atlantic Ocean". 8 June 2009. Archived from the original on 13 June 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2009.
  130. ^ "Brazil ends search for Air France bodies". The Sydney Morning Herald. 27 June 2009. Archived from the original on 27 June 2009. Retrieved 27 June 2009. Brazil's military said it had ended its search for more bodies and debris ... The operation, which also had the help of French vessels and French, Spanish and US aircraft, recovered 51 bodies of the 228 people who were on board ... air force spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Henry Munoz told reporters in Recife late Friday.
  131. ^ BEA first 2009, p. 46.
  132. ^ "Investigators say they have no confirmed black-box signals". France 27 June 2009. Archived from the original on 26 June 2009. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  133. ^ "Air France 447's black boxes: search to resume". The Christian Science Monitor. 17 July 2009.
  134. ^ "Press release 20 August 2009" (Press release). BEA. 20 August 2009. Archived from the original on 19 July 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
  135. ^ a b c d "Sea Search Operations, Phase 3". BEA. Archived from the original on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  136. ^ "Search ships head to new AF447 search zone". 30 March 2010. Archived from the original on 21 April 2010. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  137. ^ "Undersea Search Resumes for France Flight 447". Discovery News. 30 March 2010. Archived from the original on 2 April 2010. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  138. ^ "Chronology AUV Abyss". GEOMAR. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  139. ^ a b BEA final 2012, §
  140. ^ "Search for Flight 447 data recorders to resume". CNN. 13 December 2009.
  141. ^ Keller, Greg (11 March 2010). "Search for Air France black boxes delayed". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
  142. ^ Clark, Nicola (30 July 2009). "Airbus Offers to Pay for Extended Crash Search". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 August 2009.
  143. ^ Charlton, Angela (17 February 2010). "Victims' families cheer new search for Flight 447". Associated Press. Retrieved 8 January 2011.[dead link]
  144. ^ "Estimating The Wreckage Location Of The Rio-Paris AF447" (pdf). BEA. 30 June 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  145. ^ Laurence Frost; Andrea Rothman (4 February 2010). "Air France 447 Black Box May Be Found by End of March, BEA Says". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Archived from the original on 7 February 2010.
  146. ^ Laurence Frost; Andrea Rothman (4 February 2010). "Air France Black-Box Search Narrowed by Fresh Data (Update1)". Bloomberg BusinessWeek.[dead link]
  147. ^ Pierre Julien; Marie Naudascher. "La zone des boîtes noires du vol Rio-Paris localisée" [Area of the black boxes from the Rio-Paris flight found]. RTL (in French). Archived from the original on 5 July 2015.
  148. ^ "L'AF 447 aurait fait demi-tour pour sortir des turbulences". Le Figaro (in French). 6 May 2010. Archived from the original on 8 May 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  149. ^ Redirected AF447 search fails to locate A330 wreck
  150. ^ a b In search of Air France Flight 447 Lawrence D. Stone Institute of Operations Research and the Management Sciences 2011
  151. ^ "MH370 Malaysia plane: How maths helped find an earlier crash". BBC. 22 March 2014. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  152. ^ BEA third 2011, §1.12.1,"The site", p 33
  153. ^ "Images of Flight 447 Engines, Wing, Fuselage, Landing Gear". BEA. Archived from the original on 30 September 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2011.
  154. ^ Willsher, Kim (4 April 2011). "Air France plane crash victims found after two-year search". The Guardian. London.
  155. ^ "Bodies found in Atlantic jet crash wreckage". Reuters. 4 April 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  156. ^ "Press release, 19 April 2011". BEA. Archived from the original on 11 March 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  157. ^ "Bits of Air France Flight 447 found in Atlantic". CBS. 3 April 2011. Archived from the original on 4 April 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  158. ^ "Remora 6000 ROV Specifications" (PDF). Retrieved 28 April 2011.
  159. ^ Press release, 19 April 2011 Archived 19 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 23 April 2011
  160. ^ "Solid-State FDR System including Crash Survivable Memory Unit (CSMU)" (PDF). Retrieved 27 April 2011.
  161. ^ Press release, 27 April 2011 Archived 18 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 27 April 2011
  162. ^ "Flight AF 447 on 1st June 2009 A330-203, registered F-GZCP Information, 1st May 2011". Archived from the original on 3 May 2011. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  163. ^ "Investigators recover second Air France black box". Yahoo! News. 2 May 2011. Archived from the original on 31 May 2011. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  164. ^ "Flight AF 447 on 1 June 2009, A330-203, registered F-GZCP, 9 May 2011 briefing". BEA. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  165. ^ BEA final 2012, p. 20.
  166. ^ Kaminski-Morrow, David (16 May 2011). "AF447 flight-data and cockpit-voice recorder data is readable". Flightglobal. Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
  167. ^ a b "16 May 2011 briefing". Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile. 16 May 2011. Archived from the original on 8 February 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
  168. ^ a b Hylton, Wil S. (4 May 2011). "What Happened to Air France Flight 447?". The New York Times Magazine. Archived from the original on 13 May 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
  169. ^ "'Rio-Paris bodies to be retrieved'". Agence France-Presse. 5 May 2011.
  170. ^ Frost, Laurence; Andrea Rothman (5 May 2011). "Air France Victim's Body Recovered". Bloomberg News. Bloomberg. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  171. ^ Vandoorne, Saskya (8 June 2011). "Air France crash recovery ends with 74 bodies missing". CNN. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
  172. ^ "Vol AF 447 : ouverture d'une information judiciaire". Europe 1. Archived from the original on 14 June 2009.
  173. ^ "Vol AF337 : la Gendarmerie enquête" (in French). French Gendarmerie. June 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-06-17.
  174. ^ Allen, Peter (10 June 2009). "Terror Names Linked To Doomed Flight AF 447". Sky News. Archived from the original on 13 June 2009. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  175. ^ "Air France charged in Rio flight crash investigation". News. BBC. 18 March 2011. Archived from the original on 18 March 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  176. ^ "Press release 1 June 2009" (Press release). BEA. 1 June 2009. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  177. ^ "Organisation of the technical investigation" (PDF). Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile. Retrieved 24 June 2011. (translation from the French original)
  178. ^ "Flight AF 447 on 31 May 2009" (Press release). BEA. 5 June 2009. Archived from the original on 24 July 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2009. A large quantity of more or less accurate information and attempts at explanations concerning the accident are currently being circulated. The BEA reminds those concerned that in such circumstances, it is advisable to avoid all hasty interpretations and speculation on the basis of partial or non-validated information. At this stage of the investigation, the only established facts are:
    · the presence near the airplane's planned route over the Atlantic of significant convective cells typical of the equatorial regions;
    · based on the analysis of the automatic messages broadcast by the plane, there are inconsistencies between the various speeds measured.
  179. ^ "Air France Jet 'Did Not Break Up In Mid-Air'". Air France Crash: First Official Airbus A330 Report Due By Air Investigations And Analysis Office. Sky News. 2 July 2009. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  180. ^ a b "Vol AF 447 du 1er juin 2009, A330-203, immatriculé F-GZCP" (in French). France: Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile. 2009. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  181. ^ "INFO LE FIGARO – AF 447: Airbus mis hors de cause par les boîtes noires". Le Figaro (in French). 16 May 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
  182. ^ "Flight AF 447 on 1 June 2009 A330-203, registered F-GZCP Press release on 17 May 2011 Archived 19 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine.." Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile. 17 May 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
  183. ^ "Vol Rio-Paris: L'enquête ne montre pas de dysfonctionnements majeurs de l'Airbus". Le Télégramme (in French). 18 May 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  184. ^ Wald, Matthew (4 June 2009). "Clues Point to Speed Issues in Air France Crash". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 23 March 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2009.
  185. ^ Bremner, Charles (7 June 2009). "Air France searchers find three more bodies". The Times. UK. Retrieved 7 June 2009.[dead link]
  186. ^ BEA final 2012, § p. 122.
  187. ^ "Lost plane 'sent 24 error alerts'". News. BBC. 6 June 2009. Archived from the original on 8 June 2009. Retrieved 8 June 2009. Paul-Louis Arslanian, of France's air accident investigation agency: "We have seen a certain number of these types of faults on the A330... There is a programme of replacement, of improvement"
  188. ^ "Air France probe focuses on airspeed instruments". Otago Daily Times. Associated Press. 7 June 2009. Retrieved 7 January 2011. Alain Bouillard: "They hadn't yet been replaced on the plane that crashed". Paul-Louis Arslanian: "It does not mean that without replacing the probes that the A330 was dangerous."
  189. ^ "Flight Air France 447 Rio De Janeiro-Paris Charles De Gaulle – Press release N° 12: Update on anemometric sensors" (Press release). Air France. Retrieved 5 March 2011. Malfunctions in the pitot probes on the A320 led the manufacturer to issue a recommendation in September 2007 to change the probes. This recommendation also applies to long-haul aircraft using the same probes and on which a very few incidents of a similar nature had occurred.
  190. ^ "Navigation – Pitot probes (ATA 34)". EASA. 18 August 2001. 2001-353. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  191. ^ BEA second 2009, §1.18.7 pp. 65–67.
  192. ^ "Press release no. 12: Update on anemometric sensors". Air France. 6 June 2009. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  193. ^ a b "Flight Air France 447 Rio De Janeiro-Paris Charles De Gaulle – Press release N° 12: Update on anemometric sensors" (Press release). Air France. Retrieved 5 March 2011. Starting in May 2008, Air France experienced incidents involving a loss of airspeed data in flight... in cruise phase on A340s and A330s. These incidents were analysed with Airbus as resulting from pitot probe icing for a few minutes, after which the phenomenon disappeared.
  194. ^ Palmer 2013, p. 53.
  195. ^ "AF447 Pitot probes". Air France. Archived from the original on 3 October 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2011. By 12 June, all the Airbus A320s, A330s and A340s operated by Air France were equipped with Thales BA probes.
  196. ^ Samuel, Henry (31 July 2009). "Airlines ordered to replace speed probes linked to Air France crash". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 1 August 2009.
  197. ^ Cody, Edward (31 July 2009). "Airbus Recommends Airlines Replace Speed Sensors". The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 August 2009.
  198. ^ "Flight Air France 447: List of all published press releases". Paris: Air France. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 22 October 2011. Pitot Sensors: Air France has received the recommendation from Airbus concerning the replacement of two Thalès probes by Goodrich probes on its long-haul A330/A340 aircraft. The technical instructions for the replacement of these probes will be available next week, after which Air France will proceed to modify its fleet of A330s and A340s.
  199. ^ a b "Navigation – Airspeed Pitot Probes – Replacement". EASA. 31 August 2009. 2009-0195. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  200. ^ BEA final 2012, §5.3.1 p. 216.
  201. ^ "FAA Airworthiness Directive FR Doc E9-21368". Retrieved 3 September 2009. This AD requires replacing Thales Avionics pitot probes having P/N C16195AA and P/N C16195BA at positions 1 (captain) and 3 (standby) with Goodrich pitot probes having P/N 0851HL at positions 1 and 3. This AD also requires replacing Thales Avionics pitot probes having P/N C16195AA at position 2 (first officer) with Thales Avionics pitot probes having P/N C16195BA at position 2. In addition, this AD provides for optional installation of Goodrich pitot probes having P/N 0851HL at position 2. Alternate location.
  202. ^ "Airbus gives new warning on speed sensors". CBC News. Associated Press. 21 December 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  203. ^ "Airbus Document Acknowledges Pitot Problem". Aero News Network. 22 December 2010. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  204. ^ "Airbus Issues Pitot Tube Warning". Aviation Today. 3 January 2011. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  205. ^ BEA final 2012, § p. 137.
  206. ^ BEA first 2009, p. 71.
  207. ^ a b c Wise, Jeff (6 December 2011). "What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 24 June 2016. Synopsis and transcript of the pilots' conversation from 02:03:44 to 02:14:27 in French with English translation and comments
  208. ^ Paul Marks (27 May 2011). "Report on Air France 447 crash deepens mystery". Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  209. ^ David Kaminski-Morrow (27 May 2011). "AF447 stalled but crew maintained nose-up attitude". Flight International. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  210. ^ "Rio-Paris : l'ombre d'une erreur de pilotage". Le Monde (in French). 27 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  211. ^ David Talbot (27 May 2011). "Flight 447's Fatal Attitude Problem". Technology Review.
  212. ^ Pew, Glenn (May 2011). "Air France 447 – How Did This Happen?". AvWeb. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  213. ^ Whitfield, Bethany (27 May 2011). "Air France 447 Stalled at High Altitude, Official BEA Report Confirms". Flying.
  214. ^ Peter Garrison (1 June 2011). "Air France 447: Was it a Deep Stall?". Flying.
  215. ^ a b BEA final 2012, p. 200.
  216. ^ a b Otelli 2011.
  217. ^ Gilbert, Dave (14 October 2011). "AF447 pilot: 'Damn it, we're going to crash'". CNN. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
  218. ^ "Appendix 1 to Final report on the accident on 1st June 2009 to the Airbus A330-203 registered F-GZCP operated by Air France flight AF 447 Rio de Janeiro – Paris" (PDF). BEA. July 2012.
  219. ^ Synthesis Note on Interim Report No. 3 (PDF), BEA, 29 July 2011
  220. ^ Safety Recommendations from Interim Report No. 3 (PDF), BEA, 29 July 2011
  221. ^ "Information, 7 September 2011". BEA. 7 September 2011. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  222. ^ Alcock, Charles (1 August 2011). "Latest Report on AF447 Crash Calls for New Training and Flight Data". AINonline. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
  223. ^ "Air France 447 crash report: pilots "lacked training" to deal with stall warnings". Terminal U. 29 July 2011. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  224. ^ a b BEA final 2012.
  225. ^ Day, Michael (9 May 2011). "Air France Flight 447 – will all be revealed?". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  226. ^ Jim Thomson (2013). "Situation Awareness and the Human-Machine Interface" (PDF). p. 18.
  227. ^ Palmer, p. 59.
  228. ^ BEA final 2012, §4.2.2 p. 205.
  229. ^ Moore, Jim (6 February 2014). "FAA Streamlines Aoa Approval Policy Designed To Make Life-Saving Instrument More Affordable". AOPA. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  230. ^ Dorr, Les (5 February 2014). "Press Release – FAA Clears Path for Installation of Angle of Attack Indicators in Small Aircraft". AOPA. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  231. ^ "Final AF447 Report Suggests Pilot Slavishly Followed Flight Director Pitch Commands". AIN Online. 8 July 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  232. ^ a b Ross, Nick; Tweedie, Neil (28 April 2012). "Air France Flight 447: 'Damn it, we're going to crash'". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  233. ^ Traufetter, Gerald (25 February 2010). "Death in the Atlantic: The Last Four Minutes of Air France Flight 447". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  234. ^ "Report: Airbus design may have contributed to deadly crash". News. Fox. 28 April 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  235. ^ "Air France 447: Final report on what brought airliner down". CBS News. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  236. ^ "Air France Flight 447's lessons – four years later". CBS News. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  237. ^ Palmer 2013, p. 19.
  238. ^ BEA final 2012, §1.16.7 "Aspects relating to fatigue" p. 100.
  239. ^ Palmer 2013, p. 20 "... these questions do raise the legitimate question if fatigue could have been a contributing factor to the crew's inability to properly diagnose and maintain control of the situation."
  240. ^ BEA final 2012, §1.5 p. 24,"The crew had left Paris on Thursday 28 May 2009 in the morning and arrived in Rio de Janeiro in the evening of the same day"
  241. ^ Vigoureux, Thierry (15 March 2013). "Crash du Rio-Paris, la fatigue des pilotes a été cachée" [Rio–Paris crash: the pilots' fatigue was concealed]. Le Point (in French). Archived from the original on 16 March 2013.
  242. ^ "AF 445 statt AF 447: Air France ändert Flugnummer auf der tragischen Unglücksroute" [AF 445 instead of AF 447: Air France changes the flight number of the route that had the tragic accident]. Baseler Zeitung (in German). 8 June 2009. Archived from the original on 12 June 2009. Retrieved 8 June 2009.
  243. ^ Hradecky, Simon (30 November 2009). "Incident: Air France A332 over Atlantic on Nov 30th 2009, Mayday call due to severe turbulence". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  244. ^ "Flight AF445 Rio-Paris-CDG on 29 November 2009". Air France. Archived from the original on 22 July 2010.
  245. ^ a b "Crash: Air France A332 over Atlantic on 1 June 2009, aircraft impacted ocean". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 6 July 2009.
  246. ^ a b Lori Ranson (28 June 2009). "Air France 447 – Two A330 airspeed and altitude incidents under NTSB scrutiny". aviationnewsrelease.
  247. ^ "Probable cause: Northwest Airlines incident occurred Tuesday, June 23, 2009 (DCA09IA064)". NTSB. 27 June 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  248. ^ Wise, Jeff (18 December 2009). "How Plane Crash Forensics Lead to Safer Aviation". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  249. ^ McGee, Oliver (2 June 2014). "Five-Year Anniversary of AF447: MH370 Déjà vu?". Linkedin. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  250. ^ "Lost: The Mystery of Flight 447", Two Programmes, The BBC
  251. ^ "Crash: flight 447", Nova (documentary), The PBS
  252. ^ Jonathan (2 June 2010). "Nova Working on Air France 447 Documentary". Nova. Air France 447. Archived from the original on 5 June 2010. Retrieved 2 June 2010.
  253. ^ Tyson, Peter (1 June 2010). "Air France 447, One Year Out". Nova. PBS. Archived from the original on 5 June 2010. Retrieved 2 June 2010.
  254. ^ "'Air Emergency' Air France 447: Vanished". IMBd. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  255. ^ Mars, Roman (23 June 2015). "Episode 170: Children of the Magenta (Automation Paradox, pt. 1)". 99% Invisible. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  256. ^ Mindell, David A. (2015). Our Robots, Ourselves: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy. Penguin Random House. ISBN 9780525426974.
  257. ^ Russ Roberts (30 November 2015). "David Mindell on Our Robots, Ourselves". EconTalk (Podcast). Library of Economics and Liberty. Retrieved 6 December 2015.

External links[edit]

Press releases[edit]