Photo of the downed aircraft taken October 2007 A330-203 AIR FRANCE F-GZCP

Photo of the downed aircraft taken October 2007 A330-203 AIR FRANCE F-GZCP

Flight 447, carrying 216 passengers and 12 crew members was scheduled to arrive at Charles-de-Gaulle (Paris) early Monday morning.  The Airbus A330-200 disappeared from Brazillian radar about 3 hours after take-off.  Brazillian Air Force has been searching near the coast of West Africa.

Before losing contact with Air France, Flight 447 sent an automatic message indicating an electrical problem.  An Air France spokesperson suggested it was possible that the plane was hit by lightning, though aviation experts are skeptical that the Airbus wouldn’t have been able to withstand lightning.

It will be a long, sad search for the black box, and until then, the true cause of this unfortunate occurrence will remain unknown.

Sources: NPR, BBC Image: phinalanji

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:
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We have been following this story here in Europe on CNN International. So sad. I’ll be watching your site for updates. I hope they’ll be able to find some answers soon.

Dr. Smith

An electrical problem that bad is so amazingly rare. Given grounding standards on passenger aircraft, I find it hard to believe that a lightning strike could cause complete failure of an airframe’s systems. So strange and terrible!

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