Air France 447 black box found, but without memory

Discussion in 'Flying Blue | Air France, KLM/Partners' started by jbcarioca, Apr 28, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    This was widely reported in the last day, after BEA disclosed the finds. The discovery happened only a day after the use of a new deep water robot was deployed. There is a quite high level of excitement because this discovery was right of the beginning of the new robot work. Because most of the reports are only on Portuguese I post this one from america blog:




    Investigators scouring the undersea wreckage of the 2009 Air France plane crash said they located one of the aircraft’s black-box flight recorders without the memory module that stores its crucial information.

    “The chassis of the airplane’s flight data recorder was found, though without the crash-survivable memory unit that contains the data,” France’s BEA air accident investigation bureau said in an e-mailed statement.

    The search is continuing for the missing data module as well as the separate cockpit voice recorder and other wreckage that may be useful to the investigation, the BEA said.

    http://www.americablog.com/2011/04/air-france-black-box-found-but-without.html
     
  2. WilCo
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    WilCo Silver Member

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    avherald.com is a great, english site to keep up with this also.
     
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  3. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Thanks, I have not used them, but I'll start. I subscribe to Aviation Week, but their information, though complete, is often a few days old.

    On this issue the Brazilian press is very fast but Google Translate is not great and I haven't the time to do it myself.
     
  4. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Proving WilCo point, here is avherald on the subject:

    On Apr 27th 2011 the BEA announced, that the recovery work has started. During the first more than 12 hours' dive of Remora 6000 the chassis of the flight data recorder, however without the crash surviveable memory unit containing the data, was found surrounded by debris from other parts of the aircraft.

    [​IMG]
    http://avherald.com/h?article=41a81ef1/0053&opt=0
     
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  5. OY-JFS
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    I am never anxious when flying, but I must admit I couldn't stop thinking of the AF447 accident when I flew this exact route with the same aircraft type with AF the other day. My thoughts were with the victims when we passed the area over the atlantic. And since the flight was very bumpy, I did get a little nervous...
     
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  6. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I am on this flight several times a year. From time I do think of the continuing mystery, but that is about it. I am a A330 fan.
     
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  7. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    I get a similar reaction when I visit the Swissair momunent off Peggy's Cove in Nova Scotia. I can't help but think of the pax having their first drinks oblivious to the upcoming events. :eek:
     
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  8. OY-JFS
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    I am also an A330 fan. Not necessarily an AF fan, though...
     
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  9. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    NYTimes today:
    Key Piece of Air France Data Recorder Is Found

    By NICOLA CLARK

    Published: May 1, 2011




    [​IMG]

    PARIS — French accident investigators said Sunday that they had retrieved a key component from one of the flight recorders of an Air France jet that crashed in the mid-Atlantic almost two years ago, reviving hopes that it could help explain why the plane went down.




    Enlarge This Image
    [​IMG]
    Johann Peschel/BEA, via Associated Press


    The data recorder from an Air France flight that crashed off the coast of Brazil in 2009 was found on the sea floor Sunday.

    The French Bureau of Investigations and Analysis said the memory unit of the flight data recorder was found early Sunday and brought to the surface, although it will be more than a week before it can be examined.
    Investigators were initially disheartened last week when an underwater drone located the recorder’s protective housing without the cylindrical memory module attached.
    But on Sunday, the mood at the bureau’s headquarters was charged with anticipation.
    “This is a very happy surprise,” Jean-Paul Troadec, the bureau’s director, said in an interview.
    Investigators had said the memory unit was probably dislodged from the housing when the plane hit the water, making it less likely that it would be found amid the rest of the wreckage, on a sandy plane nearly two and a half miles below the surface. “We had been expecting a lengthy search,” Mr. Troadec said.
    Photos of the memory module showed that it had suffered little exterior corrosion, he said, though it was not clear whether the memory chip inside had been damaged. If it is still readable, it could provide critical information on the plane’s position, speed, altitude and direction when it ran into trouble.
    “First we need to know if we can read it,” he said.
    The plane’s other black box, the cockpit voice recorder, has not been located.
    Because of its remote location, 600 miles off the northern coast of Brazil, it was expected to take eight to 10 days to transport the data recorder’s memory unit to Paris, where investigators will try to download its contents.

    The Air France flight crashed on June 1, 2009, in a heavy, high-altitude thunderstorm en route to Paris from Rio de Janeiro. All 228 passengers and crew members were killed.
    After three failed searches, a team of oceanographers located the wreckage of the AirbusA330-200 last month, six miles from the plane’s last known location.
    Finding and decrypting the data on the flight recorders gained new urgency after the decision last month by a French judge to place both Airbus and Air France under formal investigation on allegations of involuntary manslaughter in the case. Under French law, being placed under formal investigation is one step short of criminal charges but could lead to a trial.
    So far, the only information about what happened to the flight is from automated messages that indicated a malfunction of the plane’s airspeed sensors.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/02/world/americas/02airfrance.html?hp
     
  10. Tivoboy
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    good stuff, I wonder why these things aren't solid state YET
     
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  11. jbcarioca
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    Actually they are. The FDR recovered here has all the data on a very hardened chip, so they have said. IRRC all the current Fight and cockpit data recorders are completely solid state. In commentary this AM quoted in the Brazilian press the investigators declare high confidence "98%" that they will not only get the data extracted from this FDR, but that it will explain how the crash happened. It still will take some time; a couple of years at 14,000 feet below the sea will certainly complicate the data recovery process.
     
  12. jbcarioca
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    The CVR has been found and retrieved, intact, and is on the way to Paris. Finally we will know what happened!
     
  13. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    For the families of the victims....some closure !
    For Air France and Airbus.....some answers !
    For all airbus330 pax, some peace of mind.
     
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  14. Tivoboy
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    Shall we take bets on what the outcome will be? Will it be still pitot tubes, over throttling of the engine and then blowouts, no lift and crash? Or will it be something else like catastrophic avionics failure, or lightning?
     
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  15. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    I never bet on aircraft accident outcomes.
    There are always several contributing factors in causing an accident; each factor having a different weighting in causality.
    My preference was always been to wait for the final report.
    All else is speculation of amateurs. ;)
     
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  16. Tivoboy
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    Look, I'm not suggesting to BET ON A CRASH friend, I DO however, think that many people here might have some knowledge of the aircraft industry, avionics, flying, etc., certainly more than I do and they have either done some research or have some inclination as to what actually caused one of the most mysterious and deadly airline crashes/losses in history. I THINK however, I could be wrong but I think this was the first time a black box was historically never recovered.

    so, to help out some, I won't call this a bet.

    Does anyone have any strong feelings about what we may find in the information provided once the black box is analyzed?
     
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  17. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    I was not trying to be adversarial. :)
    Accidents are complex events with often multiple contributing causes.
    The gist of my initial post was to state that waiting for the final accident report is the only real source of information....the rest is pure speculation based on opinions, etc.
     
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  18. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I am with milchap on this one. Just as it is fruitless to debate the relative merits of more vs less automation in aircraft when all the history is easily available, and inconclusive either way, accident causes are never monolithic, and rarely are close to our best guesses. I am very interested to see the results.
    Pitot tubes have had lots of conversation, but nobody knows. We only must now wait a few weeks and we'll have factual references.

    I am most impatient, as are many of us.
     
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