Flight AF 447 Upward Jets, More Evidence

Continuing on From…  What Killed Flight AF 447

Air France A330-200

Air France A330-200

Since the search for the ‘black boxes’ of Flight 447 was abandoned a few days ago (20th Aug 2009 – see news item),  only 3 days later, Nature’s On-line version has published reports of the jet things I was going on about in my first article about my thoughts on the disaster.  A free synopsis is here:

Quantification of the troposphere-to-ionosphere charge transfer in a gigantic jet

The article points out the currently known differences between the various electrical strikes, or jets, but two common things are stated in the summary:

  1. They all go upwards from the weather tops towards the edge of space.
  2. They all have massive amounts of charge.
Gigantic jets can travel more than 60km (40 miles) into the ionosphere

Gigantic jets can travel more than 60km (40 miles) into the ionosphere

Furthermore, the BBC has published a photo of this rarely seen phenomenon, “upwards lightning”.!

It turns out that the work (by Duke University), was done last year, but has only come to light in Nature today.

And Now?

For now, because there’s been no real extra evidence produced, jets or lightning strikes like this one (and others in the YouTube videos on my first article), I still think are a very good candidate for an explanation of the plane’s demise.

There are several reasons for this:

  • Air France Flight 447

    Air France Flight 447

    Several other planes were in the same area of the (large scale and not unusual) storms.  They were basically untroubled by the storms.

  • The other planes  saw nothing (apart from one which saw a possible flash of an explosion), which only adds fuel to the elusive quality of these electrical discharges.
  • This rarity of the strikes (as in the recent image above), coupled to their speed, all helps to confirm that if such a strike happened, it would be unlikely to have been seen.
  • The recent Duke research proves that such a strike, would be very powerful.
  • Modern planes are tested for many eventualities.  But a rare, high-power bolt of energy, is, by definition, very hard to test against.  Probably, the only way it could be done, would be to wheel a plane to a high power underground physics lab – but could it fit? !!
  • AF447 Rudder

    AF447 Rudder

    The plane crashed into the sea almost certainly in one piece (i.e. – no air break-up) because ,

    • unlike some other air-break-up crashes, the passenger bodies were not seriously damaged by a high-speed blast of air and rapid decompression.
    • large pieces of the aircraft were found – high altitude break-ups normally increase fragmentation and the bits aren’t large
    • the tail-fin damage proves it was attached when the plane hit the water
  • Apart from garbled radio alerts from the confused auto system, there were no human alerts from the crew of any kind…. ?    This means that either,
    • all of the crew were very busy
    • all (or most) of the crew were incapacitated
    • none of the normal communication systems worked
  • This suggests, to me, that the plane went into a flat spin or shallow dive, but not so extravagant as to snap the wings, tail or fuselage.
  • Coupled to the lack of messages, it suggests that most, if not all, electrical systems were dead.
    • It also suggests that the auto reporting system was more robust and had an independent power supply – which is true.  It, however, was getting duff information from the plane’s sensors, hence the garbled and conflicting automatic radio reports.
  • This all suggests a massive electrical strike, so fast and rare that no-one else in the area saw it.
    • If this incapacitated the crew, no-one is saying…  the reports I’ve read make no mention.

Ergo, upwards lightning, a blue jet or some other similar thing, but just enough to incapacitate the plane and most of it’s electrics…

Flat Spin

There’s an interesting video below, of a trained fighter pilot (arguably more proficient and clear-headed than an airline pilot), flying an F14 Tomcat into a flat spin.

The pilot says virtually nothing, even though comms were working.  The plane just spins and spins, dropping 15,000 feet until the guy bales out.

But notice how the plane does not break up in ‘flight’….

Q. So what does it mean?

A. It means the F14 was notorious for this and that even the best of pilots get spun into speechless confusion.

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one responses .

  1. Strangely says:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12953432
    Since the original search was abandoned, the airline, Air France is having to defend itself against negligence claims despite the obvious lack of evidence.

    Most likely because of this, it started a new search last month using the resources of the Woods Hole Institute (which instrumental in finding the "Titanic").

    Yesterday they announced that new wreckage had been found on the sea bed, all those miles down.

    None of the flight recorders (black boxes) have been found.

    The black boxes are extremely robust however, and in the dark cold of the deep sea, magnetically-stored information can keep for decades. It looks like the search will continue until everyone is satisfied that nothing will ever be found in a reasonable time-frame. Our own patience in searching the vast area in probably the most inhospitable area of our planet, will be the limiting factor in discovering the real cause of the crash.

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