An airbus AF 447 from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to the airport of Paris Charles de Gaulle has disparated in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Brazilian Air Force said they had discovered the debris and an oil and kerosene slick 650km (400 miles) northeast of the Fernando do Noronha archipelago, in the area where the jet is thought to havecrashed. The flight disappeared early yesterday after flying into a storm, four hours into its scheduled 11-hour flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, the Air France chief executive, said that the last contact with the plane came in a flurry of about a dozen automatically generated technical messages "indicating that several systems had broken down...a completely unheard-ofsituation". Plane left Rio de Janeiro at 1900 local time (2200 GMT) on 31 May
Contact lost 0130 GMT
Had been due to land at 1110 local time (0910 GMT) in Paris
A Spanish pilot flying in the area at the time of the crash was quoted by his airline, Air Comet, as saying he had seen an "intense flash of white light, which followed a descending and vertical trajectory and which broke up in sixseconds".
Brig Ramon Borges Cardoso said the debris will be taken to France, which is leading the investigation into the crash
Air France Flight 447 was an Airbus A330-203 on a scheduled international passenger flight from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Paris, France that either broke up over, or crashed in, the Atlantic Ocean on 1 June 2009. The discovery of some pieces of the aircraft's wreckage wasconfirmed on 2 June. No survivors from the 228 people on board have been found.
The last contact with the crew was a series of routine messages to Brazilian ground controllers 3 hours and 30 minutes into the flight, as the aircraft approached the edge of Brazilian radar surveillance preparing to cross the Atlantic, en-route to the Senegalese coast of West Africa, where it would regain radarcoverage. Forty minutes later, a four-minute-long series of automatic ACARS messages was received from the plane, indicating electrical and cabin pressurization problems with the aircraft.
After the aircraft failed to appear on Senegalese radar and failed to contact air traffic control on either continent, a search for it was initiated. The aircraft is believed to have been lost shortly after it sentthe ACARS messages.
On the morning of 2 June, Brazilian Air Force planes spotted debris in the ocean. France then dispatched the research ship Pourquoi Pas?, equipped with two mini-submarines capable of performing search operations at the 4,700 m (15,000 ft) depth of the seabed in the area where the aircraft went down.
The accident is the deadliest in the history of Air France,surpassing the crash of an Air France charter flight from Paris's Orly Field to Atlanta on 3 June 1962. Paul-Louis Arslanian, the head of the Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la sécurité de l'Aviation Civile (BEA), described the incident as the worst aviation accident and incident in French history. It is also the first accident with fatalities involving the Airbus A330 (in commercialservice) in its 16 year operating history
The aircraft involved was an Airbus A330-203, manufacturer's serial number 660, registration F-GZCP. The first flight of the aircraft was on 25 February 2005 and at the time of the accident it had flown for 18,870 hours.
On 17 August 2006, F-GZCP was in a ground collision with Airbus A321-211 F-GTAM at Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris. The A321 wassubstantially damaged and F-GZCP suffered minor damage.
Rio de Janeiro
22:03, 31 May
Fernando de Noronha
01:33, 1 June
Last transmission at
02:14, 1 June
Expected at 09:10,
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...