Friday, May 27, 2011

Air France 447

I come from an aviation family, stretching back to my grandfather, an uncle who was a career AF pilot, and through to one of my sisters and a brother.   So I am always keenly interested in aviation matters, especially when things go wrong.  The loss of Air France 447 was tragic, and more so because it seemed we would not ever find out what happened.

The discovery of the wreckage and the Flight Data Recorder and Voice Recorder seemed almost miraculous since the recorders' tracking signals had long ago gone silent.  Concerns about the ability to retrieve the data after 2 years submerged in the ocean have been thoroughly put to rest with today's story about what has been learned so far.  The jet fell from the sky for reasons that are not clear.  Iced pitot tubes resulting in bad data to the instruments, and resulting in mistakes by the pilots?  I hope the final report can put it all together.

I cannot imagine what the pilots were thinking and feeling as they struggled to regain control.  I cannot imagine what the passengers were experiencing, assuming they even realized the jet was going down.  All the same, I am glad the wreck was found, the data is readable, and the bodies will be going home now.  I hope the families are able to find peace after all this.

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