June 1st, 2009
05:21 PM ET

Map: Missing plane probably crashed into Atlantic


The jet carrying 228 people from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, that disappeared overnight as it entered an area of strong turbulence probably crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, the CEO of Air France said Monday.

The first three hours of what was to have been an 11-hour flight appear to have been uneventful, CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon said.

But about 4:15 a.m. Paris time, Flight 447's automatic system began a four-minute exchange of messages to the company's maintenance computers, indicating that "several pieces of aircraft equipment were at fault or had broken down," he said.


soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Bjorn Bernhardson

    Why isn't anybody on the asking the weather experts about how like it is that the airliner at cruising altitute would be struck by lightning. I thought that:

    (1) CB-clouds are high but is the lightning activity at the top (35000 feet).

    (2) The plane has a weather radar in the nose. Its purpose is to identify CB clouds and to avoid them. Wouldn't the pilot change route to avoid the CB cloud?

    Isn't other technical problems more plausible?

    On CNN nobody asks the experts this.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:08 pm |
  2. Annie Kate

    If they find the plane perhaps the recorders will have enough information on them to allow investigators to piece together what went wrong and what happened. It is a terrible tragedy for all the families impacted by this accident; I hope for their sakes some answers can be found.

    June 1, 2009 at 9:58 pm |
  3. Dan, Denver, CO

    I am curious to know if the pilots get frequent weather briefings and training on how to avoid dense thunderstorms that can tower to 50,000 feet!

    June 1, 2009 at 9:22 pm |
  4. Charlie Erickson

    I know that it's early yet, and that there are a lot of options to explore, but I wonder if anyone has looked into the possibility of a "Positive Lightning" strike? Planes are (to my knowledge) not protected against, or are known to be able to survive a Positive Lightning strike. They are unbelievably powerful and can probably blow an aircraft to smithereens. They've only been recently discovered and are considered very rare, though how rare, I don't know. There was plenty of electrical storm activity, in the presumed area of the plane's disappearance.

    Just a thought.


    June 1, 2009 at 8:01 pm |
  5. joseph macisaac

    I recall watching the construction of the super euro jumbo aircraft,one of the comments at the time ,spoke to the facts that newer aircraft are using more and more composite material in lu of alunimiumn and there was concern that these newer material, may not desipate lightning as redially as curentialy material.

    June 1, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
  6. Lemnyuy Nyuykongi

    i thought planes had tracking devices which makes it easy to know where they are. its a pity for the families whose beloved ones are there

    June 1, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  7. robyn caffrey keyser wesr virgina

    o my god

    my prayers are with the hope for the passengers and the familys

    June 1, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  8. Linda Sante'

    The frailties of our Jets crashing because of lack of maintence is horrific. Condolences for all the families involved in this terrible tragety. I hope this sends a strong message to the airline community.

    June 1, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  9. Isabel, Brazil

    There is the possibility of a former work colleague of my being on the plane. I knew the lady superficially, but the heart is tight.

    A Brazilian didn't put on board, two hours before check-in, because he saw that his passport was expired. The American friend, traveling with him, he desisted too.

    The passenger said that when he connected the TV and he saw the news, he felt a chill to the information

    They were born again!

    June 1, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  10. Isabel, Brazil

    It is very sad and disappointing

    In the list of passengers were: seven children, one baby, maestro, government officials of my state, several officials of Michelin, a couple who got married and traveled on the eve of honey moon, and more ...

    June 1, 2009 at 4:40 pm |