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Thread: Air France plane disappears above the atlantic

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    Re: Air France plane disappears above the atlantic

    Oof, what a tragedy.


    As for what might have happened, it's most probably a chain of events as is usually the case. This BBC article describes one possible scenario:

    BBC NEWS | Europe | Mystery surrounding Air France flight

    Meteorologists have been called in to explain what else might have happened, the extra factor that might have come on top of the lightning.
    The accident took place in a turbulent area along the equator known as the Intertropical Convergence zone.

    The zone has long been feared by sailors and aviators. In French, it is called the "pot au noir", meaning the murky cauldron.

    According to meteorologist Pierre Lasnais, the zone "is prone to storms and lightning, but also to mini-cyclonic phenomena, which create extremely strong up currents, as well as hail stones that can be bigger than tennis-balls".
    "It's possible for a plane to be exposed to lightning, and at the same to be caught in an up current which can reach speeds of 200 km/h," he says.
    "You can imagine the effect that has on a plane - complete depressurisation of course, almost uncontrollable," he said.
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    Re: Air France plane disappears above the atlantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Apocalypse View Post
    They say it might have been struck by lightning.
    BBC NEWS | Americas | French plane lost over Atlantic

    What kind of a modern plane crashes from a lightning hit?
    There are ways to reduce the effects of lightning strikes but there are no guaranties that I am aware of !
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    Re: Air France plane disappears above the atlantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcana XV View Post
    Oof, what a tragedy.


    As for what might have happened, it's most probably a chain of events as is usually the case. This BBC article describes one possible scenario:

    BBC NEWS | Europe | Mystery surrounding Air France flight
    yep, could be !! Severe up and or down drafts and/or hail that size could have the effect of FLACK !!!!
    Last edited by F107HyperSabr; 06-01-09 at 09:09 PM.
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    Re: Air France plane disappears above the atlantic

    Quote Originally Posted by independent_thinker2002 View Post
    I saw a show on Discovery Channel about this. Most planes can survive normal lightning strikes. But there is something called "sprite lighting" (I think I am remembering that correctly) that is much more powerful. That may be what happened here.
    yES, Sprite Lightning is casued when a Stewardress opens a bottle of Sprite too fast and that results in a sudden and sever electrical discharge that fries all of the electrical and electronic devices on board. Very bad stufff indeed !

    Sorry that was not funny here is some truth = "When the lightning strikes, an imbalance of charge forms between the storm cloud and the air above it,” said Hans Nielsen, an atmospheric physicist at the University of Alaska and co-author of the new study. Nature’s way of evening things out, he explained, is a rapid discharge of electricity—a sprite—that can extend as much as 20 miles upward.

    In the night sky, sprites can briefly outshine all other objects. “ "


    Video Reveals 'Sprite' Lightning Secrets | LiveScience
    Last edited by F107HyperSabr; 06-01-09 at 09:09 PM.
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    Re: Air France plane disappears above the atlantic

    Quote Originally Posted by F107HyperSabr View Post
    Actually there is at least one known event of a lighting strike hitting an Airliner. I believe that there was a case of a Super Connie getting whacked by lighting over Arizona or New Mexico IN THE 1950's I think !!

    here is one OVER MARYLAND "Pan Am Flight 214 December 8, 1963 near

    The crash of Pan Am Flight 214 was registered in the Guinness Book of World Records (2005) as the "Worst Lightning Strike Death Toll". In 1971, LANSA Flight 508LANSA Flight 508
    LANSA Flight 508 was a Lockheed Electra L-188A turboprop, registered OB-R-941, operated as a scheduled domestic passenger flight by Lineas A?reas Nacionales Sociedad Anonima , that crashed in a thunderstorm enroute from Lima, Peru to Pucallpa, Peru, on December 24, 1971, killing 91 people – all of its 6 crew and 86 of its 87 passengers....
    was also brought down by a lightning strike, but has no mention in the Guinness Book of World Records, despite having more casualties (91 fatalities). "
    L188 and Constellations do not achieve the altitudes todays jets....what part of 39,000 feet did you not read.

    The Pan Am 707 was in a landing hold pattern and as a result:

    As a result of the crash of Flight 214, the Federal Aviation Administration ordered lightning discharge wicks to be installed on all commercial jets flying inside U.S. airspace.[5]

    These other aircraft did not crash as a result of the lightening strikes either.

    Originally Posted by Truth Detector
    There are no radar screens for transatlantic flights. But again, it is also a stretch to think that lightening strikes at 39,000 feet and would take down a large aircraft; there are no events that support this scenario.
    Last edited by Truth Detector; 06-02-09 at 12:22 AM.

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    Re: Air France plane disappears above the atlantic

    Quote Originally Posted by F107HyperSabr View Post
    yES, Sprite Lightning is casued when a Stewardress opens a bottle of Sprite too fast and that results in a sudden and sever electrical discharge that fries all of the electrical and electronic devices on board. Very bad stufff indeed !

    Sorry that was not funny here is some truth = "When the lightning strikes, an imbalance of charge forms between the storm cloud and the air above it,” said Hans Nielsen, an atmospheric physicist at the University of Alaska and co-author of the new study. Nature’s way of evening things out, he explained, is a rapid discharge of electricity—a sprite—that can extend as much as 20 miles upward.

    In the night sky, sprites can briefly outshine all other objects. “ "


    Video Reveals 'Sprite' Lightning Secrets | LiveScience
    Sprite lightning goes high up into the atmosphere too.
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    Re: Air France plane disappears above the atlantic

    One thing is certain: 250 miles out to sea might as well be on the dark side of the moon for all the rescue efforts that could be made in a timely fashion.

    A great tragedy, no matter what the cause.

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    Re: Air France plane disappears above the atlantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Truth Detector View Post
    Here's the basis of my theory; "We're sure that the electronic systems were damaged (probably by a lightning) since there were alerts.."

    A massive decompression caused by an explosion somewhere within the aircraft at altitude would not cause the plane to disappear instantaneously and would indeed provide time for the systems to send an automated message out.

    A massive decompression would explain why there were no communications from the crew after the automated message went out and there are no instances in modern aircraft where this would have occurred as a result of weather at altitude.

    Now I just had another thought, but am not certain this can be done with the redundancy of systems, but this kind of massive decompression could also occur if someone deliberately were to open an emergency door and if it were close to the cockpit, it could disable the crew in a short instant and result in the loss of the aircraft.

    Again, I am just speculating here like everyone else; but something definitely smells wrong here in my opinion.
    Look, lightnings can strike aircrafts flying high and cause their loss:

    LANSA Flight 508 departed Lima's Jorge Chávez International Airport just before noon on Christmas Eve on its way to Iquitos, Peru, with a scheduled stop at Pucallpa, Peru. The aircraft was flying at Flight Level 210 (about 21,000 ft / 6,400 m above Mean Sea Level) when it encountered an area of thunderstorms and severe turbulence. There was evidence the crew decided to continue the flight despite the hazardous weather ahead, apparently due to pressures related to meeting the holiday schedule.[4][5]

    At about 12:36 p.m. local time, a lightning strike ignited the fuel tank in the right wing, which quickly led to structural failure of the aircraft.
    [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LANSA_Flight_508]LANSA Flight 508 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

    In fact, it seems that lightning can occur at any altitude, up to 90 miles high

    Lightning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Re: Air France plane disappears above the atlantic

    BBC NEWS | Americas | Plane searchers spot ocean debris
    Brazilian aircraft searching for an Air France jet which went missing with 228 people aboard in an Atlantic storm have spotted debris on the ocean.

    Plane seats and other items were sighted 650km (400 miles) north-east of Brazil's Fernando do Noronha island, the Brazilian air force said.

    It could not be immediately confirmed that the debris came from the Airbus.

    The jet was heading from Brazil to Paris when it vanished about four hours into its flight, early on Monday.
    A tragedy indeed.
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    Re: Air France plane disappears above the atlantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Truth Detector View Post
    L188 and Constellations do not achieve the altitudes todays jets....what part of 39,000 feet did you not read.

    The Pan Am 707 was in a landing hold pattern and as a result:

    As a result of the crash of Flight 214, the Federal Aviation Administration ordered lightning discharge wicks to be installed on all commercial jets flying inside U.S. airspace.[5]

    These other aircraft did not crash as a result of the lightening strikes either.

    Originally Posted by Truth Detector
    There are no radar screens for transatlantic flights. But again, it is also a stretch to think that lightening strikes at 39,000 feet and would take down a large aircraft; there are no events that support this scenario.
    I am well aware of the operating altitudes of various aircraft I just decided to disregard the altitude blip.

    "In 1963, a Pan Am Boeing 707, on a flight from Baltimore to Philadelphia, crashed near Elkton, Md., after being struck by lightning. All 81 people on board died. The probable cause was listed as "lightning-induced ignition of the fuel/air mixture in the no. 1 reserve fuel tank with resultant explosive disintegration of the left outer wing and loss of control."

    I will agree that in this 1963 case the 707 being on a short hop between Baltimore and Philly they were at short altitudes but there are more cases of lightning bringong down aircraft. The FAA files would have to be searched to find the operating altitudes when these happened. There are some fother first world countries that have good investigative agencies which would have info on cases not under the FAA investigation area.

    At this point I will not rules out a lightning strike for the June 1 , 2009 French flyers !!

    "
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