Lawrence Frost and Andrea Rothman have written an article on Bloomberg.com titled “Air France Airbus A330 Missing After Reporting Electrical Fault” that tells us Airbus A330 Flight 447 that left out of Rio de Janeiro on its way to Paris is missing. In its final contact the crew reported an electrical-circuit breakdown and also said they had encountered turbulence.
Air France-KLM reported the information and in addition said that there were 228 passengers aboard as well as a 12-person crew.
The article writers go on to say that French President Nicolas Sarzozy is very worried and has dispatched Energy Minister Jean-Louis-Borloo as well as Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau to monitor the situation from Charles de Gaulle airport.
Actually the plane has been sending automatic distress signals because it was so far away from Brazil’s coast in the Atlantic Ocean.
KLM spokeswoman Marisca Kensenhuis indicated that the aircraft had been out of contact for a fair amount of time.
The plane was lost to the radar screen between the city of Natal, Brazil and island Ilha do Sal of Cape Verde.
An airport official that was not identified said there was no hope for the flight that was scheduled to land at 11:10 a.m. Paris time on Monday morning, June 1, 2009. The plane had not been heard from since 11:00 p.m. Brazilian time.
There is a search taking place near the island of Fernando de Noronha which is about 1,500 miles northeast of Rio de Janeiro.
What is an Airbus A330?
Surprisingly the Airbus A330 is not a jet. One would think it might be since it carries about 250 people.
The Airbus A330 has never had a crash although the article states a developmental model crashed shortly after takeover.
A twist to this incident is that it appears that the plane may have gone down during the flight. That rarely happens. Most crashes happen during takeoff and landing.
Not only does the Airbus A330 have a great safety record but the last time Air France had a fatal accident was in the year 2000 when a Concorde crashed.
Back in 1978, I was leaving from my hometown of Peoria, Illinois, for Detroit, Michigan. While we were taxiing down the runway the jet began to fill with smoke. It was an electrical fire. It was impossible to see and finally we were removed by emergency workers. I can easily see that if there were an electrical problem of the wrong type in mid-air it could cause a fatal problem.
While chances are the plane has been lost, it is hard to give up hope.