(This crash happened on May 31, 2009 between Brazil and Paris)
The plane was flying at 35,000 feet when it encountered storm turbulence. The crew turned off the autopilot and tried to fly above the storm turbulence.
The speed sensors apparently were frozen, and had been giving the pilots indications they were flying much faster than they were. When the autopilot disengaged and the pilots attempted to gain altitude, they put the Airbus A330 into a severe stall.
The aircraft instruments started to malfunction. The nose of the lane pushed up more than 10 degrees and Airspeed dropped dramatically.
The jet then dropped out of the sky and into the ocean.
As the jet was in a freefall it was dropping at the rate of 10,000 feet per minute. In about 3 minutes and 30 seconds it smashed into the water.
The allegations against Air France being that the speed sensors were defective and that the airline knew about it and had not fixed them.
But as in any airline crash, no single reason is usually responsible. Itâ€™s two or more causes that create a situation that cannot be overcome.
The 3 occurances we know happened on Air France Flight 447
– The aircraft equipment was defective.
– The pilots were confused and eventually made mistakes.
– They pulled the nose up when they should have pointed it down.
The Aircraft tail section….
It was one of the only large pieces of the plane initially found intact â€” dozens of miles from the impact location. Veteran investigators are hinting that the tail itself may have been part of the cause of the crash.
It may eventually get down to the resilience and the performance parameters of the non-metallic materials used in the construction of the Airbus, which includes the tail. Composite materials are the new darlings of airplane manufacturers. On the plus side, they weigh less and they donâ€™t corrode. On the minus side, composite materials are brittle and can easily snap.
The tail was found intact, floating on the surface of the ocean. Did turbulence contribute to the tail of the Airbus A330 literally breaking off?
We may never know…..