The French airbus that vanished from radar on Sunday on its way from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Paris, France, has caused much grieving, question marks and, of course, media speculation. Air France flight number AF 447 took off from Brazil on Sunday 31th of May with 216 passengers and 12 crew members and was expected to arrive at its destination the next day. It never arrived.
Authorities say 58 Brazilians were killed in the crash. But on some Brazilian blogs, the debate is about the media coverage of the disaster. For Leite de Cobra [pt], the way in which the non-arrival of the airbus and supposed disaster has been treated is outrageous:
Acho perverso isso da imprensa ficar divulgando fatos e particulares da vida das vítimas do desastre aéreo. Não têm o mínimo respeito e nem disfarçam o desejo de que a dor renda, em escala nacional, o máximo possível, até que venha a próxima catástrofe, o próximo escândalo. Ô corja! Por isso que não acompanho mais nada desse triste episódio. Pra mim deu
According to bloggers, the problem is that the media always wants to report something and prove it right, come what may – creating theories and enhancing sensationalism. Camerini, from blog Transbrasil [pt], states:
Os experts de plantão já estão desfilando as baboseiras nas Tvs.
Falam e falam sobre o que ainda não passa de especulações, até Raios são culpados pela queda do AirBus da Air France !
É prematuro qualquer indicação sobre o acidente até que as equipes consigam, primeiro localizar os destroços do avião, depois a Caixa Preta, com o Data Recorder e o Voice Recorder, mas, como dá audiência levar para a Tv um bando de especialistas natos em acidentes aéreos, o que se pode fazer!
Ouvir um Chamar o avião da Air France de Boeing A 330, outro dizer que o Atlântico é o lugar mais seguro do sistema solar , depois outro que afirma categoricamente que um raio derrubou o avião!
A Verdade é que ninguém sabe ainda o que aconteceu, aonde aconteceu e como aconteceu, mas muitos especialistas deveriam saber que um acidente aéreo não ocorre apenas por uma só causa, e sim por mais fatores que desencadeam um acidente
They have talked and talked about things that are just speculation. Even lightning has been blamed for the Air France plane crashing!
It’s too early to indicate anything about the accident until the rescue groups can first find the aircraft debris, and the black-box, with the data and voice recorders. But as bringing a bunch of naturally-born-specialists to TV attracts a large audience, what can be done!
I have heard one of them calling the Air France aircraft a Boeing A330, another one saying that the Atlantic Ocean is the safest place in the solar system, and then, another one emphatically affirming that lightning knocked the aircraft down!
The truth is that nobody knows what has happened, where it has happened and how it has happened, but many specialists should know that an air accident doesn’t happen for just one reason, but because of a series of factors which cause an accident.
For Eu, Você e Todo Mundo [pt], the desperate search for specialists is also a problem:
Gente, que absurdo!
Eu como jornalista fico indignada mesmooo!!! Aqui no Futura recebemos o e-mail de uma assessoria de Campinas falando de uma terapeuta holística que analisou a catástrofe desse acidente pela numerologia, tarô. Enfim, de acordo com o texto dela que vou colocar abaixo, essa catástrofe é efeito da conjunção de uma série de números ruins, energias negativas… pra mim é demais querer explorar uma tragédia como essa dessa maneira. Que vergonha… e ainda dos jornalistas que se propõem a divulgar isso! Vejam o absurdo:
Detalhe: não estou julgando a numerologia, mas o uso que está se fazendo dela nesse caso!
With a very controversial comment which raises the much discussed issue that some disasters are considered more important and newsworthy than others according to the social class of those involved, Bruno Nepumoceno [pt] reached the following conclusion, after talking to people at work:
Fui dar minha opinião sobre o assunto e nego ficou me criticando, dizendo que eu não tenho coração, que eu sou insensível e coisas do tipo. A vontade que deu e de dizer: VOCÊS QUE SÃO BURROS OS SUFICIENTE PARA NÃO ENXERGAR QUE O JORNALISMO GANHA DINHEIRO EXPLORANDO A DESGRAÇA ALHEIA! Se fosse um ônibus cheio de nordestinos com a mesma quantidade de pessoas, o caso já teria caido no esquecimento.
Centenas morrem de fome no nordeste Brasileiro. O que é um aviãozinho cair?
Nevertheless, there is an intense wave of grief and shock around the world, and naturally Brazilian bloggers are not the only ones discussing the accident online. From Kuwait, the blogger ZDistrict summed up his feelings.
228 people from Brazil to France on an Air France flight has vanished over the Atlantic after flying into turbulence. I haven’t seen a tragedy such as this in a long time, a flight of this type crashing in the middle of the Atlantic.
Charles, a commenter on ZDistrict has this to say:
Fear, helpless, horrific moment – it brings tears and heart ache to hear anyone enduring that final moment. Really hope they were all asleep during all that moments. Its over now, their faith bring them to where they belong.
Commenter Another Me states:
i’m so sad for the families. i fly frequently and can’t imagine what the passengers must have felt, not to mention the families. i also have an infant and that just breaks my heart to think of that innocent little baby, unaware of what’s happening. in my opinion, the governing international aviation athority (whoever that is) needs to restrict pilots from flying through or above thunderstorms, and require that they fly around all storms. those storms can reach upward of 50,000 ft; trying to fly above is just too risky.
Many times, air tragedies occurring over the Atlantic Ocean have been associated with the Bermuda Triangle, which is located north of Brazil, between Florida (USA), Puerto Rico and Bermuda. Still from Kuwait, Twitter user @2Twenty3 suggests that the “Bermuda triangle needs investigating”.
Cynthia Drescher, blogging at the Britannica Blog, says that the lack of information regarding the disaster will bring out conspiracy theorists, and many have alredy tried to link the crash with the Bermuda Triangle.
…[T]he skeptics would like to heighten the drama by associating the Bermuda Triangle with this recent mystery. What’s next — asserting that the Triangle is now some sort of giant trapezoid? Perhaps the mysterious area got bored with hanging out off the US coast and decided to journey to Brazil for some caipirinhas?
Although authorities haven’t yet confirmed that the floating seats are indeed from the missing Air France jet, it’s pretty easy to see on the map above that for once, this possible tragedy has nothing to do with aliens or electromagnetic fields or the ghost of Amelia Earhart. It does, however, have everything to do with freak accidents and airplane safety.
Not forgetting the Bermuda Triangle effect, Polish blog Tierra Incognita [pl], wonders what has happened, affirming that despite the catastrophe of the disappearance, he stills loves flying:
Uwielbiam latać samolotem. Podróż lotnicza nie wywołuje u mnie żadnego stresu, wręcz przeciwnie – działa uspokajająco i relaksująco. W chwili gdy maszyna odrywa się od ziemi wpadam w specyficzny błogostan, mam wrażenie że wszystkie moje problemy i zmartwienia pozostały tam na dole. Świadomość, że przez najbliższe kilka godzin podróży będę w zupełnie innym wymiarze, gdzie w sumie nic ode mnie nie zależy, sprawia mi wielką frajdę. Jak dziecko, godzinami mogę gapić się przez okienko, nawet jeśli to czarna noc i widać tylko gwiazdy.
Zastanawiam się dlaczego ten właśnie wypadek aż tak bardzo wlazł mi pod skórę? Złożyło się na to pewnie kilka czynników – Air France jest jednym z moich ulubionych przewoźników, dosłownie kilkanaście dni temu odprowadzałem bliską przyjaciółkę na samolot lecący z Caracas do Paryża, a ja sam też na trasie Ameryka Południowa – Europa latam dość często. No i jeszcze ta tajemniczość tej katastrofy – nie żadne „tradycyjne” kłopoty przy starcie, bądź lądowaniu, ale zaginięcie gdzieś na środku oceanu. Dobrze, że przynajmniej nie nad Trójkątem Bermudzkim…
Na szczęście nie sądzę aby ten wypadek zmienił mój stosunek do latania. Nadal się cieszę, że prawdopodobnie jeszcze w tym miesiącu będę musiał kilka razy wsiąść do samolotu. I wciąż mam nadzieję, że jeszcze w tym roku uda mi się dolecieć samolotem do Księżyca…
Discussions and rumours have begun to focus not only on the strange weather patterns in the part of the Atlantic where the plane went down, but also on the computer systems on the Airbus A330-203. Specifically, some are investigating the coincidences between the Air France flight and an October 2008 Quantas flight headed for Perth, Australia that dropped 200 meters in a matter of minutes, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing. Others argue this incident is not relevant to the recent disaster. From Plane Talking, written by Ben Sandilands at Crikey Blogs in Australia.
It has been reported by The Aviation Herald, an online Europe based journal of aviation incidents and news that the main body of electronic alerts begin with the disengagement of the autopilot and were followed by messages related to the ADIRU or air data and inertial reference units and the PRIM or flight control primary computer which is informed about speed, attitude and other material flight values by the ADIRUs.
Superficially this resembles the onset of the mid air upset that caused Qantas flight QF72 from Singapore to Perth to make an emergency landing in Learmonth last October.
The PRIM will in some flight modes intervene in the flight controls settings of the jet to inhibit pilot inputs which would exceed critical limits which could stall the airliner, or overload parts of the structure or control surfaces on the wings or rudder.
However these limitations can also be in turn locked out by the pilot.
Other reports indicate that these ‘unprecedented’ messages were concentrated in a four minute period, ending with a final advisory message about the vertical speed, that is, the rate at which the jet was falling rather than any speed with which it was also moving forwards.
Faulty ADIRU units in the Qantas A330-300 operating the flight that diverted to Learmonth remain a major focus of an unfinished air accident investigation by the ATSB. That investigation is also looking at other ADIRU related incidents on Qantas A330s.
However the Qantas ADIRU units were made by Northrop Grumman, while those in the Air France jet were made by Honeywell, They are two completely different designs, running totally different sets of programmed logic to serve the same ends.
Most of the passengers whose lives were claimed by the crash were French: there were 61 French passengers and 11 French crewmembers. Charles-guy de Kerimel, the writer of the aviation history blog Des avions et des hommes expresses his condolences [fr] to the passengers and the crew of the Airbus A330-203.
L’annonce de cet accident me remplit de tristesse.
Le plus grave accident d’Air France, nous dit-on.
Indépendamment du nombre de victimes, pour chacun de ceux qui sont concernés la gravité est extrême, pour la victime bien sûr, mais aussi pour les parents, les amis, les collègues : ils se trouvent brutalement confrontés à une perte irrémédiable. Je m’associe à leur peine. Je songe au personnel d’Air France ; en premier lieu aux navigants, comme leurs aînés ils vont poursuivre leur tâche.
This is Air France’s most serious accident, we are told…
Regardless of the number of victims, for each of those involved it is extremely serious for the victim, but also for parents, friends, colleagues: they are suddenly faced with an irreparable loss. I feel their pain. I think of the staff of Air France; first of Airmen, their elders as they continue their work.