Air France Jet May Have Fallen Into Ocean

The missing Air France Jet with 216 people aboard may have fallen into the ocean. But, nobody knows for sure. It is still missing.

Douglas Ferreira, head of the investigation division of Brazil's Civil Aeronautics Agency, warned reporters that the search could take a long time because it was taking place in a vast stretch of open sea.

"We can fear the worst," said Jean-Louis Borloo, the French minister of ecology, who was overseeing rescue efforts from the Paris end.

Terrorism is not suspected. It was an accident of some kind, probably related to a lightning and thunderstorm. But, as of now, the French Government says it has "no news."

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    and once again a reminder (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Jen M on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 05:35:38 PM EST
    of why Sulley's landing was such an extraordinary accomplishment.

    It's awful just thinking about so many people dying and what it must have been like in the plane.

    I thought of that "miracle," too (none / 0) (#29)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 05:57:48 PM EST
    and that it is the context of horrible air tragedies like this one that made the New York City rescue such a welcome story.  Well, plus it was in New York City, so it was easy for teebee to cover.

    In contrast, today's teebee coverage is so lacking in visuals that the pretty faces don't know what to do.  The talking heads like ex-NTSB guys have a lot of important info to give, but they're still just talking heads . . . and, of course, there are no heroes.  Teebee loves its heroes.


    Plus its not (none / 0) (#31)
    by Jen M on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 06:08:20 PM EST
    an American story.

    The most recent report I heard (none / 0) (#1)
    by scribe on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 11:27:49 AM EST
    (6 PM their time German radio news, about 15 minutes ago as I write) was that there was effectively no hope.  The plane has been missing for much a time longer than it had fuel to fly and Brazilian Air Force searches have, so far, failed to find any debris or sign of the aircraft.  The Brazilians are leading in the looking because the plane was relatively near a small archipelago about 350 km off the bulge of South America (but outside radar coverage) when it sent an automated signal that it had suffered a loss of its electrical system.  Apparently, it was in uncontrolled and un-radar-ed airspace about 10 minutes before it would have entered into airspace controlled from Senegal.

    According to the German radio report, most of the people on the flight were Brazilians, and the rest Europeans.

    Scary (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 11:28:20 AM EST

    So do I, and over an ocean (none / 0) (#4)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 11:59:01 AM EST
    and I really have to try to not read about this one.  Awful.

    Oh, I avoid driving (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:49:16 PM EST
    and can walk to work and more, but for other reasons.  However, I also will be back in one of those countries where driving is on the left side of the road -- so most dangerous, I have learned, will be trying to unlearn being a pedestrian here.:-)

    I found crossing the street flanked (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by nycstray on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:04:33 PM EST
    by locals was a safe way to go about it :) When I got back here after a month there, my friends were very supportive teaching me how to cross the street again, lol!~

    Nope, narius, as nycstray says (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:23:22 PM EST
    the problem is that we have to unlearn left, right, left and learn to look right, left, right instead.  It's remarkable how ingrained our pedestrian habits are, as I found -- and as I also found myself almost run over repeatedly in Europe.  (And I really wasn't ready for the speed of the bikers in some of those cities!  So I had to learn to better judge their onset, too.)

    Bizarre experience isn't it? (none / 0) (#17)
    by nycstray on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:36:58 PM EST
    What was really funny is I had people stopping me for directions (I guess I looked local?) before I had mastered street crossing {grin} I was pretty good about knowing my surroundings, so being able to give directions was a hoot for me, especially if the asker had a British accent!

    It's right left (none / 0) (#12)
    by nycstray on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:11:12 PM EST
    and after doing left right for your whole life as an auto reaction when getting ready to cross streets, it can take a bit to get the opposite happening. Left right left works pretty well . . .

    I felt like the biggest fool (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by nycstray on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:33:12 PM EST
    my first few days. I flew in from the west coast, hopped on the tube and came up above ground in London and discovered my street crossing skills were totally lacking. The next day it became apparent I couldn't blame it on my lack of sleep. The return was an even longer trip, luckily, friends met me at the airport. Stepping off the above ground trollies into the streets of SF was tricky for a couple days.

    While trying to reprogram yourself to look in the new correct direction, you can find yourself doing a lot of head turns on streets with more traffic! Kinda like being a little kid again and needing mommy to take your hand before crossing {grin}


    Excellent tip, nycstray (none / 0) (#15)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:25:36 PM EST
    and I'm going to use it -- no doubt adding to local lore about odd American behaviors, walking only in lockstep with others.

    I do not plan to try to drive.  Bless taxis.  But as I recall, I will have to be a passenger who closes my eyes to not drive the drivers nuts.


    I cabbed it a bit the first few days (none / 0) (#19)
    by nycstray on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:43:35 PM EST
    but mostly walked and used the underground for the month. Being a passenger was unnerving.

    I had a hard time understanding some of the heavier accents also. I remember the day before I was going over to Ireland, I had a cabbie with a seriously heavy Irish accent. He's was trying to be so helpful with places to visit etc, but all he did was scare the crap outta me, and not with his driving (we were stuck in traffic). I luckily met some Irish folks on the train with a softer accent who were very helpful during my stay :)

    Never knew I would have problems with English and street crossing!


    Reminds me of a cabbie in Cork (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 02:45:35 PM EST
    which must have the most unpenetrable Irish brogue.  We still laugh about that ride and wonder how the heck we ever managed to communicate getting where we wanted to go.  But where we were going was a French restaurant famed for Irish salmon, as Cork is closer to Paris than to Dublin, for one of the most amazing meals ever.  And Cork is an incredible ancient city to see, if not to have many conversations. :-)

    We cannot let tragedies like today's stop us from travel -- I try to help my kids travel farther at a younger age than ever I could, because it is such an education to Americans.


    When in Rome ... (none / 0) (#18)
    by cal1942 on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 01:39:33 PM EST
    great tactic.

    At these moments, I could care less about logic (5.00 / 0) (#21)
    by shoephone on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 03:08:20 PM EST
    For those of us who have lost a friend or loved one from a plane crash, idle talk about logic and statistics are out of place only hours after another plane has gone down.

    Every single time I hear about a plane going down -- anywhere -- it immediately brings back the horror of Alaska Air Flight 261. I lost a friend on that flight. In fact, it seemed that practically everyone in Seattle knew someone on that plane. So, please spare me the statistics. Plane crashes may not happen often enough for you, but it's still horrific when it does happen.


    as are car crashes (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by CST on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 03:29:50 PM EST
    any type of crash or death is horrible.

    Statistics aren't there to make us feel differently about a loss.  They do help to put fear in perspective.  There is something inherently more terrifying about a plane crash than a car crash, but that doesn't mean it's actually more dangerous on a plane.  Statistics just remind us of that, I don't see it as belittling the loss, a life is still a life and even one life lost is too many.

    Sorry for your loss, I don't mean to seem insensitive.  I was at a funeral for 4 plane crash victims earlier this year where a whole family was wiped out.  I have also lost friends to car crashes.  It's never easy.  I don't think it is something that "can't be talked about" though.


    Totally true (none / 0) (#23)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 03:38:09 PM EST
    I tell family after a cancer diagnosis that they "aren't a statistic, they're a person". Their sample size  (of 1) is too small to predict the outcome.

    Same with plane crashes.  They weren't statistics, they were human beings.


    Numerous victims of TWA 800 (none / 0) (#25)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 04:36:35 PM EST
    were also from Seattle, as the flight had originated here. We lost a fantastic teacher and his wife in that horrible crash.

    It does make sense. (none / 0) (#27)
    by Fabian on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 05:15:54 PM EST
    If you work the demographics out.

    Who flies?  Does everybody fly?

    No.  The higher you are up on the economic ladder, the more likely you are to fly.  Poor people fly far more rarely, if at all.  People tend to see more of others in their own socioeconomic class.  So - the people on that flight were most likely in the upper half of the income scale.  People in the same income class associate with each other more than those in a different class.  So "everyone in Seattle" is likely "everyone I know in Seattle".  Who do they know?  Most likely, people in their own economic class which is subset of the Seattle population.

    The best example of the this is viral marketing in theory and in practice.  In theory, if you email three people something and then they each email three people and so on, you get a rapidly expanding geometric progression.  1, 3, 9, 27, 3 to the power of n.

    In reality, some of those people know each other, so within a few degrees, people will be sending each other the same emails and many people will receive multiple copies.  I imagine it as a mandelbrot image where there are multiple degrees of association (school, church, work, domicile, income, sports) inside and relatively few types of association outside.

    This actually works for viral marketing, because they usually want to target a certain demographic, not everyone.  


    How is it that terrorism is not suspected, (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:22:46 PM EST
    given the plane was not in radio contact and hasn't been located?

    And because most crashes... (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:49:03 PM EST
    have zilch to do with any terrorism?  

    Absent any evidence, I'm glad the authorities aren't/weren't wetting the bed over this tragic accident.


    Where are the GPS? (none / 0) (#24)
    by Saul on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 04:14:20 PM EST
    They can find a guy inside an avalanche with signal devices.  Surely major airlines have gps installed in order for a satellite to track that GPS on any plane anywhere on earth.

    GPS (none / 0) (#32)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 06:58:40 PM EST
    is a receiver, not a transmitter.  The black boxes have pingers attached to them in order to locate them under water, but they have to be fairly close.

    Hard to believe (none / 0) (#33)
    by Saul on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 09:19:01 PM EST
    that if a plane hits the water there is no debris of any kind.  Something should have been floating

    I heard the likely crash area is (none / 0) (#34)
    by sallywally on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 09:37:40 PM EST
    as big as the continental U.S. Someone was on tv talking about the TWA 800 crash and saying how long it took to locate various things with that one when they had an observable debris field and water only 200 feet deep, compared to that huge area and water 10,000 feet deep.

    Very scary....if you are on one of those flights, your probability of going down is 100 percent. My terrified to fly take on it all.