Air France Plane Drops Off Radar Over Atlantic



CNN link: … index.html


Three hours overdue as I type this (14:15 Paris), doesn’t bode well.


I am surprised no debris field has been found…one has to guess this will be the outcome.


Just off cnn dot com: … index.html


Let’s hope for a speedy recovery of the a/c and hopefully those who possibly lost their lives in this horrible tragedy. I don’t see any good news coming but let’s hope for some survivors in the water. Thoughts and prayers with everyone on this flight and with Air France.


:frowning: terrible news.

Can anyone here explain how an ac can “drop off” radar as in this case. I know it has a specific flight plan, and I would think some international traffic control would have it to route/oversee; yet the news links state that they are not sure where they lost the ac.


I’m pretty much a dummy about this but are the planes tracked with GPS so they would have a location where it went down?


What the…


Planes have GPS for navigation but they are not tracked with it, they are tracked with radar and there’s no radar coverage over the middle of the ocean.


Which I will never understand, why don’t they equip them with an “onstar” type of tracker? Heck, they even have it where if the airbag deploys, the device will “phone home” as an emergency.

Rhetorical question, I know, since it’s aviation…


When flying oceanic you don’t have the luxury of radar. What you do is report your position at each waypoint and the current weather.


Onstar uses celluar phone technology to contact emergency services. But i think ADS-B is supposed to accomplish that for aviation in the near future.


Gotchya, I thought it was entirely satellite based including the telephone communications for the airbag. … nology.jsp

And I believe you are right ADS-B is the answer to a quicker response for S&R … broadcast/


Cross-ocean flights report their position by HF (Shortwave) to a variety of stations, depending over which part of the Atlantic they’re flying. I’ve yet to see if the Air France Airbus had contacted any of those trans-Atlantic HF stations. They did say the electrical problems reported were sent in automatically, I assume via HF?


NOAA GOES EAST Satilight IR: 2:45 UTC


Many newer and more advanced aircraft have satellite link technology which allow messages to be sent to and from the aircraft. In this case, the aircraft will automatically send a message to maintenance control if there is a failure of some type or a limitation (ie. engine temperature or power setting) is exceeded. In the case of some newer aircraft, the satellite links have replaced the HF radio for position reporting and similar communications.


Would the power that runs that satellite link technology be based on primary power sources or was there some foresight to place those kind of messages to run off a alternate power source like the ELT battery. Could lightning fry an entire electrical system?

Can’t imagine it would require that much juice to fire off a message on a back up source when things hit the fan???


Purely speculating here - could lightning have caused an electrical short circuit, which for whatever reason have caused a catastrophic explosion? For instance, didn’t a short circuit in the fuel tank bring down TWA 800? I mean, some things just don’t add up here…


Fly by wire aircraft + “Catastrophic” electrical malfunction/failure = A very poor prospect.

A great deal of speculation in the press as to the possibility of a lightning strike having affected the aircraft’s systems. We’re going to see every crackpot scenario imaginable dragged out, dusted off and presented by the press in an effort to “make” news.