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Friday, May 27, 2011

BEA Releases Preliminary AF 447 Facts

The Bureau d’Enquetes et d’Analyses (BEA) on May 27 detailed the final minutes of Air France Flight 447. Preliminary data based on its ongoing analysis of the flight data recorders indicated the Airbus A330 stalled at a high altitude. The crew failed to recover from the stall before the aircraft crashed into the Atlantic Ocean en route to Rio de Janiero to Paris, June 1, 2009, killing all 228 onboard.

There was a sudden change in displayed speeds and there was a deviation between that shown on the primary flight display and on the standby instrument system, the report confirms.

The BEA listed its new findings: The airplane climbed to 38,000 ft after the autopilot was disengaged. The stall warning was triggered and the airplane stalled. The inputs made by the PF were mainly nose-up. The descent lasted three minutes and 30 seconds, during which the airplane remained stalled. The angle of attacked increased and remained above 35 degrees. The last recorded values were a pitch attitude of 16.2 degrees nose-up, a roll angle of 5.3 degrees left and a vertical speed of -10,912 ft/min.

“The BEA’s work constitutes a significant step towards the identification of the complete chain of events that led to the tragic accident of Air France Flight 447 June 2009,” Airbus stated.

Airbus is confident that the successful recovery of the data contained by the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) will contribute to making air travel safer.

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