What brought Air France flight AF 447 Down?

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Postby justellus » Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:21 am

Now, getting back to the main link that says it all, some very good points are made in the sequence of research:

Is Composite Structural Design and Manufacturing Technology Sufficiently Mature To Be Used in Critical Structures on Passenger Aircraft? In cooperation with NASA’s Aircraft Energy Efficiency (ACEE) Program to improve the fuel economy of commercial aircraft, Boeing commenced an experimental carbon/epoxy flight service program in the early 1970s and included a limited number of experimental elevators on 727s and horizontal stabilizers and spoilers on 737s. [65]

The conclusions the article suggests on possible actions to take are one and the same - the better option of banning the use of composites until the testing and reliability of the same is increased.

In fact, Nasa has already addressed this issue well:

In 2001, NASA assessed the state-of-the-art in the design and manufacturing of large composite structures in a paper by Charles E. Harris and Mark J. Shuart, which concluded that:

Composite structural design and manufacturing technology is not yet fully mature for all applications. There are 3 key factors that contribute to the lack of maturity of the design and manufacturing technology. These factors are the lack of a full understanding of damage mechanisms and structural failure modes, the inability to reliably predict the cost of developing composite structures, and the high costs of fabricating composite structure relative to convention aluminum structure. While the technology required to overcome these uncertainties is under development, these factors are barriers to expanding the application of composites to heavy loaded, primary structure.” (emphasis added) [70]

So, as stated, these are known facts, so the suggestions of best options for us to make these planes more safe is fully supported by Nasa. So again, no need for fear. The information to support all the points and conclusions is ample. Again, it is an un-justified fear factor being instilled by those who would support their family lines of ologopoly and control. So the alliance is becoming ever more clear.

The article continues in the same line of thought, mentioning the Airbus composite use of rudders, couplers and vertical stabilizers:

Regarding Airbus’ use of composites in rudders, couplers and vertical stabilizers, Mr. Shuart said, “What you’re asking is a good question.” [74]

Then a new question is poised:

In the Use of Composite Materials, Should Aircraft Designers Anticipate the Unexpected in Recognizing That Composite Materials Used in All Critical Structures Will Experience Extreme Stress At Some Point? As we have seen, a variety of causes have been found in the various emergency in-flight incidents and crashes involving the damage or loss of composite rudders and tail fins on Airbus aircraft.

And the same suggestion that composites perhaps should not be used for critical structures is made. All this is fully backed up on research, with multiple sources and thus there is no need for a fear factor, please.

Stated here:

If the expectation is that the composite tail fin may be torn off when that happens, then perhaps composites should not be used in that structure.

And it is even more well stated here:

Critical structures on aircraft, particularly those intended to carry passengers, cannot be constructed of materials that fail to anticipate that they will be exposed to extreme stress at some point during their lifetime. It is true that, ultimately, all materials can be made to fail, why should passenger’s lives be included in the equation or the experiment to determine the breaking point?

So the suggestions which have been made are very timely, adequate and will only further support greater safety for these planes. So there is no need for alarm. Calm down Ed!

And, the big question is poised, the same as has been suggested:

Should the Use of Composite Materials Be Prohibited in Critical Structures in Commercial Passenger Aircraft? The use of composite materials in commercial aircraft is for one reason only – to save operating costs. The bottom line in this discussion is not how much money can be saved by composites. The true bottom line is the physical fact that composites fracture when they reach their limit, while metal usually bends before breaking.

Boeing and Airbus are the only two viable commercial manufacturing companies designing and delivering passenger aircraft, and they are competing in every market and with every product line. They are in a race to develop the least heavy aircraft to carry the greatest weight the greatest distance for the least amount of fuel possible.

If the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board should decide that, until such time as the composite structural design and manufacturing technology becomes sufficiently mature for all applications, composite materials could be prohibited for a common set of structures, including those most critical to flight operations.

Obviously, it is up to the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board to decide if composite materials should be allowed in future planes. The suggestion which I have made is completely in line with this research as well. So again, no need for a fear factor of suggesting something which has not already been suggested and made clear elsewhere, with no fear of recrimination.

As the article states, it is the intense competition among these firms that has forced them to make aircraft which is lighter. So some order is needed in the house and this can be done by a regulating agency.

And the suggestion of submitting aircraft of composite materials to more regular testing for hidden defects was made as well and is fully supported by demonstrations of past failures in composite materials, such as the experience of Federal Express.

Again, all these are suggestions that will only make flying safer, should these precautions in fact be adopted.

The next question is poised as well:

Should All Aircraft Manufactured with Composite Materials in Critical Structures Be Grounded Until They Can Be Inspected For Hidden Defects?

In fact, an entire DC10 fleet was grounded until the cause could be determined in that case.

And again, it is the safety on US soil that many should be concerned with, not what goes on overseas.

The article states it well here:

The Airbus is not manufactured in the United States; however, they are being operated by a number of American carriers and U.S. citizens fly on them every day all over the world.

Under the Bush administration, the last FAA administrator, Marion Blakey, “was a fervent free marketeer and opponent of increased government regulation.” [76]

President Obama appointed Randy Babbitt to administer the agency, and he was confirmed last month by the Senate. Mr. Babbitt is the former head of the Airline Pilot’s Association. What will he decide?

So it is up to leaders ultimately to establish the best path to take and to either implement of fail to implement the suggestions which have been made.
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Postby justellus » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:26 pm

A Belly Flop with Objects Being Pulled Up To The Ceiling?

The apparent contradictions in what appears to be a belly flop position can be understood another way, with spins involved, under this scenario:

The plane spiraling down in twists and turns, reaches a near belly position in one of the spins as it hits the ocean. However, the tail section hits first, causing the front of the plane to be pushed up in micro-seconds, before it also slams into the ocean. This upward push of the frontal section would also push all the objects inside the plane violently upward. The flip of the craft body with the front now being pulled back down would further pull the objects towards the ceiling in these micro-seconds. Then, the frontal section violently hits the ocean as well. This accounts for the strong markings on the fuselage bottom showing a belly flop position. If there was any vertical acceleration, it would be from the nose up position of the belly flop. But there would be also the acceleration of the free fall downwards which would not be oriented upwards, but the other way, down towards the ocean. So the idea of a strong vertical acceleration also comes into question.

Yet this helps to explain under this model the objects being pulled up towards the ceiling.

Of course, this is a good guess theory at explaining the contradictory facts in a way which align with the information we do have about a possible belly flop position during impact.

As time moves on, certainly others will have their own ideas to help explain the apparent contradictions of facts.

All the previous conclusions in the other posts were drawn also from extensive research and reflect the opinions of those who have conducted their own extensive research as well.
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Extremely good information, and then ...???

Postby Ed Ziomek » Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:39 am


Thank you for your understanding, which I can tell you know what I mean.

So you are blending extraordinary research information, with amateur guesswork, and I feel like a mother hen, this is another area where you are "reaching".

Belly flops are blogger's guesswork. Composite material problems are historic fact.

You know the difference.

On my side, I was at JFK, and what aircraft shows up... I will let you guess, and to my shock I was gauging, from 500 yards away, the size differential between the rudder of the tail, and the rudder support portion. I don't think the rudder was less than 3/8ths of the full tail.

Can you imagine the torque, of full deployment rudder, in high speed, crosswinds, on such a small rudder support beam?

Given my active imagination, at high speed, extreme torque, I can only describe it like a toothpick trying to control a mainsail.

Someone should take a tape measure and compare rudder size, to rudder support.

Frightening to me, if not nightmarish.
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Postby justellus » Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:46 pm

As noted, the material has been separated or classified into groups of certainly or uncertainty, so that we may be able to ascertain what happened.

Your point about spotting one of these planes and questioning the rudder support is interesting. Yet this visual clue may not necessarily be indicative of a design flaw, as sometimes components which appear weak can do a heck of a job in supporting a much larger structural element. But indeed the composites used in such sections are subject to damage by water and this is considered in these discussions, as well as below, where the possibility of blue ice also causing damage to this section of the plane. And, as you state, composite problems are an historic fact, so the previous suggestions on avoiding their use was very relevant to this discussion as well.

Now, let us continue to delve into the "gray areas" of possibility:

In doing this, we have other possible factors to be considered in this incident:

Strong convection - updrafts. Which we touched on previously.

Possible icing of the engine. And of course, the pilot tubes.

With an interesting discussion going on here;


With various interesting posts, such the post by 'einhverfr' Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:59 pm

A point about pressurization, and backing away from the flat spin hypothesis.

He mentions the A330 abnormal attitude Angle of Attack values, when these are above 30 deg or less then minus 10 degrees. Much outside these values a stall normally occurs.

Under this view, the auto-pilot is disabled by strong convection and gushes of wind, giving incorrect air speed readings, either by pilot icing or the AoA giving the pilot tubes incorrect readings. At this point the pilots push the nose down to avoid a stall and to continue out of the storm while at the same time trying to figure out the system failures and trouble shoot these. At this point the AoA could have reached -7 degrees. At this point, they hit a downdraft of 50 mph, bringing them into the stall range, by subtracting 6.4 degrees from their angle. At this point the wings stall and the aircraft enters an uncontrolled descent. At this point the final ACARS message is triggered.

Other parts of the debate revolve around the possibility of a flat spin, similar to what I had just suggested in the last post. This can and does occur as well, and is another possibility.

All indications now from the initial report, is that the errors in the speed readings gave rise to all the other successive system failures. Whether this error was due to the pilot tubes themselves, or due to massive updrafts and downdrafts which confused the sensors, we cannot know for sure.

A stall-out or icing of the engines is possible to occur as well, but all indications of the messages suggest incorrect air speed readings. A later successive stall-out of the engines may have occurred as well. Then we have the possibility of the tail section being ripped off in the air.

So the complexity of this event is growing and the discussions are diverse.

Most have ruled out the possibility of lighting in this case, although it cannot be discarded completely.

The convergence of various meso storm systems is also discussed among the various threads, and the same question appears of why the pilots flew into such a system and if they had adequate radar training.

So the discussion here shelves the idea of the pilot tubes solely as the cause and focuses more on the possibility of strong updrafts and downdrafts as the root cause of the incorrect air speed readings, as the pilot tubes would not give proper readings under such extreme conditions.

And regarding a flat spin, some have suggested in this discussion that this would be somewhat inconsistent as well, such as "einhverfr", who suggests that at the extremities of the plane, the plane would hit at least 30 to 40 degrees of the vertical, even as high as 45 degrees off. Considering 3 to 4 secons per rotation, one would have 100 to 140 mph sideways motion at the ends. And this seems to him as inconsistent with the BEA findings, even though the preliminary findings could be wrong, as the disclaimer on the initial report states. Yet it this is the case, the findings are completely dis-regarding the spin forces.

The entire subject gets quite complex, when as pointed out by Peter on the post July 07, 3:58 pm notes that the passengers clothes were torn off, which does not even occur to sky divers. So he concludes that they must have been falling at a speed much superior to a free fall. So the plane could not have been intact when it hit the water, according to this view. For some reason, it is a cover-up of the obvious, he states.

In this other discussion, "einhverfr" supports and demonstrates that there were indeed pilot tube failures. He sees a few possible causes such as:

1. Ice crystal ingestion - the most probable cause, which can also cause the engines to stall out.

2. Lighting damage. This is low probability however due to the lack of a large amount of lighting in the storm the jet faced.

Since the auto-throtte and auto-thrust positions would have been maintained after auto pilot disconnect, we need to know what these outputs were prior to this disconnect, so as to determine if the plane was going too fast or too slow.

He goes on to point out that the loss of attitude data was more serious in this case then the loss of air-speed data, and the two combined together would have made the craft uncontrollable. (Without attitude data, you don't know which way is up).

Further, the IR2 unit should have functioned even with Pilot Tube failures, so it's malfunction is very strange as well. The inertial reference systems are not supposed to fail this way and it may related to a general systems failure on the plane.

To add to all this, came the primary and secondary computer failures, and the compression system controller error, suggesting there had been a very rapid change in air pressure. Either a rapid decompression or a rapid descent.

And he goes on to make some interesting remarks whether the plane hit the water in one piece or desintegrated in the air. He admits it may have come apart in the air with the vertical stabilizer the first to separate and this would explain the huge debris field.

And on this issue, has to say the following:

On another forum, I read that in order for ACARS messages to get through, the plane must be in a fairly normal orientation (haven't checked on this). If this is true, the cabin pressure incident would likely have occurred before any gross upset. (It is not known whether AF447 experienced a gross upset, or was in relatively controlled flight up to the moment of major mid-air breakup, or impact. So I speak of upset here as something that quite likely happened, but not as fact.)

I'd like to add a "branch" in the possible scenarios: if indeed the vertical stabilizer separated before impact with the ocean, as presently seems likely, then probably this separation was either (A) the result of excessive aerodynamic forces during a gross upset, or (B) was due to an excessive rudder deflection, and then caused a gross upset.

If the cabin vertical airspeed message was due to a hull rupture, and the airplane was indeed in a fairly normal orientation, this might be consistent with stabilizer failure due to excessive rudder deflection.

Thus, the ACARS messages may have only been beaming out with the plane not in a spin configuration. He admits the vertical stabilizer most likely did separate prior to impact with the ocean and that excessive rudder deflection would have caused stabilizer failure, causing the plane to descend rapidly. The discussion seems to suggest that the plane with still flyng with the vertical stabilizer at the time of the messages. So if the plane spiraled later out of control downward, it would not have been emiting any more ACARS messages.

And some say here as well that the horizontal stabilizers on these planes are pretty strong and resist impact, but they could have been susceptible to damage from blue ice ice and water infiltration. This has yet to be looked into. The only question if there was a leakage in the lavatory that could have damaged the rudder, would 45 minutes in time be enough to cause structural failure in the rudder section.

Again, found here:

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Postby justellus » Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:40 pm

Now, assuming there was a belly flop. This means that the plane would have been emitting automated messages all the way down, as the plane was in an up-right position and able thus to transmit signals. Thus, the messages must have ended upon impact with the ocean.

So we take 35,000 feet and divide it by 4 minutes. That means it would need to drop 8750 feet per minute. That would be 145 feet per second. The maximum speed a sky-diver can reach is 614 mph or 988 km/h


http://www.classzone.com/books/math_cs2 ... ch12&ch=12

Under real-world atmospheric conditions, air friction prevents the velocity from continuing to increase and a threshold is eventually reached. This threshold velocity is called terminal velocity. Several factors can affect the terminal velocity of a person in free-fall. These factors include the weight of the person and equipment, the physical build of the person in free-fall, jumpsuit size, and air pressure. Terminal velocity usually ranges from 98 to 120 miles per hour. At a terminal velocity of 109 miles per hour, a 5500-foot free-fall from an exit altitude of 8000 feet takes 39 seconds.

So that is 141 feet per second for a smaller drop of 8000 feet. A much higher drop obviously would mean a larger speed of impact.

Descending at 145 feet per second or 45 meters per second would be possible for a smaller object such as a human body, but it is not clear whether a large object such as a large plane could fall at this rate. But given the great height, and the higher speeds indicated above for a sky diver, it certainly falls within the realm of possibility if there was a stall involved. But would the plane fall in this position all the way down? This is another issue worth considering. As had been suggested previously, it might if it was a horizontal flat spin type fall. But this still is not consistent with the latest findings, as pointed out in the last post. So an element of mystery remains.
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Postby justellus » Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:30 pm

With further study of the data, some new possibilities and ideas begin to emerge:

As can be seen from these discussions and a few user comments:

http://www.jetcrashforum.com/./viewtopi ... 6&start=30

These planes are marvels of engineering, and I ride in them without worry. But to go from cruise condition to a gross upset (extreme departure from controlled flight) doesn't take long. Jet airliners have been thrown into gross upsets by:

o - uncommanded operation of a leading-edge slat.
o - uncommanded operation of an engine thrust reverser.
o - a broken wire causing an artificial horizon instrument to "freeze" at one angle, and the pilot attempting to fly the plane at night by reference to this instrument
o - disconnection of autopilot after an engine shutdown, with the pilot unprepared for to hold the large "twisting" force on the wheel that the autopilot had been holding up to that moment

In each case, the airliner went from controlled flight to an essentially uncontrolled fall in substantially less than one minute. In two of these cases, the flight crew was able to recover and land safely; in the other two, complete loss resulted.

Probably the technology of the A330 makes each of these specific failures very unlikely - but all sorts of mishaps at altitude can quickly lead to a plane being in desperate trouble.

Sudden changes in AoA are a much bigger issue as they can cause:
1) Engine flameout due to blanking of the intakes
2) Unreliable airspeed due to blanking of pitot tube inputs
3) Temporarily stalled wings (especially a strong downdraft)

So, we have in effect a few new possible scenarios, with possible inter-mixing of these events together:

- Sudden AoA turn due to extreme turbulence causes engine shutdown and produces also the incorrect pilot tube readings, (or incorrect pilot readings, then engine failure and shut-down in a more logical sequence according to the automated report messages received) which cause the auto pilot to turn-off and other errors as the plane's systems malfunction.

- Ice intake to turbine and pilot tubes, causing turbine shut-down and pilot tube misreadings and the sub-sequent shut down of auto-pilot and other related events.

- Pilot tube failure. Either this or incorrect readings due to extreme up-drafts and turbulence.

As posted by einhverfr: Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:53 pm


I am skeptical that loss of airspeed data by itself could cause the loss of a modern jet liner in the cruise phase of flight (where AoA is typically fairly low). Simply put, every crash I have found relating to loss of airspeed data has occurred in landing or climb phases, where angle of attack is higher and hence stall risks are more of a problem (stall depends on AoA except in an overspeed condition). There are a few other possibilities though that could show other causes related to the airspeed loss however:

1) Ice particle ingestion by pilot tubes could correlate with ice particle ingestion by engines, leading to a loss of power. The combination of now airspeed data, no engine power, and severe turbulence would be a much more serious combination. This is assuming ice particle blockages were to blame in the pilot tubes.

2) Suppose instead of ice particle ingestion, the issue instead was a severe updraft which blanked the pilot tube inlets (causing sudden drops in dynamic pressure, and possibly affecting each tube differently). This might indicate a rapid rise in plane altitude (thousands of feet), which in the absence of airspeed data could be hard to survive.

In short, I currently that the loss of airspeed data may have been a contributing factor and also a symptom of another more serious cause (probably weather related). Electrified, strongly convective storms like this pose unknown risks (and the storm, despite the lack of lightening was electrified, as evidenced by another plane reporting St Elmpo's Fire on their windscreen).

This could have been engine-failure-related, for example, and could have been a ditching (at night in high seas!) gone wrong.

Thus, the strong possibility of ice ingestion by both the pilot tubes and the engines should be considered as well as the concurrent strong updraft. These various factors combined would have been catastrophic.

And the high degree of altitude data change in the cabin most likely indicates that the interior cabin was loosing pressure very rapidly while still air-born. So we have in addition to all this, some serious cause of the rapid loss of cabin pressure. As noted previously, either we have a very rapid change of cabin pressure to due to a leak, or a very rapid descent causing the readings to change rapidly. Most likely it seems to indicate a high loss of cabin pressure, caused by a cabin pressure leak to the exterior.

What is being over-looked then is what would have caused this rapid loss of cabin pressure while still in flight? How could we have pilot tube failure, engine failure and interior cabin loss of pressure at the same time? Unless of course the plane had partially broken up, or had lost a section of the tail by this time. So apparently we have various events coming together at the same time. Now we need to figure out which came first in the series of events and how the entire scenario unfolded.

Only something very serious and that happened very quickly also would not have allowed the crew to get in their emergency seats, or for the passengers to not have time to put on their life vests. So this indicates it was something that happened VERY fast. No known cause related to the problems above would have caused such a rapid event. If it were engine failure coupled together with air-speed reading failures, and the plane was still air-borne, there would have been time for the crew to get in their seats or the passenger to put on the vests. So all this is indicating a very rapid event which threw the plane into a very fast speed, loss of cabin pressure and fast descent with loss of engine power or complete loss of control of the craft. All this as well seems to indicate a serious problem such as the mid-air brake-up of the tail section, despite the latest reports stating the plane hit the ocean as one unit or in one piece. The manner in which the tail section split off indicates a forward thrust, with a twist or turn to the side at the same time. Thus, this split would not have occurred from belly flop type crash into the water. Therefore, a new possibility comes to mind: Extreme updrafts and turbulence causing a sudden AoA change and violent sideways twist in the plane, which caused the tail section to split off mid-air and subsequent complete loss of control of the craft.

So in the end, the new analysis of the data still points in this view towards the extreme updrafts caused by the concurrence of various storm systems. This combined with icy frost type conditions and highly electrically charged air. All these elements coming together at the same time would not only cause pilot tube misreadings of speed, but engine failure due to frost intake, with the plane pushed violently into a dangerous AoA and the subsequent brake-off of a section of the tail and loss of control of the craft.
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Postby Ed Ziomek » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:59 am

The Continental Flight that hit the turbulence is a wonderful example, I believe, of what probably hit the AF flight.

I think that the only plausible difference is that while the Continental flight experienced instantaneous, and momentary double-drops of altitude, the AF flight most probably experienced repeated [i]and repeated [/i]hammer-jack blows of altitude drops, due to the storm's presence.

At least 26 hurt as airliner hits turbulence -CNN article
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/US/08/03/pl ... nnSTCVideo

Continental passengers... flight experiences...
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/US/08/03/pl ... nnSTCVideo
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Postby justellus » Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:14 pm

Again, the wall of wind theory is valid, and considering also that pilot tube failures were most likely involved also and a major cause of the crash, combined with the wild turbulence and most likely mid-flight brake-up, as has been presented previously.

Airspeed Systems Leave Planes Flying Blind

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/08/ ... 5553.shtml
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Postby HorizonDesign » Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:58 pm

This seems to be another possible explanation:

Rus... order Flight Changes, after Massive Magnetic Shift downs Airliners...


Geomagnetic storm?

Active tectonic plate area which is like a magnet?

Cataclysmic systems failure due to a geomagnetic storm event?

The latitudes of this dangerous area are given. This area covers the greater part of the African tectonic plate.

And all the warming of the planets and disruption of the earth's magnetics due to the influence of the gravitational force of an unknown planet. This they say is causing the shifting or tilt of the earth on it's axis as well, and even the sun and moon are out of place in the sky....
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Postby HorizonDesign » Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:08 pm

This link gives a plausible explanation, under the unknown planet influence theory.


It is supposed the blasts to the earths magnetosphere, caused by an increase in sub-atomic particles being emitted by the charged tail of this unknown planet as it passes through our galaxy, orbiting it's companion dead star, which also is passing in a large swirl around our galaxy in it's 3600 year orbit. This planet bobbles and goes on it's course wafting towards and away from the earth, causing unpredictable disruptions in electronic systems. This coupled with a storm could have devastating effects, once the circuits of the plane were crippled. And, the Atlantic rift is also experiencing twice a day global shudders as a result of this electromagnetic influence of the planet's wobble and bobbing in and out as it makes it's path between the earth and Venus where it should reach it's closest approximation to the earth in a short period of time, bringing with it even greater disruptions of systems on the earth in the coming months.
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Postby justellus » Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:39 pm

Any one of these theories is possible. The geomagnetic storm event certainly could have neutralized the electronic systems, rendering the plane uncontrollable. If this theory is correct, it would explain other recent air disasters as well. It might be adopted as a valid theory out of precaution so as to avoid further accidents. The other possible theories as well merit their weight as well, so that the future of the travel industry will be safer.

The unknown planet theory as well has it's own advocates. Certainly many alterations to our earth's magnetosphere can be attributed to these external forces and high energy bombardments the earth has been facing recently. The data around this planet and events is not unknown, only somewhat more so in the scientific community while there is much dis-information or lack of understanding on the subject circulating. But as postulated here it carries certainly it's own weight. This is a subject in itself which merits it's own attention and research, given the various phenomenon being experienced which have been mentioned.
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AF 447 Flight Recorder found

Postby Ed Ziomek » Sun May 01, 2011 9:45 pm

Congratulations to the French for finding the Flight Recorder from AF 447 that went down off the coast of Brazil, in 12,000 feet of water.

Investigators find Air France black box
Associated Press,
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42850656/ns ... ?gt1=43001

"PARIS — Investigators have located and recovered the missing memory unit of the flight data recorder of a 2009 Air France flight — a remarkable deep-sea discovery they hope will explain why the aircraft went down in a remote area of the mid-Atlantic, killing all 228 people on board.

France's air accident investigation agency BEA said a search by a submarine probing 3,900 meters (12,800 feet) below the ocean's surface located and recovered the unit Sunday morning. The unit is now aboard the Ile de Sein, a ship that's helping conduct the probe, the statement said...."

This is an amazing accomplishment for humanity and Flight Safety concerns, and will bring closure to many of the questions that have hounded that disaster.

More to follow on this.
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