In June 2009 I reported on the crash of Air France Flight 447. The flight departed Rio de Janeiro for Paris. Americans Michael and Anne Harris were lost when the Airbus A330-203 crashed into the Atlantic ocean. A cause for the crash has never been determined. Two hundred and twenty eight died. Today there is a report that the wreckage has been located some two-and-a-half miles below ocean surface. While weather conditions are suspect, terrorism was not immediately ruled out with the reported finding that French secret servicemen found connections to Islamic terrorism and two passengers aboard 447.
This raises renewed hope that the black box flight recorders can be retrieved, so helping to explain why Flight AF 447 crashed en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on June 1, 2009…
Confirming the discovery of ‘one large piece’ of the plane, France’s Transport Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet said it contained ‘identifiable bodies’ .
Jean-Paul Troadec, director of the Bureau of Investigations and Analysis (BEAR) said: ‘The positive news is that the debris field is relatively concentrated. Thus, we hope to find the black boxes.’..
The plane went down in a high-altitude thunderstorm, with experts suggesting that its sensors, known as pitot tubes and made by French company Thales SA, may have iced over and sent false speed information to on-board computers.
In November, Air France issued a memo to investigators saying the carrier had counted 15 incidents in which the sensors had iced over on the same aircraft type in the 10 previous months before the crash.
The latest search boat, operated by the American Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, is unable to salvage the wreckage, but will continue to continue to take pictures using the same kind of equipment which was used explore the remains of the Titanic in 1985.
Soon after news of the fatal crash broke, agents working for the DGSE (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure), the French equivalent of MI6, were dispatched to Brazil.
It was there that they established that two names on the passenger list are also on highly-classified documents listing the names of radical Muslims considered a threat to the French Republic.
A source working for the French security services told Paris weekly L’Express that the link was “highly significant”.
Gates of Vienna points out that it took ten days before the link to be reported. In the meantime, there are no updates to this angle that I can find. In this post, the possibility of terrorism is reported, along with information about other flights taking a similar route to Paris, from Rio, at the same time and encountering no violent weather.
The families of Michael and Anne Harris have filed a lawsuit in October 2009 – the first legal action agains Air France. Fifty bodies were previously recovered, along with some pieces of the plane, but the undersea tomb is believed to include the “vast majority” of the airplane and victims. The details of the crash can be found here.
Air France Flight 447 Wreckage Found Deep in Atlantic Ocean (video)