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Robotics Transportation

Robots Dive Deep To Solve Airliner Crash Mystery 156

Posted by timothy
from the pre-trial-discovery-for-serious dept.
coondoggie writes "A small squadron of undersea robots has begun to conduct a 4-month, 3,900 square mile search of Atlantic Ocean bottom looking for the deep-sea wreck site of and black boxes from Air France Flight 447 which crashed off the coast of Brazil nearly two years ago. The Air France plane was flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, when for exact reasons that remain a mystery, it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on June 1, 2009, taking with it 228 souls."
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Robots Dive Deep To Solve Airliner Crash Mystery

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  • Reasons unknown?? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ark42 (522144) <slashdot.morpheussoftware@net> on Thursday March 31, 2011 @09:24PM (#35684712) Homepage

    Isn't this the flight that flew right into a huge huge storm that was obscured on their radar by a smaller storm which was safe enough to fly through. As soon as the larger storm was in view, it was too late to change course and fly around it. I heard the most likely case is extreme icing of the sensors that monitor airflow, causing autopilot to disengage as the plane no longer knew its own speed. Without any way to know the current speed, the plane lost altitude and crashed, due to a small window of safe speeds that don't result in altitude loss.

  • Re:Reasons unknown?? (Score:4, Informative)

    by jamesrt (684945) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @10:35PM (#35685104)

    I heard of this same sort of thing happening once to a plane. What happened was that the plane was just painted.

    The plane crash being referred to is this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XL_Airways_Germany_Flight_888T [wikipedia.org]

  • by bongey (974911) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @10:47PM (#35685158)
    I write flight diagnostic software , special software the tries to determine the root cause after number of BIT/and OR ACARS messages. I was especially interested in this flight. Thank god the air bus aircraft sent the ACARS messages otherwise we would have no idea what happened to it. Nova video is pretty convincing. Especially when in the flight simulator , and they cause a simulated air speed failure. The exact same ACARS messages are produced by the simulator that were produced by flight 447. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/crash-flight-447.html [pbs.org] . NOVA concluded bad weather caused the failure of the air speed sensors (pito tubes). Air speed sensor failure cause the auto pilot to fail, which turned the cockpit into a christmas tree of error and warning lights. Finally, pilot error in which they didn't react quickly enough .The pilots had to react quickly enough and apply just the right amount thrust and pitch to avoid a dramatic stall. The plane final injuries were consistent with dramatic stall, literally falling strait down out of the sky.
  • Re:Reasons unknown?? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Slutticus (1237534) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @10:54PM (#35685214)
    Actually, the plane transmitted quite a lot of information to AirBus HQ as it was going down, but that system (ACARS) is quite outdated i think. The last three minutes of the transmissions gave a wealth of data related to alarms and faults that were occurring (i.e. inconsistent airspeed readings, excessive vertical speed, autopilot information, etc...). It would be interesting to see how much voice data could be reliably transmitted in a situation like that.
  • Re:Reasons unknown?? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 31, 2011 @11:52PM (#35685488)

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