Editor's Log

July 2009 Issue


The big aviation-safety news of late is the crash of Air France Flight 447 in the early morning hours of June 1, UTC. The Airbus A330 with 228 passengers and crew aboard disappeared over the equatorial Atlantic Ocean while en route from Brazil to France. What few facts about the crash are known at this writing point to a catastrophic encounter with convective weather as the flight transited the intertropical convergence zone, or ITCZ. Floating wreckage and bodies from the airplane have been retrieved, but the all-important cockpit voice and flight data recorders remain elusive. Conceivably, the two devices are in as much as 12,000 feet of water, making the likelihood of their successful retrieval unknown.

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