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Robots Find Wreckage of AF447

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the marco-polo-marco-polo dept.

Robotics 148

Last week we reported on an army of robots searching for Air France 447 over a nearly 4,000 sq mile patch of the Atlantic ocean. Today mriya3 noted that "BEA, the French air accident investigation office, reports that the wreckage of Air France flight 447 has been found. The plane, an Airbus A330, crashed June 1, 2009 while flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. Investigators hope to find the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder. A press conference will be held today."

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148 comments

will there be data? (4, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707214)

What remains to be seen is, even if they find the recorders, will they have readable data?

It's not easy to protect equipment against two years under 4000 meters of water.

Re:will there be data? (1)

americamatrix (658742) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707294)

What remains to be seen is, even if they find the recorders, will they have readable data?

It's not easy to protect equipment against two years under 4000 meters of water.

Which begs the question...why didn't they ask for their help 2 years ago? They originally spent weeks searching while these guys found it in a weeks time.

Re:will there be data? (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707326)

Reading the wikipedia article, I got the impression that the current searchers benefited from the previous work to help them narrow down where to look.

Re:will there be data? (2)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707982)

Reading the wikipedia article, I got the impression that the current searchers benefited from the previous work to help them narrow down where to look.

Of course they benefited from it. They knew where the wreck was not located.

Re:will there be data? (0)

hey (83763) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707362)

French pride?

Re:will there be data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35707450)

No, it is because of the lawsuit recently filed against airbus in the EU.

Re:will there be data? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35707492)

What remains to be seen is, even if they find the recorders, will they have readable data?

It's not easy to protect equipment against two years under 4000 meters of water.

Which begs the question...why didn't they ask for their help 2 years ago? They originally spent weeks searching while these guys found it in a weeks time.

It doesn't beg the question. It RAISES the question.

Re:will there be data? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35707602)

It doesn't beg the question. It RAISES the question.

Same difference. "begs the question" is now colloquially synonymous to "raises the question". Languages evolve with use. Get over it. If you still want to be a nitpicking d-bag grammar nazi go harass people in Latin.
 

Re:will there be data? (0)

paiute (550198) | more than 3 years ago | (#35709392)

It doesn't beg the question. It RAISES the question.

Same difference. "begs the question" is now colloquially synonymous to "raises the question". Languages evolve with use. Get over it. If you still want to be a nitpicking d-bag grammar nazi go harass people in Latin.

Ha ha. Some thin-skinned AC who can't speak the King's English got owned.

Re:will there be data? (-1, Offtopic)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707614)

It doesn't beg the question. It RAISES the question.

You must be new here...

You raise, I call (-1, Offtopic)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707696)

It doesn't beg the question. It RAISES the question.

OK, then I CALL [wikipedia.org] the question. The debate is closed.

Re:You raise, I call (1, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35708610)

Not yet. I got ALL IN the question.

Re:will there be data? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Showered (1443719) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707304)

The flight recorder box is made to withstand deep sea pressure according to this article [wikipedia.org] .

Re:will there be data? (5, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707660)

The Civil Aviation Authority, which will have the same requirements as EASA who will be the ones regulating the Airbus A330 as its an European aircraft, only requires the FDR (Flight Data Recorder) to withstand sea water immersion for 30 days, and says nothing about pressure at the depths we are talking about here other than the FDR will withstand crushing forces of 5,000 LBF (22.25 kN) for 5 continuous minutes.

http://www.caa.co.uk/application.aspx?catid=33&pagetype=65&appid=11&mode=detail&id=1229 [caa.co.uk]

The Cockpit Voice Recorder has similar requirements.

Its unlikely that after this time the FDR nor the CVR are still sealed.

Re:will there be data? (3, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707358)

It isn't a sure thing; the entropic forces of the uncaring universe are almost poetic in their creative destruction; but black boxes trade density for robustness in a pretty serious way.

The classic ones, at any rate, are well sealed and record magnetically onto loop of stainless steel wire. Seriously retro in terms of data density; and you don't just plug it into the nearest USB port(which is why many aircraft also have flight data recorders designed for non-emergency use, which are much less survivable; but much more convenient for routine diagnostics); but anything not involving serious corrosion or an excursion above the Curie temperature of the recording loop should be pretty much irrelevant...

Re:will there be data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35707414)

granted salt water and steel wire mix like spaghetti and tuna fish

Re:will there be data? (2)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707622)

granted salt water and steel wire mix like spaghetti and tuna fish

Yum! That's a great lunch idea!

Re:will there be data? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707960)

It's one of my favorite dishes! Try it some time...

Re:will there be data? (1)

hb253 (764272) | more than 3 years ago | (#35709542)

I like it with capers, chopped kalamata olives, shallots, and some lemon juice and parsley.

Re:will there be data? (1)

TeXMaster (593524) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707644)

granted salt water and steel wire mix like spaghetti and tuna fish

Spaghetti and tuna are an excellent combination. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVY5nobY4Sw [youtube.com]

Re:will there be data? (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 3 years ago | (#35709426)

Had that for dinner last night. Add some grated cheese and butter to the spaghetti. Put in the tuna what you want. I used salt, pepper, and a little mayo.

Re:will there be data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35708824)

Solid state FDRs began to be sold in the early 90s. The company which first made them (my former employer) lobbied the DOT heavily for requirements which would force competitors using magnetic tape/wire FDRs out of the market. I don't know how successful they were. Let's hope their lobbying didn't extend to Air France because, thought SSFDRs are superior in capacity and robustness for some types of aviation crashes, IMHO it's far more likely the older tape-based systems would retain data after 2 years in sea water.

Re:will there be data? (3, Informative)

Skater (41976) | more than 3 years ago | (#35708384)

The AP article [washingtonpost.com] indicates that they are confident they can still read the recorders.

Re:will there be data? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35708864)

South African Airways Flight 295 had it's CVR recovered from 4,900 meters of water just over 2 years since the crash. They were able to read the data from it, although in the aforementioned case the fire stopped the CVR before the crash.

Good luck (2)

Dan East (318230) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707336)

Seems they had extraordinarily good luck this time around. I think I remember reading that they found it on their 4th day of searching? Previous expeditions had searched for months, so they really did well to find it straight off.

There are new reports this morning that bodies have been found in the wreckage. This is going to provide closure in many ways (emotional, engineering, etc).

Re:Good luck (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35707486)

I hope they make a high-def National Geographic Channel special about the bodies, and how they spent their last seconds of life. Were they killed on impact with the water? Or did they drown as the plane sank? Is there evidence of fire? Were they all crowded about the exit, or strapped into their seats?

Re:Good luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35707512)

This cannot be good luck. The ocean is just way too big, and the robots way too slow, to search more than a trivial amount of the territory in a few days. Much more likely is that they had help from some military who didn't want to talk about it themselves.

Re:Good luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35707846)

You're correct.

The sonar network which is in place to track submarines was able to establish
a position for the impact of the aircraft with the sea surface, and also was able to
record various implosions as the wreckage sank. This established the position of
the wreckage within a small enough area that finding the wreckage did not require
a long pattern search.

As for Airbus being just as safe, there is a known problem with the fly by wire
control systems when an Airbus experiences a high static charge. I wouldn't
fly on one if it was free and they paid me to go.

Re:Good luck (2)

tibit (1762298) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707888)

I know that trolls shouldn't be fed, but this "high static charge" FUD just made me chuckle. It doesn't mean squat. It's like if you said "when an Airbus experiences wakalixes". Just because you use words from a science vocabulary doesn't mean you make sense.

If you mean something, just say it. If there's a known problem, there will be an airworthiness directive [slashdot.org] about it. Link to it or just shut the fuck up.

...as opposed to what? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35708068)

737s which keep on developing unexpected sunroofs?

Re:...as opposed to what? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35708558)

A-330 is similar to the 767 and 777, not the 737-300

Re:...as opposed to what? (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 3 years ago | (#35708662)

well i would bet that

1 something was a bit "off" in the bolts last used to attach that section

2 on that last inspection they re-certified the paper and forgot to update the plane itself.

3 somebody just plain FU^4

Re:...as opposed to what? (1)

phorest (877315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35709382)

You know, I'd seriously question their (Southwest Airlines) paint-scheme.
That blue is quite dark and probably really heats up on those southwest American airport tarmacs.

I'd definitely feel safer in a non-painted airliner, knowing that they have to totally strip the plane to test for cracking.

Re:...as opposed to what? (1)

cmdahler (1428601) | more than 3 years ago | (#35709590)

You know, I'd seriously question their (Southwest Airlines) paint-scheme. That blue is quite dark and probably really heats up on those southwest American airport tarmacs.

I'd definitely feel safer in a non-painted airliner, knowing that they have to totally strip the plane to test for cracking.

Wow, I hope that was said TIC... If not, I think this post wins hands-down as the Most Stupid Aviation Commentary By Somone Who Knows Nothing About Aviation on this thread.

Re:...as opposed to what? (1)

phorest (877315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35709662)

You don't give any reason why it's so stupid. Enlighten me and don't just slander me.

Re:...as opposed to what? (1)

cmdahler (1428601) | more than 3 years ago | (#35710282)

First of all, you talked about heat from the ramp. An airliner's skin will vary from about -40 C in flight to whatever the ramp temperature is. That's a pretty wide temperature variation. Adding a few more degrees from the color of the paint isn't going to do anything to the skin. Of vastly more interest to aviation professionals is the expansion and contraction of the pressure hull during thousands of pressurization cycles. This, as well as corrosion, is what causes the fatigue-related cracks that lead to hull damage such as with the recent Southwest incident.

Airline skin tests on aluminum are done via eddy current testing. It has nothing to do with a visual inspection. The point is to find the cracks long before they become visible to the naked eye.

You were slandered because you made a statement showing your ignorance of how things operating in a particular industry, when spending two minutes doing a little online searching would have educated you. Then, you stated your willingness to judge your personal safety on your misconceptions without apparently putting even a moment's effort into educating yourself on the subject so as to make an informed decision. Thus, silly.

Re:...as opposed to what? (1)

phorest (877315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35710438)

Is it not true that they need to strip all that paint to test & inspect properly?

I am not an airframe engineer (obviously), According to Douglas Feith on NBC news (allegedly a former NTSB investigator), the paint does get in the way of their testing.

Re:...as opposed to what? (1)

cmdahler (1428601) | more than 3 years ago | (#35710886)

Well, so what if the airlines do have to strip the paint? The point is that the paint will get stripped, so the airframe will get tested for cracks without the paint regardless of whether the airline in question decided they wanted to go with paint or without paint during commercial operations. If the airline wants to spend the money to paint, strip, paint, strip, etc., that's their business, so long as they conduct the testing without the paint.

Most airlines don't really care about this sort of thing since eddy current testing is normally performed during heavy maintenance when the airplane is pulled out of service for weeks for such minute inspections. These "heavy checks" happen after fairly lengthy intervals after which the paint on the airframe needs to be stripped and replaced anyway just because it looks awful after a while.

It's Greg Feith, actually, and he has worked as an accident investigator for the NTSB for a long time. The NTSB (which is his background) has nothing to do with the FAA and is often at loggerheads with the FAA over this or that issue. The NTSB plays an investigatory role during accidents, incidents, etc.; they have nothing to do with the ongoing regulation or inspection requirements of the airlines, which is where this paint thing would come into play. If paint seriously got in the way of performing a proper inspection, the FAA would long ago have regulated it out of existence. Since the kind of cracks we're talking about here are not going to be visible to the naked eye anyway, there's no problem with paint so long as your testing methodology is adequate to detect the metal weakness with the paint present; if it's not, the paint has to be stripped before testing.

Bottom line, paint is not an issue.

Re:...as opposed to what? [smoking...] (1)

Thagg (9904) | more than 3 years ago | (#35710970)

It's said that in the Olden Days, back in the 80's, any tiny cracks were obvious from nicotine stains streaming downwind. This might be a case of smoking saving lives...

Re:Good luck (2)

jrumney (197329) | more than 3 years ago | (#35708622)

As for Airbus being just as safe, there is a known problem with the fly by wire control systems when an Airbus experiences a high static charge. I wouldn't fly on one if it was free and they paid me to go.

Comparing the safety record of the A320, A330, A340, A380 and B777 to other airliners such as the A310 and B737, I'll take your known problem over other known problems any day.

Re:Good luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35708338)

Skeletons really after all this time.

Re:Good luck (1)

Conrthomas (1993390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35709504)

I can't imagine the reaction of the guys that found them. "ohh lookie here, I wonder what'es insid-BODIES" or perhaps it was more like "Oh look, he has a gold rolex"

Only a week (1)

christurkel (520220) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707386)

It took less than a week to find the plane? (!). Wow.

Re:Only a week (-1, Flamebait)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707458)

You might even wonder if the French were looking all that hard the first time. The buzz in the industry is that they really don't want to find the flight data recorder, since what it reveals might impact their sales. I can tell you one thing, you *do not* want to fly Airbus, for a variety of reasons.

Re:Only a week (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707494)

Not this shit again. Airbus make perfectly fine aircraft.

Re:Only a week (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35707652)

It's pointless to argue about the (slightly better) safety of Airbus on slashdot. Despite us nerds admiring engineering and automation most slashdotters are blinded by nationalism in the Boeing vs. Airbus pissing contest so Airbus engineers simply cannot get credit where credit is due here. If people want to bash Airbus with factual arguments, illegal subsidies (as ruled by the WTO) would do but this bullshit is not about facts.

Re:Only a week (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35710270)

NVM how many components in Airbuses are US-made... Or how Boeing uses CATIA to design their airplanes - a software which, while not strictly "from Airbus", is certainly in the family.

And in recent news - WTO ruled that Boeing subsidies are also illegal...

Re:Only a week (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35707886)

No they don't. They make junk. Compared to Boeing, their fly-by-wire (night) is completely flaky and has killed many people, and let's forget their flimsy carbon-fiber (plastic).. and the 380, right out of the box, after all that testing, and the engine still can't contain itself.... Read the damn accident reports yourself. I'm not doing your homework. Airbus should be grounded.

Re:Only a week (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35708036)

It's possible that my sarcasm detector is broken in which case my reply is foolish but since I actually have read all major accident reports since the 70s (out of an interest in aviation), I'll reply.

1. It's hard to read reports which don't exist since Airbus crash so rarely. The A340 is the safest aircraft in the world (albeit the 777 is a close second).

2. Boeing uses more composite materials in the 787 than any Airbus design and in that context it's ironic to claim that Airbus use "flimsy carbon-fiber".

3. It's even more ironic that you mention the Qantas A380 uncontained engine failure since Rolls Royce engines are used on Boeing aircraft as well and one of the pilots on board then had experience of flying Boeing as well and he praised the Airbus FBW system so much that it in his opinion would've been a disaster without it. Just one of the quotes can be found here [aerosocietychannel.com] : "Now comparing that to other types I have flown I am sure that Boeing types would have been equally flyable, but they would have been a lot more difficult, I’m sure."

Re:Only a week (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35708232)

Aaah, so I wasnt the only one that was wondering if he was joking or not.

Anyway, both Boeing and Airbus make fine aircraft, and many other companies do too.

Re:Only a week (2)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35708724)

B-777 is safer than the A-340, while there have been no fatalities in either type, the A340 has had five hull loss accidents while the B-777 has only had one.

There are only 375 A-340s compared to 919 B-777s

Re:Only a week (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35710392)

And all of those hull losses had everything to do with human error or weather. The one for B777 - technical fault.

Re:Only a week (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35710612)

Technical fault of the engine, not Boeing, any RR Trent 800 could have had that failure.

Upon investigation, the accident was blamed on ice crystals from the fuel system clogging the fuel-oil heat exchanger (FOHE). Air accident investigators called for this component on the Trent 800 series engine to be redesigned.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7941137.stm [bbc.co.uk]

As for all A-340 loses from humans or weather...

9 November 2007 – An Iberia Airlines A340-600 (EC-JOH) was badly damaged after sliding off the runway at Ecuador’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport. The landing gear collapsed and two engines broke off. The aircraft was scrapped.

Rain didn't cause the landing gear to collapse, the construction of the gear did.

Re:Only a week (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35711004)

"badly damaged after sliding off the runway"; high speed "taxiing" through soil tends to cause gear collapses in any aircraft / but interesting how you read it in the most damning way ;p (and similar engine faults are quickly blamed on, also Airbus in this thread...)

Re:Only a week (3, Insightful)

cmdahler (1428601) | more than 3 years ago | (#35708166)

No they don't. They make junk. Compared to Boeing, their fly-by-wire (night) is completely flaky and has killed many people, and let's forget their flimsy carbon-fiber (plastic).. and the 380, right out of the box, after all that testing, and the engine still can't contain itself.... Read the damn accident reports yourself. I'm not doing your homework. Airbus should be grounded.

Because Boeing doesn't use carbon fiber on their airframes, right? (Hint, that Southwest Airlines 737 that just had its top peeled off didn't develop those cracks in carbon fiber.) Because Boeing doesn't use fly-by-wire systems, right? (Hint: only difference between Boeing and Airbus since the 1990s has been that Boeing kept a yoke in the cockpit and Airbus went with a sidestick, but it's all connected to wires these days, and can you provide even one example of an accident of either Boeing or Airbus that was directly tied to the fly-by-wire system failing on the airplane? Right, I thought not.) Because Boeing aircraft are never powered by Rolls Royce engines, right? (Hint: the A380 incident didn't have anything at all to do with Airbus, it was a problem with the engine that was manufactured by Rolls Royce.) There are so many fools who think they know what they're talking about. When I read this comment I pictured Cliff Claven from Cheers.

Re:Only a week (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35708738)

Cliff Claven from Boeing corporate in Chicago you mean.

Re:Only a week (2)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35708656)

Airbus didn't make the engine of the A380 that blew up, Rolls Royce did, RR also had an engine for the Boeing 787-8 blow up on the test stand. So if you want to hammer on RR vs CFM vs GE vs Engine Alliance, go for it. But Airbus didn't build the problem engine and Airbus didn't tell Qantas they had to use the RR engine in question.

If Carbon Fiber is do goddamned flimsy, then why is everyone and their mother going to carbon fiber over aluminum? Look at the 787, A-350 for current examples, oh plus military aviation and whatever Boeing comes out with to replace the Boeing 737 Next Gen.

Re:Only a week (2)

Capt. Skinny (969540) | more than 3 years ago | (#35708930)

"I'm not doing your homework" == "I'm too lazy to support my arguments with evidence"

Re:Only a week (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35707518)

Evidence needed. According to every conceivable statistic about aircraft safety, Airbus and Boeing are fairly in the same figures. Of course, to speak about "the buzz in the industry" without any proof nor reference is very easy. And probably will be moderated as "informative".

Re:Only a week (0)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35708092)

That's because there's lots of very old Boeings still in service.. It has been a very long time since a Boeing has wrecked due to equipment failure.

Re:Only a week (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35708526)

That's because there's lots of very old Boeings still in service.. It has been a very long time since a Boeing has wrecked due to equipment failure.

True. It's unfair to compare old 737s with their known flaws to modern designs but even if we stick to comparing Boeing 757s, 767s, 777s and 737 NGs to Airbus aircraft from the same period of time, Airbus have a slightly better safety record. Equipment failures are very, very rare nowadays and pilot error is by far the most common accident cause so the reason is the numerous protections against pilot error the Airbus FBW system provides. A very interesting video of the system in action as tested by Bruce Dickinson (who isn't just the Iron Maiden vocalist but also a 757 captain) can be found here [youtube.com] .

Re:Only a week (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35708722)

...if we stick to comparing Boeing 757s, 767s, 777s and 737 NGs to Airbus aircraft from the same period of time, Airbus have a slightly better safety record.

They certainly do not... The only mechanical glitch that killed (or even hurt) anybody suffered by any those models was Lauda Air's 767 that kicked a thrust reverser in mid flight, due to a short circuit. Even that is a recoverable situation with a quick acting pilot.. in the daytime, with an easy to see horizon. Reading the accident reports also show there is more confusion in the Airbus Cockpit when a crew member selects the incorrect mode during approach and landing. Look up the most famous one that happened an airshow. I will also grant that almost none of those types of accidents happened with an American crew :-)

Re:Only a week (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35709050)

It's as if you don't understand that accidents caused by other factors than mechanical ones are included in the safety record. The reason why Airbus have a better safety record is that they have done more to prevent pilot errors and pilot errors are by far the most common cause of accidents. It doesn't matter whether you think Boeing somehow are less susceptible to mechanical failures (they're not) when mechanical failures are only to blame for a fraction of accidents nowadays. Furthermore, accidents that are due to mechanical failures are frequently due to poor or improper maintenance instead of design issues, which is why it's a lot more about the airline than the aircraft manufacturer. If you want a real example of cockpit confusion, you should look at American Airlines 965 (a 757). That's a real example of human beings and computers not working well together.

Re:Only a week (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35709628)

A mere navigational error... That [aviation-safety.net] all [aviation-safety.net] you [aviation-safety.net] got [aviation-safety.net] ?

They involved pilot error, but the machine created a very difficult situation.

Re:Only a week (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35710030)

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to "get". The accident I referred to was significant due to the cause of the navigational error but it seems to me that you're just intent on twisting data in favor of whatever argument you're trying to make so I won't bother educating you anymore.

Re:Only a week (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35710316)

...I won't bother educating you anymore.

:-) Cool, you just saved me from having to brag about my certificates.

Re:Only a week (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35710118)

Two days ago a friggin' hull rapture happened in a Boeing 737. Also, this year so far: two Boeing aircraft in major incidents including one with lots of fatalities; Airbus: zero incidents. Which doesn't even mean much, just random fluctuations (2010: Boeing 7 crashes, mostly few years old aircraft, two on board fires in which everybody perish - one visible from the ground shortly after takeoff; Airbus 4 crashes, the only very fatal ones - pilot errors & bad weather, engine malfunctions without victims / both airplane manufacturer use the same engine (and many other components) manufacturers anyway; still whole 2010 within random fluctuations and differences expected from relative number of airplanes)

The absolute numbers of airplanes don't change the rates, which are the same within the margin or error for both major manufacturers. And there are almost 4-decade old Airbuses still flying.

People are just quick to see patterns which aren't there. Even more if you want to see what you want to see. Boeing itself says that Airbus airplanes are just as safe as their own.

Re:Only a week (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35707680)

No, you want to fly in Boeing, whose 737s now come with a new "roof off" feature at altitude.

[citation needed] (5, Interesting)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707702)

You might even wonder if the French were looking all that hard the first time. The buzz in the industry is that they really don't want to find the flight data recorder, since what it reveals might impact their sales. I can tell you one thing, you *do not* want to fly Airbus, for a variety of reasons.

Really? What "buzz"? My mom works in the pilot's office of a major US airline that flies both Boeing and Airbus, including the A330. She deals with pilots and the head pilot on a daily basis, and has contacts with both senior executives and people in the mechanical and operations departments that she speaks with regularly. I worked there myself for 6 years while going to college. Neither of us have ever heard of any complaints from crew or mechanics regarding the airworthiness or safety of Airbus versus Boeing. People "in the industry" like to talk and gossip a lot, and I have never heard of this anti-Airbus "buzz" you refer to.

And yes, I know anecdotes =/= data, but at least I can show my connection to airlines and the aviation industry and am not just some random guy off the street talking out of my ass.

Re:[citation needed] (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35708140)

And I'm an actual Airbus A330 so I'm getting a kick out of these replies.

Re:[citation needed] (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35710690)

I'm an actual Airbus A330

Wow. I knew airline flight control systems were getting clever, but I didn't realize they were so sophisticated that an actual aircraft could post on Slashdot.

Re:[citation needed] (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35708970)

Data are better though, and they clearly show that airplanes of both major manufacturers come down at about the same rate, with white noise fluctuations (but human minds have a propensity to see patterns which aren't there; more so when they want to see it). Also that human error is the cause of majority of crashes, pilot error being a large part part of those.

Re:Only a week (3, Funny)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707740)

The main reason being you are an ignorant, biased little shit stirrer?

Airbus have sold over 10,000 aircraft and have delivered over 6,500. The airlines have every confidence in what they are buying, they wouldn't buy anything they considered dangerous because people will avoid the type once the crashes start happening.

Not one of you crap throwers have ever come up with any statistical evidence that Airbus aircraft are more dangerous or risky than Boeing.

Re:Only a week (3, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707902)

Yeah, choosing which type of plane you fly on because you are worried about safety is folly, you should be much more worried about the airline operating the vehicle. Very, VERY few airlines go down because of engineering or manufacturing defects, most go down because of operational problems at the airline, poor or improper maintenance(either due to negligence on the part of the workers or greed on the part of management) or improper hiring, training, or management of pilots(again usually done to cut costs, though to a certain extent that shows how braindead management can be in certain areas, they are willing to take a cut-rate pilot to handle their multi-million dollar planes....)

Re:Only a week (1)

Sun (104778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35709006)

Very, VERY few airlines go down because of engineering or manufacturing defects, most go down because of operational problems at the airline, poor or improper maintenance

Out of curiosity, how would you rate the crash of LY1862 [wikipedia.org] in Amsterdam? Recap - the fuse pin that connects the engine to the wing failed, and failed improperly. Inspection and earlier replacement could have prevented the accident, but those were not in Boeing's manuals at the time.

Shachar

Re:Only a week (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#35709772)

They would have been checked at a C or D check, but just because they failed and Boeing issued an AD doesn't mean that Boeing was in the wrong - note that the remedial action recommended was "inspect and replace if necessary", it wasn't "replace component with new component of specification X".

Those sort of issues happen quite often - undue wear and tear on the part, an unknown manufacturing defect in a single part or small series of parts, abnormal usage etc etc. The engine mounting could have been banged accidentally during an engine swap and not reported.

The fact that the AD issued was not a demanding one is telling.

Re:Only a week (1)

Sun (104778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35709914)

Okay, I'm not intimately familiar with the case (not from that industry), but my memory tells me that inspection period for the fuse were shortened as a result of the accident.

Regardless of whether that is the case, would you say that if an airliner strictly follows the manufacturer maintenance instructions, and a mechanical problem still happens, that that is the manufacturer's fault?

Shachar

Re:Only a week (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35707786)

Would you perhaps, like to list those reasons? Nobody is going to change their airline because someone on Slashdot said there is a "variety of reasons" to.

Re:Only a week (1)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35708230)

They found debris from the aircraft after the initial crash. This wasn't so much "finding the titanic after 70 some years" as it was "I know I parked my car in this lot where di....oh there it is, it was a couple rows over." They also found large pieces of the plane. They are still far complete.

Still quite a feat.

Re:Only a week (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35709372)

Uh, the Titanic was a much bigger object to find. In fact, many of the pieces it broke into in addition to the two main sections, were big enough to be easily recognizable in a sonar image - the first pieces they found were in fact the boilers, each of which was the size of a large locomotive. Furthermore, they had a relatively accurate position to start looking from based on the SOS call instead of floating debris and a plot that had ended when the aircraft was still traveling at cruise speed.

get ready for pictures of hagfish on a plane (2)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707408)

insert your own samuel l jackson joke

http://www.seasky.org/deep-sea/atlantic-hagfish.html [seasky.org]

the ocean's morticians, always found near the dead

nastiest things on earth

Re:get ready for pictures of hagfish on a plane (1)

Dan East (318230) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707566)

The plane is at a depth of 3,800 to 4,000 meters. To quote your own link:

They (hagfish) can be found at depths of up to 5,600 feet (about 1,800 meters).

Re:get ready for pictures of hagfish on a plane (5, Informative)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707738)

http://www.whaletimes.org/hagfish.htm [whaletimes.org]

'Hagfish have been seen as deep as 16,405 feet (5000 m)'

do not doubt cthulhu's minions

even worse:

'Looking closer, one might discover an alarming sight: Those dead organisms resting on the deep sea floor are actually pulsating! What could cause such movements? Usually, it's a passel of scavenging hagfish feeding on the carcasses from the inside out.'

http://www.jyi.org/volumes/volume5/issue7/features/lee.html [jyi.org]

I would spare relatives the idea that human bodies would be found pulsating from within as they are consumed by hagfish. hagfish are the fate of all bodies that go to the deep. i don't want to know the details

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/vertebrates/basalfish/myxini.html [berkeley.edu]

'The adjective which best describes the Myxini is "Lovecraftian".'

Re:get ready for pictures of hagfish on a plane (1)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | more than 3 years ago | (#35707904)

Thanks. This is just what I needed to read on a monday morning.

Re:get ready for pictures of hagfish on a plane (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35709030)

FTFL:

Hagfish have three accessory hearts, no cerebrum or cerebellum, no jaws or stomach, and will "sneeze" when their nostrils clog with their own slime. .

I think that Berkeley mixed up some pages on their website. They're supposedly describing Hagfish. The description, however, seems to fit a US Senator better.

Re:get ready for pictures of hagfish on a plane (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35709494)

Nah, politicians don't have a heart!

Re:get ready for pictures of hagfish on a plane (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35709654)

Looks like videos have already leaked. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZ7OLYd0UE0 [youtube.com]

Four years early too. That's weird.

last days/nights/rites with jesus texts re-found (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35707474)

saw it on yahoo.news.. disappeared again just as fast. deities just crave that mystery stuff. cave dwellers?

http://search.yahoo.com/3a//shadowsofhistory.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/major-codice-discovery/

where are links to native teepeeleaks etchings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35707722)

there are sites all over the world, as real history seems to be unburying itself? a lot of it is not pleasant (repeated attacks/exterminations by 'religious' beings), but is presented so that we may learn... something? babys rule.

That's not the wreckage of AF447 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35707480)

That's the wreckage Charles Widmore [wikipedia.org] put there for them to find!

Cue the LOST logo. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35707508)

Still too soon?

I know, I miss LOST too.

Lost? (1)

trevc (1471197) | more than 3 years ago | (#35708128)

Sounds like something out of a Lost episode to me. Are we sure this wreck is not a fake?

Yes my child. (2)

eyenot (102141) | more than 3 years ago | (#35708212)

Yes it is their SOULS that are down there. Quick! Go down there, and get thee their SOULS!

Gaah! An Army of Robots (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35708248)

The army of robots, after confirming the destruction of AF447, celebrated their victory today, decorating Unit 00110110 with the Metal of Honor. Their leader, Unit 10001101, was reported as saying "Hey sexy mama, wanna kill all humans?"

Re:Gaah! An Army of Robots (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35709058)

Not to worry. If robots get too powerful, we can organize them into a committee.

That ought to do them in.

(apologies to somebody)

Geologically fortunate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35709584)

They're lucky. According to the bathymetry map on page 8 of the press release [bea.aero] [PDF], the wreckage has been found on a relatively flat/smooth sediment abyssal plain area rather than the more rugged, exposed bedrock of the surrounding sea floor. This made identification of the crash site with sonar much easier (it stands out from the otherwise smooth sediment surface, as seen on page 2) and should make subsequent mapping of the site easier too. Depending upon how soft the sediment is, there could be items sunk into the sediment, which wouldn't be so good, but overall the location is quite fortunate.

Transmission instead of on-board recording (1)

noname444 (1182107) | more than 3 years ago | (#35710904)

Why isn't the data, or some subset of it, transmitted continuously during the flight?

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