Four kilometers below the waves, at the bottom of the Atlantic, investigators search for the reminds of Air France Flight 447.
228 people are gone.
Air crash investigators face a monumental task. The answers may lie in the wreckage. But finding that evidence will take years.
Air France 447 is crossing the Atlantic ocean，the Airbus A330 is flying an 11-hour direct route to Paris.
58 years old Captain Marc Dubois is in command, he's been a pilot for well over half his life, and now he's one of the most senior captains
at Air France.
First officer Pieere－Cedric Bonin is 32 years old.
He's been flying the A330 for about a year.
32 years old
relief pilot David Robert is on standby.
The three pilots fly in shifts to stay
alert. There are 216 passengers on the
overnight fight, including
Canadian business executive Brad Clemes.
With the auto pilot holding the plane steady at 35, 000 feet, the crew communicates with Brazilian air traffic control. As they fly, an onboard computer monitors the engines,
hydraulics and other systems. It also sends progress reports to Air France
headquarters, Every 10 minutes, the computer transmits the plane's position along with the maintenance data.
Three hours into the flight, the Captain reports reaching an
navigational waypoint off the coast of Brazil.
At 1:49 a.m., the A330 leaves Brazilian radar
surveillance, and enters a communications dead zone over the mid-Atlantic. an air traffic controller in Senegal tries to contact the flight. He can't reach the crew, so he alerts Air France. No one has heard from the crew of Flight 447. The only communication, 24 maintenance messages transmitted by the plane, hours earlier. An Air France maintenance worker tries to make contact, but his messages
bounces back. Perhaps the communication system failed.
By the time the plane should have reached French airspace, controllers still can't make contact. At Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, the 11:10 a.m. arrival time comes and goes with no
sign of Flight 447. The A330 would run out of
fuel by now. The airline begins
The plane has almost certainly crashed at sea.
By the afternoon of June 1st, the world learns that Flight 447 from Rio to Paris has
scramble to mid-Atlantic to look for the plane and
It's one of the worst accidents in the history of
commercial aviation. An
advanced passenger jet is gone. 228 people are
presumed dead. French president
announces there's almost no chance anyone
The job of solving this
mystery falls to the BEA, France's air safety
(7:36 to be continued)
The biggest challenge was the depth.
Participant 2 (Brad Clemes brother)
That was a major commercial airline that had a plane suddenly dropped out of the sky in four and half minutes.
I talked my brother in the Sunday morning, we talked to our children,
and then I talked to right up at the time that he got onto the plane. like so many of these "air warriors" or whatever they call them, he flew all the time, he's used... quite used to it, and then I think he probably even enjoyed it.
I had a
infinitesimally small hope that he might have been on a different plane,
cause we weren'thundred` percent sure when other flights might be coming back that he could possibly be on.
The plane had been missing, eleven or twelve hours at this stage without any communication or whatsoever.
David Learmount, Editor, FLIGHTGLOBAL Magazine.
It was a real shock, the easiest explanation is that a bomb blew it out of sky. That would explain it.
They had to do whatever it took.
HF radio, especially at night, is not terribly reliable, so, for some of the time that it was missing, everybody was saying, "well, I hope it's just a communication problem."
I was a real shack, to me and the whole
industry like that the
modern aircraft like an Airbus A330
operated by a world-class airline like Air France could just go missing without a word.
We absolutely had to understand why this accident happened.
Captain Marc Dubois.
what the hell are you doing?
it's hard to see anything in this plane with this lighting.
(Air France 447)
Air France 447, go ahead.
(Air France 447, contact Atlantic Center)
ATLANTICO, ATLANTICO, Air France 447
(Air France 447, ATLANTICO, go ahead）
Air France 447 position INTOL.
(Maintenance flight level 350.)
Ok, will do.
Yes, I saw that.
First office Pieere－Cedric Bonin
Here is the new forecast.
we're arriving at INTOL.
so we have a thing up ahead?
- we need contact
Braziland Senegal air control right away, please.
The goal of the maintenance messages is simply to help the ground teams prepare for any repairs to the plane that needed for the next
Senegal center controller
Air France 447, this is Dakar, do you copy?
Come in Air France 447.