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Preliminary Air France Findings

The BBC reports on the first finding released from the recovered data and voice recorders: Air France Rio crash: Jet plunged in minutes

The Air France jet which crashed into the Atlantic en route from Rio in 2009 stalled and fell in three and a half minutes, French investigators report.

The air accident investigations bureau (BEA) found the crew had struggled with contradictory speed readings just before the plane crashed.

The BEA statement did not look at the causes of the crash but one theory is that the jet’s speed probes failed.

Flight AF 447 went down on 1 June 2009 after running into an intense high-altitude thunderstorm, four hours into a flight from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to Paris.

One of the instruments showed “a sharp fall” in air speed as the plane entered a zone of turbulence, the stall warning sounded and the autopilot and auto-thrust disengaged, the BEA said in its statement.

As the plane slowed, it climbed to 38,000 ft (11,600m).

Based on the information it looks like as they were attempting to avoid the turbulence they were caught in an updraft, as 38,000 feet is an dangerous altitude for a passenger aircraft, and then lost lift and went into a spin.

Their instruments were giving contradictory information, so there was no obvious solution. In clouds, there would be no visual clues to help them figure out what the aircraft was actually doing. The data recorder shows a spiral into the ocean.

May 27, 2011   12 Comments

No One Listens To Me

I keep telling people that the biggest danger in Alaska is moose, but people think I’m exaggerating. How about the opinion of an Alaskan wildlife biologist?

CBS reports Caution warned after Alaska moose attacks

Jessy Coltrane, an Anchorage-area state wildlife biologist, said moose are not predators and charge only when they feel threatened or their personal space is trespassed. But that distance that can vary widely from moose to moose, Coltrane said.

“The best practice around moose is to go away around a moose. Assume every moose is a serial killer standing in the middle of the trail with a loaded gun,” said Coltrane, urging people to treat them with more respect.

The “personal space” of a moose can be 1 to 500 miles, depending on the season. Just for Badtux, one of the attacks was to a “touron” who was “just trying to pet” 1500 pounds of psycho-protein under a shag carpet.

May 27, 2011   4 Comments

Typhoon Songda – Day 6

Typhoon SongdaPosition: 23.9N 124.4E [ 9PM CST 0300 UTC 0900 JST].
Movement: North-Northeast [020°] near 18 mph [30 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 120 mph [195 kph].
Wind Gusts: 150 mph [240 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 175 miles [280 km].
Hurricane Wind Radius: 65 miles [100 km].

Currently about 340 miles [ 545 km] Southwest of Kadena AB, Okinawa.

The Southern Ryukyu Islands are in for a very bad time from this storm, although it may lose strength quickly as there is evidence of an eyewall replacement cycle beginning.

Down to Category 3, and the weakening is expected to continue as it heads North. Still a major storm, but not as destructive as it had been.

[Note: My Dad and I both flew out of Kadena.]

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

May 27, 2011   Comments Off on Typhoon Songda – Day 6

Friday Cat Blogging

A Better Outlook

Friday Cat Blogging

Arrrggg?

[Editor: Cap’n Kitt’s eye is much improved, but he’s a bit ‘groggy’ because I woke him for the picture.]

Friday Ark on vacation this week

May 27, 2011   8 Comments