Rio de Janeiro (Global Adventures): The search for wreckage of Air France flight 447 continues. In the deadliest accident in the history of Air France. The Airbus A330-200 crashed into the Atlantic on June 1, 2009. The plane, registered as F-GZCP, was on a routine flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris when it disappeared from radar more than 680 miles (1,090 kilometers) off the Brazilian northern coast.
Three Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV’s)
will be deployed in a new effort to locate the flight data recorders, or black boxes, on the sea floor. The robots will use side-scan sonar to map the ocean floor in long overlapping lanes, using a survey process known as “mowing the lawn,” said the WHOI in a press release. After the data is analyzed and areas of interest are identified. So the vehicles can gather more detailed, up-close images on subsequent dives using their high-resolution cameras.
The robots are capable to dive to depths of 3.73 miles. So they can stay underwater for up to 20 hours to collect data. The Waitt Institute for Discovery Owns Two of the vehicles used in the new search effort. Germany’s IFM-GEOMAR Owns the third search vehicles. The French Bureau of investigation and analysis for civil aviation safety, is leading the investigation and is responsible for all phases of the operation.
Two ships from Norway
and the United States will be used as base stations for the search that is expected to last for approximately one month. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Would Operates the AUV’s. “Few institutions are as well equipped as WHOI for this mission,” said David Gallo. “The Mid-Ocean Ridge is a feature that we have been exploring for more than 30 years. The terrain will be extremely rugged and the search will be difficult. In Addition this is something that we have been doing as a part of our mission to explore and understand the global oceans.”
So far, investigators were unable to find hard evidence of what triggered the crash. The only clues come from a series of maintenance updates that the airplane automatically transmitted minutes before crashing into the Atlantic. The transmissions pointed to malfunctioning airspeed indicators and flight-control computers. 216 passengers and 12 crewmembers lost their lives in the crash. Shortly after the incident, Air France changed the number of the Rio de Janeiro-Paris flight from AF447 to AF445.
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