In the second period of daylight in the AF447 search zone some widespread wreckage, not yet confirmed as coming from the missing jet has been spotted from the air in conditions of generally poor visibility.

It isn’t clear how long it will take for a ship to retrieve any of the objects.

The text-messages-from-the-jet story in Brazil’s tabloid press has been exposed as a cheap lying fabrication.

In France an act of terrorism against the flight is no longer being ruled out at the government and airline level, however there is no evidence of such an act and no evidence yet about precisely what went wrong on board to cause a series of unprecedented electrical failures to be automatically messaged to the Air France base in Paris.

Pilots have also started to talk of their long held concerns about flying through the area in which the A330-200 disappeared because of a lack of radar coverage allowing them to identify the intense storm cells that develop in that part of the Mid Atlantic weather zones, and the severity of those storms. These storm cells are often ‘dry’ meaning they do not register adequately on aircraft radar scans as they contain insufficient ice or vapour to generate a return signal.

The pilots of a TAM flight passing through the same area in the opposite direction and at a time when they would have been within visible range of the Air France jet have been reported as seeing bright orange dots which appeared in the darkness to be on the sea. These might have been from burning wreckage.

When ships reach the impact zone there is a chance they can detect the location of the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder which would if recovered in readable form would provide a definitive and chronological record of whatever transpired on AF447.

Get Crikey for $1 a week.

Lockdowns are over and BBQs are back! At last, we get to talk to people in real life. But conversation topics outside COVID are so thin on the ground.

Join Crikey and we’ll give you something to talk about. Get your first 12 weeks for $12 to get stories, analysis and BBQ stoppers you won’t see anywhere else.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
12 weeks for just $12.