At a press conference several hours ago, Air France CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon told reporters, "We are without a doubt faced with an air disaster. The entire company is thinking of the families and their pain."
Air France Flight 447 departed Rio's Galeao International Airport (GIG) at 19:03 local time on Sunday, May 31, 2009 for a scheduled passenger flight to Paris- Charles De Gaulle (CDG). According to Air France, the last communication from the aircraft was at 04:14 Paris time. The aircraft was due to arrive at CDG at 11:10 Paris time.
News reports, quoting Air France officials, say that an 'automated message' received from the aircraft indicated an electrical fault and loss of cabin pressure. The aircraft was believed to be flying through stormy weather and severe turbulence at the time it vanished, but the extent to which the weather contributed to the accident is unclear at this time.
Powered by twin General Electric CF6-80E engines, the aircraft entered service in April of 2005, and is said to have logged 18,870 flight hours. Its last major maintenance check was in April of this year, according to Air France.
Updates will follow here on Aircrew Buzz as more information becomes available.
- Brazil: Debris confirms Air France Flight 447 crash in the Atlantic - AircrewBuzz.com, June 2, 2009
- Air France and BEA press releases regarding the AF447 pitot tube issue - AircrewBuzz.com, June 6, 2009
- Air France Flight 447: Wreckage and human remains recovered, search continues - AircrewBuzz.com, June 7, 2009
- Interim report on the crash of Air France Flight 447 released by French BEA - AircrewBuzz.com, July 2, 2009
- French investigators release second interim report on the Air France Flight 447 accident - AircrewBuzz.com, Dec. 21, 2009