Big gaps, no answers, in Airbus company disaster findings

The information offered by senior investigator Alan Bouillard on July 2, one month after Air France Rio-Paris flight 447 plunged into the Atlantic killing all 228 people aboard indicates either that the inquiry is stumped or that information is being withheld.
What he reported was that the doomed airliner did not break up in the air but dropped like a stone without any established cause and shattered from the force of its impact with the water. Before hitting the sea, it sent out 24 automatic signals of technical glitches, including a warning of falling air pressure in the cabin. None of them, said Bouillard, should have immobilized the aircraft, but they did indicate that the flight crew who should have switched the plane to manual control had failed to do so.
This final admission deepened the mystery, because the French investigators could not explain what happened to the pilots and why they failed to take control of the ailing flight.
Bouillard went on to disclose that all 55 of the bodies recovered from the ocean were not wearing inflatable life vests and none of the vests were found floating in the water. Therefore, neither crew nor passengers had any inkling of the disaster before it was upon them and, in fact, no distress signal was beamed by the crew.
American aviation experts were quick to pounce on the gaps in the French report:
First: How could they be sure without examining the bodies that the Airbus broke up only when it slapped down on the water? All the remains are held by the Brazilian authorities who refuse to give France their autopsy findings.
Second: Why has the French government, the investigators and the bereaved families failed to demand the findings and the handover of the bodies? Brazil has so far issued no statements to the public.
Third: The investigators were too quick to assume the plane broke up on impact with the water because not enough fragments were recovered to establish this conclusion definitively. Clint Oster, an aviation expert at Indiana University, offered the opinion that the 600 fragments recovered show that most of the fuselage hit the water but not necessarily every part of it – in which case it could have broken apart earlier and been the cause of the crash.
Fourth: American aviation sources denounced as irresponsible the assertion by Philip Swan, a member of the French team of investigators, that there was no need to ground all the Airbus 330 models in service until the inquiry is complete. Swan maintained that their systems’ reliability had been established in tens of millions of flying hours.(There are more than 5,000 Airbus craft of different models in service with the world’s airlines.)
Another American expert retorted: “They have not looked into the myriad instances of computerized control system glitches that have occurred in those ‘tens of millions of hours’ and how they might well be related to a series of cascading events that may have doomed Flight 447.”
Thursday, July 2, after a second Airbus disaster – A Yemenia Airbus 310 plunged into the Indian Ocean just off the Comoros islands, killing all 153 people aboard except for a lone survivor – the Comoran vice president Idi Nadhoim bitterly accused Paris of failing to warn his government about technical faults.
In an interview to France 24 television, Nadhoim said: “It would have been easier for us if France had communicated with us their list of Airbus planes that are not good to fly, which is not the case.”
He was referring to French transport minister Dominique Bussereau’s comment Tuesday, June 3, that ever since 2007, the French have known about faults in the Airbus systems.
“What is this discrimination between French passengers that have to be protected in France,” the Comoran vice president asked, “and those French people who are left to fly in these kinds of planes?”
He was talking about the Comorans who died in the crash on their way from Paris to the capital of Moroni. They all carried French passports.
Airbus employs 57,000 staff in four European countries and has just opened a plant in China.

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