That region of the world at this time of year is a cauldron of extreme turbulence. It is a region well known to seamen and airmen alike. The stresses imposed upon a modern aircraft stucture can, quite possibly, tear a fuselage apart.
A few years ago another
airbus went down in NYC when a portion of its tail and rudder sheared off due to structural failure of its composite material!
I was reading about the inter-tropical convergence zone. Seems like it is an almost continual version of what we southerners endure in the spring during peak tornado season, with cold fronts colliding with warming air from the Gulf Of Mexico causing severe storms.
Dave- the Iridium satellites are still up there and functional. Word wide cellular communication (although its not digital cellular) They could rig something to use that. But I agree, the expense of making the system work and operational would be large and ultimately fall to us in higher ticket fees.
Dave -Congrats on 11100 posts - Do you ever sleep??? I am, indeed, a fixed winger - However, in SEA I flew FAC in O-2a's and OV-10's as a result many of my friends are chopper jocks!! One cannot help but pick up some of their flight lingo-especially since one is my best buddy!!
The "Jesus Nut" concept is a universal aviation concept, which, like Murphy's Law-applies to everything!! Shucks, every Turtle knows that!!
I worked on Harriers, A-4 Skyhawks (E through M models), and the occasional F-4. But I have to tell you that the coolest airplanes I ever saw were the OV-10 Broncos. Those guys had the nads. And the ordnance too. Lots of firepower for such a little airplane.
Y'all are right, but it's just hard for me to believe that it was structural failure. I know it does happen, though. My favorite job was in rotorcraft, and really wish I could get back into it. Computers are ok, but rotorcraft rocks! Never thought I'd be in anything but fixed wing, but 16 years of rotorcraft, I don't think I'd want to do fixed wings.
I don't know if anyone watched the Titanic piece they had on last night (Discovery Channel, I believe). They used a deep diving sub to find the Titanic by doing mile sweeps with the sub. They found the debris trail, then found the Titanic using the sub. Why can't they do that with the Air France wreck? They know basically where the debris field is. They can use the currents to map out the area, then they could bring the sub in to locate the precious black boxes.