Air France jet found under Atlantic - with bodies.

This story isn’t getting as much press as I’d have expected - but using some Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute equipment, investigators found the major debris from the crash of that Rio->Paris flight from June 2009. They reported finding bodies as well (presumably the poor souls were still strapped in their seats). Morbid curiosity has me wondering how anything but bones and clothing could be left after all that time. Is the floor of the Atlantic an anaerobic environment? Could there actually be enough DNA to ID these people?

Of course they hope to find the black box recorders intact.

This must be a double-edged sword for their relatives. Many must have moved on after 2 years, only to have an actual body turn up. Life sure sucks sometimes.

MSNBC article

Hmmm. PBS (Nova?) recently did a show about this flight. It explored lots of theories, some of which will be accepted now that they’ve found the aircraft and, presumably, the black box.

Presumably, this was not found by accident. They must have been looking for the aircraft at the time of discovery. As the plane crashed 22 months ago… How long have they been searching? How much longer did they intend to search (if they had not found it). In other words, if an aircraft goes missing, how much time, money, and manpower are typically spent searching until they just give up?

If I recall correctly, someone came up with a new model for the ocean currents and conditions at the time of the crash, and when they searched the area predicted by this new model they found the plane. I don’t believe that they were searching continuously all this time.

Here’s another active thread in MPSIMS.

There were four discrete searches over two years.

It’s pretty rare for an airplane to literally go missing. I can’t think offhand of a modern era example of an airplane crashing and never being recovered. Not having the FDR and CVR (which we still don’t know if they’ll be able to recover or use), or most of the fuselage, has to have been driving Air France, Aircus, Brazil, and probably FAA (and a bunch of lawyers) crazy. The aviation industry/regulators are fairly obsessive about determining causes for crashes. Look at the lengths they went to with TWA Flt. 800 (scroll down):

http://www3.ntsb.gov/tc/facilityloc.htm

Wiki has a list of flights for which one or both recorders were not recovered. There have been only five such crashes in the past twenty years; one of those was the Air France crash, and two of them were the planes that were crashed into the World Trade Center.

Have you ever lost a loved one? Two years is nothing. Knowing is always better than not knowing.

I’m not sure I follow that - was there a doubt that any of these people were dead?

Well, maybe it’s just my family - we seem to have less need to view an actual dead body than most others, and we stopped burying our dead a generation ago (we do cremation now).

Not to be snarky, but I don’t think there was much doubt in this case.

Thanks for that link, which I later saw in the other thread on this topic. I think it’s fair to say that until now, the AF disaster was the one for which the fewest data points of any kind were in hand – no pilot communications (which were extensive in, say, the El Al Amsterdam crash), little to no physical wreckage, and no black boxes. So for the investigators, finding the fuselage is a big deal and (with luck) well worth the $20+ million they reportedly spent on the lengthy search.

Nitpick. That is not an exhaustive list.