Some weeks ago, the Czar wondered openly whether the French Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses were working as hard as they could to determine the cause, given that the BEA and Air France and Airbus are more or less owned by the same interest: the French beaureaucracy.
Now comes news that the French are calling off the search for the black boxes, more wreckage, and any more bodies. Although a French submarine remains in the area, the recovery efforts are done and gone.
The Czar knows the investigation will continue much in the same manner that police continue to look into unsolved stolen car cases eight years later. Yeah, technically the case is still open.
If not too unpleasant, imagine if this had been an American-owned plane that disappeared off radar near the coast of Brazil. The US Navy would have been on the scene within a half day, marking wreckage and looking for unlikely survivors. Sophisticated equipment would listen for the pings of the boxes. Submersible craft would have plunged the depths to recover even tiny pieces of metal or plastic. The NTSB would begin reconstructing the plane carefully. The investigation would not only continue, but the public would be allowed to review theories, explanations, dead ends, and more. The cause would be found.
To give you an idea of what the Czar thinks, below are two pictures of how evidence is handled. One is of the NTSBs TWA 800 investigation. The other is the BEAs investigation of Flight 447. Guess which one is which. Hint: both pictures are about the same period after the actual crash.
By the way, the NTSB and the US Navy are always just a phone call away to the French.
There are three causes of air crashes: man, machine, and environment. The first is generally pilot error, the act of terrorism, and so on. The second is a problem with the aircraft equipment itself. The last is the weather. Any three can be involved here: the pilot could have misread an indicator, or the Airbus itself had problems, or the thunderstorm brought the plane down. So far, the BEA has not eliminated a single cause. In fact, even where multiple causes can be concerned, we have seen nothingthus far, even terrorism is still a possibility. In fact, there is still debate whether the plane slammed into the water or broke apart in flight.
Of course, that debate is with agencies other than the BEA, who have yet to release any more news other than that reported by the world media or by the Brazilians who have already disputed some of the initial statements by the BEA.
Is this investigation also disappearing off the radar? Does it make you wonder if the Czar is onto something…that the BEA has a very good, although embarrassing, idea what caused the crash? You know…something like the pilots were not qualified or were improperly trained by Air France, or there was something inherent in the Airbus design, or…? So far, we have not seen any evidence to suggest that French government will solve this mystery, regardless of what is revealed.
Consider for example the 2000 crash of the Concorde. The BEA concluded that the Air France crew was qualified, the Concorde airworthy, and the cause was a piece of metal that somehow fell off a Continental DC-10 moments before. The British, who co-owned the Concorde, conducted their own investigation and came to worse conclusions: the piece of metal was not the cause, but that the plane was overloaded (causing the improperly maintained tire to blow and the planes center of gravity to shift aft), and that the Air France pilots were not adequately trained to handle the resulting stall. No one has yet been able to refute the British conclusion, which is backed up by loads of modeling on real planes, simulators, and computer models. The chunk of metal blowing a tire that ruptures fuel lines? Never seen on any other crash, real or simulated.
What happened to the passengers on 447 is a terrible tragedy, but the BEA may be producing a worse tragedy by far.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.