Don’t mean to jump the gun here, but the last worst jumbo-jet crash before the Air France plane disintegrated was when an Airbus A300 tail just broke off an American Airlines flight after takeoff at JFK. The picture below wouldn’t seem to eliminate that possibility as the cause of the crash in the Air France disaster.
Photographs released Monday by the Brazilian military showed a team of divers and sailors on a rubber dinghy tying a rope around what appeared to be the vertical stabilizer from the tail section of the plane. The part, which bears the trademark stripes and logo of Air France, bore no evident burn marks and retained its triangular shape, save for a chunk missing where it appeared to have been torn from the body of the plane.
In case you’re curious, courtesy of a reader, there’s a link to the NTSB report on the American Airlines crash in the comments below. Check out the pictures below of the carbon composite material that snapped when the pilot stomped on the rudder to stabilise the plane when it hit wake turbulence. (Doesn’t it seem reasonable to think that, in heavy turbulence over the Atlantic, the same thing might have happened again?)
Thanks to Jeff Nason for the tip.
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