J'ai hâte d'en savoir plus.
Air France A330-200 registered F-GZCK and performing Flight AF445 from Rio de Janeiro Galeao to Paris Charles de Gaulle on Sunday night/Monday morning declared a mayday owing to severe turbulence near the equator, according to The Aviation Herald. The incident occurred near the site where AF447 was lost six months ago (ATWOnline, Aug. 21). The aircraft was at 38,000 ft. on airway UN866 about 4 hr. after takeoff, just before the DEKON waypoint about 680 nm. northeast of Fortaleza, when the crew declared the mayday on the international emergency frequency and said they would descend to a lower altitude. AF445 landed safely at CDG at 12:04 local time, close to schedule. The distress call was relayed by the crew of a TAM A330 performing Flight JJ8055 from CDG to GIG. AF issued a statement saying the flight crew "carried out a normal descent to avoid severe turbulence" and that it sent out the emergency message indicating it had altered its prescribed flight level after it was "unable to obtain immediate authorization from air traffic control." The "moderate to severe" turbulence lasted about 30 min., AF said.
Inquiry scrutinises second A330 incident for AF447 insight
By David Kaminski-Morrow
French investigators are to examine a severe turbulence incident a week ago involving an Air France Airbus A330-200 which had been operating the same route as the ill-fated flight AF447.
The Bureau d'Enquetes et d'Analyses says that the 29 November incident to flight AF445, operating Rio de Janeiro-Paris Charles de Gaulle, could yield information valuable to the inquiry into the loss of AF447, another A330-200, on 1 June.
BEA is set to publish, on 17 December, a second investigation report into the south Atlantic crash.
The AF447 inquiry has been forced to proceed without the crucial data from the A330's two flight recorders, which have yet to be recovered.
But the upset involving AF445, the BEA says, "might provide further insight" into the accident.
The aircraft (F-GZCK) encountered severe turbulence about four hours after departing Rio, and the pilots brought the aircraft down to a lower flight level.
Air France says that the crew could not raise air traffic control and opted instead to transmit an emergency message over the radio to advise of the change in altitude.
"After half an hour of moderate to severe turbulence, the flight continued normally," the carrier adds.
Air France says the cockpit crew carried out its actions "in strict accordance with procedures". The A330 was transporting 203 passengers and 12 crew.
AF447 had been almost four hours into its journey, and in the vicinity of storm activity, at the time of its disappearance.
Vol AF445 Rio-Paris-CDG du 29/11/09
Après une enquête interne, Air France peut confirmer que les pilotes du vol AF445 ayant quitté Rio le 29 novembre à 21 h 20 (locales) et arrivé à Paris le 30 novembre à 12 h 04, ont, environ quatre heures après le décollage, en stricte application des procédures :
- effectué une descente normale pour éviter une zone de turbulences sévères et rejoindre un niveau de vol moins turbulent et plus confortable pour les passagers,
- ne pouvant obtenir une autorisation immédiate de la part du contrôle aérien, émis un message radio d'urgence pour indiquer que l'avion quittait son niveau de vol.
Après une demi-heure de turbulences modérées à fortes, le vol s'est ensuite normalement poursuivi.
Le vol était effectué par un Airbus A330-200 (F-GZCK) avec à son bord 203 passagers, 3 pilotes et 9 hôtesses et stewards.