AF447 flight of death official timeline

June 2nd, 2009 - 1:49 am ICT by John Le Fevre  

Air France AF447 A massive mid-Atlantic air search remains underway for Air France flight AF447 that lost contact with Brazilian air traffic controllers while traveling at 35,000 feet (10,600 meters).

Air France flight AF447 left Rio de Janeiro’s Airport do Galeao at 2230 GMT Sunday and was last heard of at 0133 GMT Monday.

Flight AF447 was on a direct 11-hour flight to Charles de Gaulle 2 airport where it was due to touch-down at 0910 GMT (11.10am local Paris time).

The last known contact with the plane – carrying 126 men, 82 women, seven children and a baby – plus the 12-person crew, was some 365km (226 miles) from the Brazilian coast, in the vicinity of the Fernando de Noronha archipelago.

Brazilian and French passengers top the list for the most number of passengers onboard AF447, followed by German, Italian, American, Chinese, Hungarian, and people from 17 other countries.

Brazil has launched two air force squadrons to hunt for the presumably downed aircraft, while French military aircraft had been dispatched to search around Cape Vert or Green Cape off the coast of Senagal.

France has also dispatched warships to the area and all commercial vessels have been alerted to maintain a visual watch.

Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, the CEO of Air France, said the aircraft had transmitted an automatically generated alert that it had significant electrical problems shutting down onboard flight computers after flying through extreme turbulence.

The official Brazilian Air Force timeline of events is:

2230 GMT Sunday Flight AF447 takes off from Rio’s Airport do Galeao
0133 GMT Monday Plane makes last contact with Brazilian air traffic control
0148 GMT Plane disappears from radar
0220 GMT Plane fails to make scheduled radio contact
0530 GMT Brazilian Air Force launches search
0910 GMT Plane fails to make scheduled landing in Paris

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