The loss of flight 447 over the mid-Atlantic is truly unfortunate. Tim Vasquez is a meteorology specialist with flight analysis specialization. Based on information he is able to assemble about the the weather and the flight over the Atlantic at the time, and his analyst’s insight, he constructs a review of possible weather conditions the aircraft may have encountered. Since his post is commented, additional insight and information is coming forth that he is able to incorporate into his analysis. It has to be stressed that this is a speculative analysis by a professional, not in any way a formal assessment of the tragedy.

“Air France flight 447 (AF447), an Airbus A330 widebody jet, was reported missing in the equatorial Atlantic Ocean in the early morning hours of June 1, 2009. The plane was enroute from Rio de Janeiro (SBGL) to Paris (LFPG). Speculation suggested that the plane may have flown into a thunderstorm. The objective of this study was to isolate the aircraft’s location against high-resolution satellite images from GOES-10 to identify any association with thunderstorm activity. Breakup of a plane at higher altitudes in a thunderstorm is not unprecedented; Northwest Flight 705 in 1963 and more recently Pulkovo Aviation Flight 612 in 2006 are clear examples.

Back in the 1990s I did flight route forecasting for the Air Force. One of my assignments in summer 1994 was forecasting the sector between Mombasa, Kenya and Cairo, Egypt for C-5 and C-141 aircraft. The Sudan region had tropical MCS activity similar to this with little in the way of sensor data, so this incident holds some special interest for me as one of our C-5s could easily have followed a very similar fate. Using what’s available to me I decided to do a little analysis and see if I could determine anything about the fate of AF447 and maybe through some circuitous, indirect means help give authorities some clues on where to look. ”
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Follow the detailed analysis here. WUWT also featured Tim’s analysis, and what is interesting in both posts are the many comments from current and retired big-jet pilots.

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