Thursday, June 11, 2009

Terrorists on Air France Flt. 447? Weather Not Suspect?

by Maggie at Maggie's Notebook

Two passengers aboard the downed Air France Flight 447 are reported to be listed on France's suspected "radical Muslim" list. Updates and details below as information becomes available.

Air France Flight 447

While it is believed the flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris that went down in Atlantic just off Brazil, may have had computer and icing problems, terrorism has not been ruled out. Two hundred and twenty-eight people died in the crash, including two Americans, Michael and Anne Harris from Lafayette, Louisiana.

French agents have found two names on the passenger list that are on "highly-classified documents listing the names of radical Muslims considered a threat to the French Republic." According to Sky News, the link is "highly significant."

The birth dates and family connections of the two victims are in the process of being determined. This is an important step because Muslim names are often identical or similar. The names of the two passengers have not been released. If the suspected passengers are the same as those on the "radical Muslims" list, how did they manage to slip through the cracks and board the plane?

Another report tells us that at least twelve flights took off from Rio de Janiero at approximately the same time and traveled on approximately the same flight path. So the question is, if these other flight did not report severe weather, and they did not, then is weather a suspected cause of the crash?

From the beginning, experts have doubted that weather could bring down an Airbus A330, and pilots have believed that the pilot of 447 would have skirted the storm.

Air France had four flights in this time and location spot:
One flight left Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at 4:20 p.m. At that same moment, another Air France flight left nearby Sao Paulo. A third Air France flight left Buenos Aires, Argentina, at 5:50 p.m., also heading for Paris. A final Air France flight left Sao Paulo at 7:10 p.m., almost exactly when the doomed flight took off from Rio.

All of these flights took a similar route toward Paris, heading first toward Recife on the east coast of Brazil and then continuing northeast over the Atlantic. None of the other flights experienced anything unusual, the spokesman said. All arrived in Paris the next day, with no significant delays of any kind.
Eight additional flights from other airlines proceeded similiarly as the flights above and none reported weather problems. While it is not impossible that one flight could run into worse conditions than the other airplanes in the area, but it would be unusual.

How about this very sad report: Italian who missed AF 447 flight dies in car crash.
An Italian woman who arrived to the airport late for the fatal Air France flight 447 has died in a car accident, according to ANSA news agency.

Johanna Ganthaler, a pensioner from the Bolzano-Bozen Province (South Tyrol, Italy) and her husband, Kirk, were on vacation in Brazil and missed flight 447 after arriving to the airport late. They were able to board a later flight and avoided being victims of the horrible crash.

The couple rented a car in Munich, Germany and decided to drive home to Italy. On their way home, while driving through Kufstein, Austria, their car ended up in the opposite lane and they had a head on collision with a truck.

The woman died at the hospital that she was taken to. Her husband is still in critical condition.

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