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Bill Flynn

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Air France Crash
6/7/2009 8:46:41 AM

Please go around those tall thunderheads or turn back. Mr. Pilot


Recent news reports of the Air France airbus break up over the Atlantic and/or it's crash in those waters has me wondering. Why do pilots fly into those danger filled thunderheads that spiral upward to 50,000 feet? Inside there is hail as big as baseballs and updrafts in excess of 100mph. All of that spells severe turbulance puting enormous G-force stress on the aircraft frame.
Oh yes, there is instumentation via the pitot tube(s) that connects to a computerized automatic system that SHOULD slow the aircraft or speed it up in automatic pilot when the thunderhead turbulance is detected.
In the case of the Air France disaster it's now postulated that the pitot tube(s) supplying these data may have iced up in the -45 degree F. temperature at altitude making that sure fire automatic computer sensor inoperative.
My point: Instead of giving these highly reliable automated systems a chance to malfuction in the severe turbulant and icing environment inside a lethal thunderhead formation, why not abandon those on time schedule & fuel consumtion requirements and avoid a confrontation with them?
How about a thunderhead avoidance system that controls the plane around those monster cummulous clouds or instructs the pilot in the worst case to turn around?
Perhaps you all have flown as passengers in heavy turbulance. When that occurs and I'm a passenger, my first thought is, Mr. Pilot PLEASE slow this plane down, same as I do when my car comes to a speed bump in the road.
My thoughts go to the horror of those passengers in that Air France Airbus when all hell broke loose. And the friends and relatives that are left in sorrow behind.
In all of this the question is: Could this accident have been avoided by a pilots decision augmented by technology? Perhaps some company proceedural changes, like don't fly through thunderheads...either avoid them or turn the plane around.


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