Cost-cutting could be yet another factor in the Air France 447 crash. I have described and quoted from various articles and blogs where pilots, meteorologists and other experts are trying to figure out what might have happened. From my point of view the most helpful has been the initial detailed meterological report by Tim Vasquez of Weather Graphics and the subsequent discussion boards he has set up. On one of them devoted to opinions of pilots and experts, I found this entry, from “Kye,’’ which is certainly worth thinking about:
We do now know, from some the reports of the floating wreckage, that the plane appears to have been laterally fractured, rather than broken into pieces from the impact of the ocean. What this evidence strongly suggest is, the plane appears to have broken apart in mid air, perhaps by the extreme pounding it took from the storm, which may have caused its wings and vertical stablizer to be shear off, or the plane’s body to be split from the opposing torque placed on both wings. If the plane was turning to get out of the storm, particularly while fighting a strong updraft, I can imagine that it would have put undue stress on the dipped wing and vertical stabilizer, and ripped them off. Even if the pitot was causing the plane to either underspeed or overspeed, the plane still had no business trying to fly through the most intense part of the storm. What is more, the pilots should have been able to see what they were flying into from their radar returns. The basic question remains: Why did the pilots choose to fly directly into the storm?
It should be mentioned that the Air bus 330 has a service ceiling of slightly less than 39,500 feet, so it could not fly above storms that towered upwards from 51,000 to 56,000 feet. Also, this plane has never been tested for G-force loading stresses. G-force loading stress specifications for the Airbus 330 is listed as “unknown”. ..
Along with the fact, as some have already mentioned, many airline companies do not let their flight crews to deviate off track by more than 10 nautical miles to avoid storms, (unless it is a declared emergency by the captain), as well as Air France’s “deferred maintenance” on replacing the pitot’s, would strongly suggest that Air France is basically at fault for cutting corners that affect safety to stay profitable. Afterall, airlines have a notorious reputation for wanting to save on expenses and maximize profits, by preferring that their pilots maintain a course that will save on fuel and meet schedules, neverminding the weather conditions or equipment they are given to fly with, if the government regulators are not around requiring them to do otherwise. Bottomline is: Not only was Air France flight 447 on autopilot when it approached the storm, but the brains of pilots and Air France corporate headquarters were on autopilot too. The pre-determined decisions made that lead up to this tragedy could have been avoided!!!
If any of this is true, it’s pretty horrible.