Air France A330 jet Missing over the Atlantic

Written by Francisco Camoes · Filed Under Aeronautics News, Safety 

June 1, 2009

Francisco Camoes

Brazil’s air force said on Monday its aircraft are searching the Atlantic Ocean off northeast Brazil for an Air France passenger plane that went missing midway through a Rio-Paris flight, the AF447.

The Airbus A330 was carrying 216 passengers and 15 crew members, Air France said. It disappeared off radar screens at 0600 GMT and did not land as scheduled at 0910 GMT in Paris.

“We are very worried,” an aviation official said. “The plane disappeared from the screens several hours ago. It could be a transponder problem, but this kind of fault is very rare and the plane did not land when expected.”

Air France confirmed that “it had no news” of flight number AF 447, which it said had 216 passengers and 15 crew members on board.

Air traffic control lost contact with the Airbus A330 at 0600 GMT as it crossed the ocean after taking off from Rio de Janeiro bound for Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, where it had been due to land at 0910 GMT.

Airport authorities have set up a crisis cell at Charles de Gaulle, and junior transport minister Dominique de Bussereau was due at the scene.

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