Thursday, June 18, 2009

Picking Up the Pieces of Air France Crash

Piece by piece, the tragic crash of Air France jetliner is painting a grim picture what happened.

Although French investigators still have no clue on what brought the plane down, with more than 400 pieces of debris recovered despite the unfavorable conditions, they appealed for patience as to determining the cause as Air France crash is one of the worst situations ever known in an accident investigation.

Recently, experts have also revealed that autopsies show that the recovered bodies of the victims had fractures in the legs, hips and arms. The fact that some were found with little to no clothing along with the large pieces of wreckage pulled up from the Atlantic strongly suggest the plane broke up in the air.

A former forensic expert at the U.S National Transportation Safety Board said intact bodies with multiple fractures and large pieces of the aircraft are a good indicator of a midflight break-up.

According to Jack Casey, an aviation safety consultant in Washington, D.C. said that the lack of clothing is significant in in-air break-ups. He confirmed that multiple fractures are consistent with mid-air break-up and that most victims would have been dead before hitting the water.

An explosion is still not ruled out as the crash’s cause and the plane’s flight data, voice recorders and black box are still missing.

The mystery surrounding Air France is enough to strike fear in the heart of many plane commuters. About 2.5 billion passengers board an airplane each year and while 90% of all plane crashes are survivable, the unfortunate 10% have a fate worse than death or is simply, death.

Air France should be a lesson especially to Trans-Atlantic flight providers that they owe their passengers extreme diligence and care since they hold the lives of so many people in their hands.

One fatal pilot mistake, one neglected airplane part or faulty maintenance, and everything will come crashing down.

The families left behind by the victims of Air France crash have lost much and for many, even the peace of having the bodies of their loved ones back is impossible. Air France will no doubt be facing a lot of lawsuits in the future.