So now the plane that broke up in air actually bellyflopped on the water at a high speed. Only earlier today, an almost identical article stated that the plane struck the water vertically. I do wish they would get their lies straight.
The article states that the life jackets were not inflated, indicating the passengers were not prepared for a water landing. However, it takes several minutes, even at a rapid descent, for a plane to drop 38,000 feet - plenty of time for the passengers to prepare for a water landing, and plenty of time for the pilots to issue a distress call.
We are told neither of these things happened.
And do you recall the earlier reports about a flurry of signals indicating a cascade of mechanical and electrical problems leading to complete failure? If this happened as originally reported, how did the pilot manage to bring a plane with complete mechanical failure in for a water landing? If instead the flurry of signals indicated failures after the plane hit the water, why didn't the pilots make a distress call? Do you recall the report from a pilot of another plane in the area, of a bright white light falling for about six seconds?
Taken together, what they are reporting today makes no sense. Therefore, something is either being left out, or something is misrepresented.
But I will point out that there is another case of an aircraft making a rapid dive toward the water without issuing a distress signal. That aircraft was Egypt Air Flight 990.
Now let me crawl all the way out on that precarious limb of conjecture. There is a Hollywood depiction of a very similar incident. Completely unintentional, I'm sure, but revealing. It occurs in the movie "The Incredibles." Perhaps you've seen it. In the movie, Elastigirl, Mrs. Incredible, is flying a government Lear jet when her plane is attacked by surface-air missiles. (Now you know where I'm going with this, but please do follow along.) Pilots will tell you that her pilot jargon is quite accurate in this emergency situation, indicating that the writers had researched what pilots (probably military pilots) are taught to say when fired on by a friendly force, since civilian pilots should never have need of such information. Should.
We know what they are taught to say, but what are they taught to do? I'm sorry I don't have a source for this, as it comes from a documentary I saw many years ago. In this show, they were talking about what a pilot in Vietnam would do to try to evade a SAM. The best solution, it was discovered, was to... drumroll please... put the plane into a steep dive.
That's exactly what Elastigirl does. She puts the plane into a steep dive, so fast the kids don't even have time to put on their seatbelts (or inflate their lifejackets) and they end up weightless and flying all over the place (see Vomit Comet). She dives the plane toward the ocean while releasing countermeasures, then pulls up hard at the last second... bellyflopping the plane on the water at high speed. Then, incredibly, the plane keeps flying, more missiles come in and blow it up.
I'm not saying this is what happened to Air France or Egypt Air, only that what you see in The Incredibles is very similar to the reported flight paths of both these disasters. The only things missing are A. the distress calls and B. the missiles. In both cases (if the reporting is correct), the pilots initiated manuevers as though they believed they were under attack. In both cases, the pilots failed to issue a distress call. This omission of the distress call is what is called in the sleuthing business "the curious incident of the dog that failed to bark in the night."
Interestingly, the FAA and NTSB have never released the radar data for Egypt Air Flight 990.
Things to think about.