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Four and a half minutes of silence. Painful return to the cockpit of the Rio-Paris flight that killed 228 people – News



In front of a quiet courtroom, the screen shows an A330 flying between sky and ocean. On the third day of a trial to determine the responsibility of Air France and Air Bus in the 2009 Rio-Paris plane crash, experts recreated the fateful minutes before the plane crashed into the sea at an altitude of 300 meters above sea level. km/h, almost horizontal.

During a trial in Paris presided over by Magistrate Sylvie Donis, the four members of the first panel of experts appointed to investigate the accident began by describing in detail the work done during that lengthy process.

These people were responsible for studying all the information that black boxes collected about that moment, discovered two years after the accident at a depth of 3900 meters.

It won’t be until this Thursday that a decision will be made on whether the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) sound requested by the victims’ families will be heard during the trial, but experts yesterday described to a Paris court the final minutes of AF447’s flight.


On the night of May 31, 2009, an A330 took off from Rio de Janeiro with 228 people on board, and the flight proceeded normally until the aircraft entered the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), a dangerous meteorological zone at this time of year. characterized by large clouds, thunder and heavy rain.

At this moment, at dawn, the plane was in the hands of two co-pilots, as the captain had gone to rest. At 2:10 UT, three short beeps signal that the autopilot is disengaged. After a series of procedures, one of the co-pilots declares: “I have commands.”

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However, according to the report of one of the experts during the session, in just ten seconds, “six alarms followed each other.” The co-pilots quickly realized that they were losing speed, but the readings they received through the instruments in this regard were incorrect. Suddenly, the height was about 122 meters lower than the previously shown 10,700 meters.

“But this was not true,” the expert explained. “It was the freezing effect of the pitot tubes. [sondas de medição de velocidade da aeronave], which, clogged with ice crystals, stopped working in just one minute. In response, the co-pilot forced the plane to climb and sway to the side.” Another alarm was then sounded, warning of the aircraft losing lift “and destabilizing the crew”.

This is followed by the Altitude Deviation Alert, which has already sounded earlier due to a false altitude loss. However, this time the reason was the opposite: the plane climbed to a higher altitude than usual, he said. In the darkness of dawn, “you can imagine that the pilot does not notice” the difference, the expert explains.

However, the continuous loss alarm starts to sound again, this time for 54 seconds. And when the plane reaches an altitude of 11,600 meters, it stops lifting. “We had hectic navigation, completely erratic.” The captain, called by the crew, returns to the cabin. “We lost control of the plane,” he was told.

The plane “fell at a speed of 4.5 km per minute, which was a significant speed,” the expert explained. “For the next two minutes before the impact, misunderstanding reigned, the situation was confusing,” he said.

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The ground approach alarm is then sounded and the pilots respond by attempting to raise the aircraft. “There was a dialogue between the crew to the end to try to understand what was going on,” said an expert heard at Wednesday’s meeting.

He concludes that the plane crashed into the sea at a speed of 300 km/h almost horizontally.

After the explanations, the experts released a digital reconstruction, and during those four and a half minutes silence reigned in the room, according to an AFP correspondent.

Despite differences in some of the conclusions between one of the experts and the rest, the conclusions of all clearly cast doubt on the role of Air France and Airbus regarding pitot tube freezing.

Soften to Dor

Among the 489 private charges in this trial, which will last until December 8, is that of Carl de Vivo, 32, and his sister, who lost their mother in the accident.

“We want Airbus and Air France to admit their guilt in this case. Our goal is to ease our pain a little so that they admit that they handled the situation wrong, that they didn’t make a change. [técnicas] required [para evitar o acidente]”, De Vivo told the EFE news agency minutes before the opening of the court.

For De Vivo, who lost his mother as a teenager, this is not compensation, as Air France has already provided it to them, but an admission of guilt by both companies, allowing the family to move on. “What I feel today is sadness, because it is a return to a painful past,” Carl de Vivo added.

This lawsuit comes 13 years after the accident due to a long period of investigation ending in 2019 after several expert opinions in which the case against two multinational corporations was frozen.

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The investigating judges then determined that the misinterpretation of the situation by the pilots was to blame for the crash and therefore considered the airline inappropriate. [Air France]the owner of the damaged device or its assembler [Airbus] to court.

However, appeals filed by the families and the French prosecutor’s office allowed the dismissal of the case to be declared invalid thanks to the decision of the Paris Court of Appeal and put Air France and Airbus in the dock.

Both companies will defend their innocence in court.

According to the conclusions of the Civil Aviation Safety Investigation and Analysis Authority (BEA), the accident of the Airbus A330 aircraft, which occurred on June 1, 2009, when the aircraft was flying over the Atlantic Ocean, occurred after the aircraft’s airspeed sensors hovered, so the pilots did not receive this information [sobre a velocidade do aparelho] when passing through the turbulence zone.

The pilots did not apply the appropriate protocol and raised the craft until it was level, out of support and in freefall 1150 km off the coast of Recife (Northeast Brazil).

The pilots thought they were gaining altitude when in fact they were losing altitude.

The disaster killed 228 people (216 passengers and 12 crew members) of 33 different nationalities, including an infant and seven children, of which 73 were French and 58 Brazilians.

*With Lusa and AFP

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Villarrica already has a large lava lake and high seismic activity.



The Villarrica volcano in La Araucanía, Chile, one of the largest in the world, showed signs of an impending eruption last Thursday, and experts recorded a “greater intensity and height of incandescence” that ranged from 80 to 220 meters above sea level. its crater – a few days ago we managed to fly over the volcano and a large lava lake was recorded, the temperature of which reached 1043 degrees. High seismic activity has also been noted. Chile’s National Geological and Mining Service (Sernageomin) has already issued a yellow alert.

In any case, the experts of the Chilean government spoke in detail about the possibility of an eruption. According to Sernageomina, “small explosions are expected inside the crater, the impact of which is limited to an area close to the crater of the volcano.”

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Germany: Rise of respiratory infections in infants baffles hospitals – News



The Association for Intensive Care Medicine (DIVI in German acronym) has indicated that the seasonal rise in cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and the shortage of nurses are causing a “catastrophic situation” in hospitals.

RSV is a common and highly contagious virus that affects almost all babies and children under two years of age, and some of them can become seriously ill.

Experts say easing restrictions put in place to fight the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to more babies and children with RSV, whose immune systems are not ready to fight the virus.

According to the same source, hospital doctors are currently facing very difficult decisions about which sick children to hospitalize due to a lack of available beds.

In some cases, patients with RSV and other serious illnesses are being transferred to hospitals in regions of Germany where there are even fewer resources for intensive care.

The association warned that a recent study identified fewer than a hundred pediatric beds across the country and the situation could get worse.

Sebastian Brenner, head of pediatric intensive care at Dresden University Hospital, told German TV channel N-Tv that the situation could worsen in the coming weeks: “We are seeing this in Switzerland and France,” he added. about the risks of available treatments become even more scarce.

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach announced today that the government will loosen some rules to ease the transfer of nurses and will allocate another 600 million euros to pediatric hospitals over the next two years.

In November, the European Commission approved the world’s first single-dose drug for the treatment of RSV.

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Lavrov accused the US and NATO of direct participation in the conflict



Lavrov stressed that the increase in Russian missile strikes is aimed at “destroying power plants,” infrastructures that “allow them to continue to send deadly weapons to Ukraine to destroy the Russians.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov this Thursday accused the West, especially the United States and NATO, of being directly involved in conflict in Ukraine by providing weapons and training Ukrainian soldiers.

Lavrov stressed that Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian power plants and other key infrastructure, which left millions of people without electricity, heat and water, were aimed at “weakening the military potential” of Ukraine and “making it impossible to send Western weapons.”

“It cannot be said that the US and NATO [Organização do Tratado do Atlântico Norte] do not participate in this war. They are directly involved in this,” Lavrov told reporters at a video press conference.

“And they not only supply weapons, but also train soldiers. They do it in the UK, Germany, Italy and other countries,” he added.

Lavrov stressed that the increase in Russian missile strikes is aimed at “destroying power plants,” infrastructures that “allow them to continue to send deadly weapons to Ukraine to destroy the Russians.”

“The infrastructure targeted by the attacks is used to ensure the combat potential of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and nationalist battalions,” Lavrov said.

Ukraine and the West have accused Moscow of attacking vital civilian infrastructure in order to “humiliate morale and force Ukraine to negotiate peace on Russia’s terms.”

Lavrov insisted that Moscow remain open to negotiations to end the conflict.

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“We have never asked for negotiations, but we have always said that we are ready to listen to those who are interested in concluding an agreement,” Lavrov said.

The Kremlin has called on Ukraine to recognize Crimea, annexed by Moscow in 2014, as part of Russia, as well as other gains made since the entry of troops into eastern Ukraine on February 24 this year to combat the “militarization” and “Nazization” of the region.

When asked about the possibility of a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the United States Joe Biden, the head of Russian diplomacy replied that Moscow “has always been available” for such a meeting, adding, however, that “no serious thought has yet been voiced.

Lavrov said that US counterpart Anthony Blinken raised the issue of US citizens trapped in Russia in a telephone conversation, but noted that Putin and Biden agreed to set up a separate communication channel to discuss the issue during their meeting in Geneva. in June 2021.

“It works, and I hope that some results will be achieved,” he said.

For months, the Biden administration tried to negotiate the release of North American basketball star Britney Greener and Paul Whelan, a corporate security chief from Michigan, for which it proposed a prisoner exchange format with Moscow.

Commenting on Russia’s decision to postpone a round of talks with the United States on nuclear arms control, scheduled for this week, Lavrov said that “it is impossible to discuss strategic stability today if everything that happens in Ukraine is ignored.”

“The goal has been declared and it is to defeat Russia on the battlefield or even destroy Russia. How can the goal of defeating Russia be irrelevant to strategic stability if they want to destroy a key actor of strategic stability?” Lavrov replied.

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During a press video conference that lasted about two and a half hours, Lavrov also criticized the United States and its NATO allies, accusing them of “trampling international law by trying to isolate and destroy Russia.”

Lavrov concluded by also accusing Washington of encouraging other countries, including India, to cut off relations with Russia.

“These attempts failed,” he concluded.

Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine has already caused the flight of more than 13 million people – more than six million internally displaced people and more than 7.8 million to European countries – according to the latest figures from the UN, which classifies the refugee crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II ( 1939-1945).

The Russian invasion, justified by President Vladimir Putin as the need to “denazify” and “demilitarize” Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Kyiv and imposing sanctions. Moscow authorities.

Until Wednesday, the UN had presented 6,655 civilian deaths and 10,368 injured civilians as confirmed since the start of the war, emphasizing that these numbers are much lower than the real ones.

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