Air France Flight 447 – An Airplane That Fell From The Sky


On June 1 2009 Air France Flight 447 took off from Rio de Janeiro on its scheduled flight to Paris. About 3 hours after take-off the plane flew through a tropical storm and minutes later crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. All 228 passengers and crew members died.

Despite constant investigations in the past two years the mystery of what happened on board Flight 447 remains. A week ago a French rescue team equipped with mini-robots was, at last, able to retrieve the so-called “black box”, the flight data recorder that has been resting on the ocean floor. With it aviation investigators hope to solve the mystery and find out what happened in the minutes before the crash. The recorder was found about 2.5 miles below the surface, in a mountainous part of the Atlantic Ocean. The flight data recorder collects essential information, cockpit conversations and surrounding noises. Experts hope that they will find it intact in order to process the data.


Flight specialists say additional improvements should be made to make the flight data recorder easier to find. Some also suggest installing video cameras to see what pilots do and how they react in dangerous situations.

Flying into a tropical storm surely cannot bring down a modern passenger plane the size of the Airbus 330. Such storms are very common in tropical regions and hundreds of planes fly through such weather conditions all the time.

A lot of speculation has come up about speed data that might have been wrong. However, for experienced pilots even wrong speed readings should not have been a problem. Other theories are also in circulation. Some claim that the design of the Airbus 330 and its high proportion of strong plastic may have reacted differently during the thunderstorm. Or maybe it was a malfunctioning computer that made it difficult for the pilot to take over manual control.


Hopefully , the recovery of the flight data recorder will solve the mystery of Air France Flight 447 and why it fell out of the sky.


Location of Flight 447 when it crashed

Location of Flight 447 when it crashed


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  • additional = extra
  • aviation = flight
  • claim = to say officially
  • collect = gather, put together
  • constant = the whole time
  • crew = the people who work on a plane or a ship
  • data = information
  • design = the way that something has been planned and made
  • despite = even though
  • equip = to give a person something that they need to do their work
  • essential = very important
  • experienced = qualified ; a person who has done something many times before
  • flight data recorder = a machine or box that an airplane has to collect information on speed, direction etc..
  • hopefully = with a bit of luck
  • however = but
  • improvement = to make something better
  • in circulation = to spread around
  • install = set up
  • intact = unbroken, in one piece, still working
  • investigation = study, examination
  • malfunction = if something does not work as it should
  • manual = by hand
  • process = to look at the information and analyze it
  • reading = measurement
  • recovery = to get back
  • remain = stay
  • rescue = to help someone or save a person
  • retrieve = find, get back
  • scheduled = planned
  • solve = answer, explain
  • speed = how fast something is
  • surely = of course
  • surface = the top layer of something
  • surrounding = nearby, around