FLIGHT 447

Missing Jet Fell Apart Midair

The black box of the fatal Air France flight likely rests on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, but investigators have nevertheless gleaned some details of the final moments of the 228 passengers killed in the crash. Judging by the wide distribution of debris, the plane likely split apart in midair in a horrific turn of events that lasted only 14 minutes. Due to the fuel spills around the crash site, terrorism has been ruled out as a possible cause. Observers also suspect that the pilot found himself trapped on all sides by volatile, towering thunderstorms, which forced him to press onward into the torrent. Around this time, the cabin pressure failed, perhaps due to a lightning strike, severe winds exceeding 100mph, or a combination of the two. Le Monde has reported that the Air France flight was flying too slowly heading into the fatal storm system.