"'It has been verified that the material did not belong to theplane,' Brig. Ramon Borges Cardoso told reporters in Recife, Brazil,about the material recovered Thursday. 'It is a pallet of wood that isutilized for transport. It is used in planes, but on this flight toParis, there was no wooden pallet.' He added that oil slicksseen on the ocean were not from the plane either and that the quantityof oil exceeded the amount the plane would have carried. 'No material from the airplane was picked up,' he said. The announcement left open the question of whether other debris thathad not yet been plucked from the ocean might be from the plane. On Wednesday, searchers recovered two debris fields and had identifiedthe wreckage, including an airplane seat and an orange float as comingfrom Flight 447. Officials now say that none of the debris recoveredcomes from the missing plane."
"The paper said the manufacturer of the doomed plane, Airbus, was set toissue a recommendation advising companies using the A330 aircraft ofoptimal speeds during poor weather conditions. Airbusdeclined to comment on the report and the French airaccident investigation agency, which has to validate any suchrecommendations, known as an Aircraft Information Telex, was notimmediately available for comment. A Spanish newspaper said atransatlantic airline pilot reported seeing a bright flash of whitelight at the same time the Air France flight disappeared. 'Suddenly we saw in the distance a strong, intense flash of white lightthat took a downward, vertical trajectory and disappeared in sixseconds,' the pilot of an Air Comet flight from Lima to Madrid told hiscompany, the El Mundo newspaper reported. 'We did not hear anycommunication on any emergency or air to air frequency either before orafter this event.'"
Meanwhile, other theories abound: a lightning strike, turbulence, hail storm, electrical failure, fire on board, hijacking, bomb, and even a meteor strike.
A French minister has said they "cannot discard" the terrorism theory.
At 11 p.m. (10 p.m. EDT), pilot Marc Dubois sent a manual signalsaying he was flying through an area of "CBs" — black, electricallycharged cumulonimbus clouds that carry violent winds and lightning.
Satellite data show that the thunderheads — towering up to 50,000feet — were sending 100 mph updrafts into the jet's flight path.
"Such an updraft would lead to severe turbulence for any aircraft," AccuWeather said.
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"In addition, the storms were towering up to 50,000 feet and wouldhave been producing lightning. The Air France plane would haveencountered these stormy conditions, which could have resulted ineither some structural failure or electrical failure."
At 11:10 p.m., a cascade of horrific problems began.
Automatic messages relayed by the jetliner indicate the autopilothad disengaged, suggesting Dubois and his two co-pilots were trying tothread their way through the dangerous clouds manually.
A key computer system had switched to alternative power and controls needed to keep the plane stable had been damaged.
An alarm sounded, indicating the deterioration of flight systems.
At 11:13 p.m., more automatic messages reported the failure ofsystems to monitor air speed, altitude and direction. Control of themain flight computer and wing spoilers also failed.
The last automatic message, at 11:14 p.m., indicated completeelectrical failure and a massive loss of cabin pressure — catastrophicevents, indicating that the plane was breaking apart and plungingtoward the ocean.