A passenger plane is missing over the Atlantic

.. this is being reported by the BBC. The plane has 226 people flying out of Rio de Janeiro to france. An automatic mesage was received from the plan regarding a “short circuit” following turbulence, suggesting that the aircraft was struck by lightning.

Since this is a disappearance of an aircraft over the ocean, it is reminiscent of the Comet maneno, which you may know about.

Regarding the analysis of a Comet air liner near Elba in the 1950s …

The Attorney General, Sir Lionel Heald QC, told the first day of the inquiry that initial suspicions of sabotage were unfounded.

He said the painstaking analysis of thousands of fragments of the Comet involved in the Elba crash had revealed that the damage was caused by a fault in the plane itself.

In what Sir Lionel called “one of the most remarkable pieces of scientific detective work ever done”, a team led by Sir Arnold Hall, director of the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough, subjected models, full-size aircraft and replicas to the most elaborate and searching tests ever carried out on an airliner.

One fragment collected from the scene of the crash showed that a crack had developed due to metal fatigue near the radio direction finding aerial window, situated in the front of the cabin roof.

The investigators found that a small weakness such as this would quickly deteriorate under pressure, and would rapidly lead to a sudden and general break-up of the fuselage.

In tests on another Comet aircraft, Sir Lionel added, the investigators had found that up to 70% of the aircraft’s ultimate stress under pressure was concentrated on the corners of the aircraft’s windows.

Sir Lionel said the findings of the investigation would lead to a general improvement in the safety of passenger air travel.


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