Air France jet carrying 228 people from Rio de Janeiro to Paris disappears over Atlantic Ocean
Updated Monday, June 1st 2009, 7:35 AM
An Air France Airbus like this one has disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean.
Air traffic controllers lost contact with Air France Flight 447 about 190 miles northeast of the coastal Brazilian city of Natal, 1,500 miles northeast of Rio.
The flight left Rio on Sunday at 7 p.m. local time. It was to arrive in Paris at 0915 GMT (5:15 a.m. EDT), according to the airport.
The Brazilian air force launched a search for the missing plane.
Aviation experts said it was clear the plane was not in the air any longer, due to the amount of fuel it would have been carrying.
"There has been no receipt of a mayday call. The conclusion to be drawn is that something catastrophic happened on board that has caused this airplane to ditch in a controlled or an uncontrolled fashion," Jane's Aviation analyst Chris Yates told The Associated Press.
"I would suggest that potentially it went down very quickly and so quickly that the pilots on board didn't have a chance to make that emergency call," Yates said.
Possibilities ranged from mechanical failure to terrorism, he said.
About 60 French passengers were on board. It was not immediately announced whether any Americans were on the flight.
"Air France shares the emotion and worry of the families concerned,"company spokeswoman Brigitte Barrand said.
Prayers for a miracle !!!