The crash of Air Fance flight 447 on May 11, 2009 has haunted me now for two years. Over and over I have pored over the same articles, looking for a missed clue or detail. something to indicate what caused that mighty plane to plummet to its sea-bed grave. Likewise, I have gone over and over in my head what those final moments were like in that plane as it tried to make its way through a violent thunderstorm. As one who white-knuckles it with nary a tail ripple, I can’t even imagine what was going through the minds of the people on that plane.
In the relative scheme of the things, not much of that plane was found, and several subsequent searches yielded nothing. It was feared that neither the wreck, nor its black boxes, may never be found, perhaps swallowed into the savage underwater mountain range filled with miles deep valleys and crevices.
But efforts to find the thing became frantic as both aviation experts and flyers — fearful or not — were stymied over what makes a big, beautiful Airbus just drop out of the sky and disappear? Not to mention the fact that manslaughter charges are pending against both Air France and Airbus — charges that could perhaps be mitigated or dropped based on evidence about what really happened.
And so now, it has been found, and with its large, intact section of fuselage are the bodies of souls, still strapped in their seats, in a grave 2 miles underwater. Now the question arises: do we preserve the entire scene, allowing it to remain ensconced on the ocean floor as a measure of paying respect to its victims, or do we bring it up and analyze both the bodies and the wreckage to help solve the mystery of why Air France 447 just dropped off the radar screen — permanently?