NOVA looks at another aviation mystery

Malaysian Air Flight 370’s disappearance en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing has captivated the world and brought untold agony to hundreds of loved ones waiting to learn the fate of those on board.

They aren’t alone in their grief.

An Air France jetliner disappeared while it flew from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on June 1, 2009. Its crash, too, took a very long time to unravel.

NOVA is going to examine the fate of Flight 447 in a special rebroadcast tonight on Panhandle PBS, beginning at 8 p.m.

Flight 447 took off from Brazil and headed to France, but it plunged into the Atlantic Ocean. The crash killed 216 passengers and 12 crew members. The wreckage settled several thousand feet on the ocean floor and it took search crews an interminable length of time to find it.

NOVA examines how a state-of-the-art aircraft, an Airbus 330, could have fallen out of the sky. The plane was equipped with high-tech equipment and a flawless safety record. Yet the crew apparently made a conscious decision to fly into a towering thunderstorm over the South Atlantic.

Flight 370’s disappearance the other day has taken some odd and confusing turns. The world has learned that the aircraft turned sharply west, dramatically off course, creating a situation requiring a greatly expanded search area for any evidence of wreckage. To date, none has been found.

The NOVA special was shown originally on Feb. 16, 2011 and it is a timely reminder today of how tragedy can strike without warning or apparent reason.

Has history repeated itself?


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