The Air France mystery

June 2, 2009 2:20:47 PM PDT
Do planes just fall from the sky? Not usually. The answers to plane crash mysteries typically emerge: Remember the crash of that Continental Express flight on approach to Buffalo earlier this year? At first, ice buildup on the wing was the suspected culprit. Turns out pilot inexperience and possibly fatigue were the main factors.

Planes do not just disappear. As officials discover some debris they believe is that of the Air France plane that vanished enroute from Rio to Paris, we will learn more about what might have brought this Airbus 330 down.

There were severe thunderstorms in the area, but we also know that other planes before and after flew through them on pretty much the same route.

Can severe turbulence tear a plane apart? That is what experts are now examining.

There are now 10 planes from Brazil, three from France, and one from the U.S. searching for the plane. Four merchant ships have also changed their routes to help in the search. The odds of finding any of the 228 people on board, alive, are virtually nil. But the search continues.

Late this afternoon, the Brazilian Defense Minister said that wreckage spotted in the Atlantic by a search plane is "without a doubt" from the Air France jet.

We'll have the latest, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, President Obama prepares to head to the Middle East and Europe tomorrow - and he's going to deliver what's being described as a keynote speech to the Muslim world. That will happen Thursday in Cairo. Then Mr. Obama will head to France for the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings on Saturday.

The latest Gallup Poll shows that most Muslims around the world believe the new U.S. leadership has improved American/Muslim relations.

We're also at the wake for Omar Edwards, the New York cop who was killed in a friendly fire incident last week in East Harlem.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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