Timeline: Missing Air France plane

Paris-bound plane goes missing carrying 216 passengers and 12 crew after leaving Rio de Janeiro

Sunday 11.03pm BST: Flight AF447, carrying 216 passengers and 12 crew members, leaves Rio de Janeiro on Sunday at 7.03pm local time bound for Paris on a route scheduled to take 11 hours 15 minutes.

For the first few hours of its flight the plane would have tracked the Brazilian coast heading north-east.

2.33am: Last contact made with missing plane, according to Brazilian air force.

2.48am: Plane leaves Brazilian radar, flying normally at an altitude of 35,000ft and at 453kph, according to the country's air force. At last contact, the plane is about 190 miles north-east of the coastal Brazilian city of Natal, near the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha.

Planes routinely fly outside land-based radar coverage while crossing the Atlantic.

3.14am: Plane sends automated message indicating a failure in an electronic circuit.

3.20am: Attempts by Brazilian, Spanish, African and French traffic controllers to contact the plane fail. French military fails to contact the plane.

The air force begins a search this morning near Fernando de Noronha. The region is about 1,500 miles north-east of Rio.

9.52am: Paris airport official announces the plane is missing.

10.10am: Plane fails to arrive at Charles De Gaulle airport.


James Sturcke

The GuardianTramp

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