As French and Brazilian military aircraft continue to search the Atlantic Ocean for signs of lost Air France Flight 447, investigators are mulling a range of possible explanations—lightning, bad electronics, a pilot error, or a combination of the three. Late last night the Brazilian airline TAM said its pilots spotted "several orange points," which they suspected was fire, in the ocean along the flight's route around the time it disappeared.
Search teams are facing an immense task, as the flight made no contact before it disappeared above an ocean with depths that stretch to 15,000 feet. Investigators and aviation experts are particularly disturbed by the lack of any distress signal. "This was so catastrophic, no signals, no nothing," said one air safety consultant. "Then bang, it is gone."