Instapaper This: Τί Απέγινε Η Πτήση 447

Ετούτο εδώ το πολύ ωραίο και μεγάλο άρθρο των New York Times περιγράφει τις προσπάθειες ανεύρεσης του Airbus A330 της Air France που εξαφανίστηκε στον Ατλαντικό τον Ιούνιο του 2009. Είναι ένα θαυμάσιο ρεπορτάζ, πολύ διαβαστερό, αλλά εγώ έχω κι άλλο λόγο που στο αναφέρω: Αυτό το απίθανο απόσπασμα.

All flights over the ocean cross certain checkpoints, and the most critical one for Flight 447 was Tasil Point. Almost halfway between South America and Africa, it serves as a switching station for air traffic control. On one side of Tasil, pilots report to Brazil; on the other, they belong to Senegal. In theory, it’s a place where air traffic controllers on both sides are watching; but in practice, it’s often a dark spot on radar, too far away from either continent to see. It’s also a place where high-frequency radios often cannot be heard, and it falls on top of the meteorological equator, where the winds of the hemispheres collide. Some days they die, and the stillness can be transfixing — sailors call the region the doldrums. But other times, the winds whip together into a black anvil storm that blooms through the depths of the troposphere, with a luminous violet glow gathering around ship masts and airplane wings — sailors call this St. Elmo’s Fire.