I watched the NOVA special last night. I have some random questions:
One of the theories they suggested is that the A-330s weather radar picked up the first small storm, but that this small storm blocked the airplane's radar from seeing the much larger storm behind it. I guess my question is what is the normal procedure for when an airplane encounters a thunderstorm over the ocean. If they are supposed to fly a certain path and only are in HF radio contact once an hour or so, how do they know they are not flying into more dangerous territory or another airplane's path? Is the standard procedure to try to raise ATC on HF to report their new path?
Also, it appears from all of those images that the particular storm was spread over dozens of miles. So is there really any way for an airplane to go around a storm like this?
Last question: What about the 10 or so other airliners that were flying across the Atlantic that night? Did they all fly around the storm, or what?
[Edited 2010-12-07 09:14:07]