The speculation is that if the vertical stabiliser had broken away, possibly during an aerodynamic stall, the rest of the aircraft would have spiralled out of control into the sea.
It is also widely understood the wing sections effective lift properties rapidly decrease in proportion to the nose being pointed upwards, in the stall position.
The question still remains, why didn't the pilot turn around and go home?
The focus now turns to the two black boxes ( painted bright Orange ) these particular units believed to be made by HONEYWELL located in England. It is likely the recovered units will therefore be sent to Farnborough in the UK, where the worlds most advanced 'black box' decoding systems are based.
Once recovered the units, will be kept in a submerged state rather than dried out on site. There are no moving or electromechanical parts, its all solid state. The units draw their power from the aircraft system but when an event occurs cutting electricity to the unit, the internal battery with a shelf life of 6 years takes over.
The locator beacon however located in the external handle of the unit will ping every thirty seconds and drain down the battery supply after 30 days although some bench tests have extended this to a longer period. The locater pings can operate and be detected from a depth of over 4,000 metres.
With a few basic tools, divers or remote submersible vehicles can recover the units. The grim recovery operation will continue until all of the bodies are recovered and returned to their families. In all some 97 divers are currently standing by, waiting to enter the water when weather conditions improve.
JULIAN BRAY 01733 345581, Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Operations, Travel / Cruise Industry Expert, EQUITY, NUJ, Broadcast ISDN 01733 345020 SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe > Updates are on the Website