The Northwest crew reported entering a storm in daylight and running into turbulence; in less than a minute their primary and standby airspeed indicators showed the plane had slowed dramatically. Other systems that automatically maintain speed and altitude also disengaged. "The master warning and master caution" indications flashed on the instrument panel, according to one crew member's written description, "and the sound of chirps and clicks (followed) letting us know these things were happening."
Things didn't return to normal for three minutes as the captain flew the aircraft out of the rain, according to information gathered by U.S. safety officials.
The scene inside Air France Flight 447 may have been more ominous from the beginning.
SHOOT: I think we've all been in these big planes through storms and wondered how they weren't pulled to pieces.