The Brazilian air force has started search operations for the Air France airliner that disappeared as it crossed the Atlantic on its way to Paris from Brazil Rio de Janeiro

Flight 447 scheduled to arrive in Paris at 11:10am local time went missing after the pilots reported a technical fault at the electric circuit, and that they are experiencing turbulence.

The AF Airbus A330 had 216 passengers and 12 crew, and the Brazilian officials said that the pilots last reported something at 11 P.M. local time when they were near the island of Fernando de Noronha. This is at about 1,5000 northeast of Rio de Janeiro, between the city of Natal and the island of Ilha do Sal.

The Brazilian air force is re-flying the route from Rio de Janeiro crossing the Atlantic to look for signs of the missing plane. A search team from Senegal has also been dispatched to search the Atlantic.

According to the Air Force there are no communication radars in the region where the plane is believed to have disappeared and communication is achieved through long distance radio.

French energy minister, Jean Louis Borloo confirmed the airliner would have run our of gas if it were still in the air, “we can expect the worst”, he said.