Black box search for Rio-Paris air crash extended
Investigators have prolonged and widened the search for the flight recorders from the Air France plane that crashed in the Atlantic killing 228 people in June 2009, authorities said on Tuesday.
An extra three weeks of sea searches "began on May 3 aiming to cover areas surrounding the initial search area and to remove any last uncertainty," the aviation investigation authority BEA said in a statement.
The search aims to find the so-called black box flight recorders which could provide evidence of why the plane crashed.
The last searches will end on May 25 and are jointly funded by Air France and Airbus, the maker of the A330 plane that crashed off Brazil en route for Paris on June 1, 2009.
"We really want to find the flight recorders. We have always said that is a key element in the investigation," said BEA director Jean-Paul Troadec.
A report by French newspaper Liberation this month cited an initial experts' report into the crash which pointed to possible maintenance problems with air speed probes.
In mid-December the French air accident investigation agency BEA said that the jet's speed probes, made by French firm Thales, gave false readings and were "one of the factors" in the crash but "not the sole cause".
© 2010 AFP