Families seek 'neutral' test of Air France black box

1st May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Families of Brazilian victims of the doomed Rio-to-Paris June 2009 flight hailed the discovery of one of the black boxes but said Sunday that a "neutral" country should analyze it.

Search teams on Sunday retrieved one of two black box flight recorders of an Air France plane that crashed into the Atlantic between Rio to Paris, killing 228 people, French investigators said.

"It means a lot because all the controversy about who is responsible for the tragedy, the uncertainty about what happened, can be cleared up," Nelson Marinho, head of a Brazilian association of victims' families, told AFP.

Marinho, however, warned: "The boxes should not go to France because France is the owner of Airbus and Air France. They should go to a neutral country like the United States." Airbus is owned by the European consortium EADS.

The Airbus A330 plunged into the Atlantic en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on June 1, 2009.

The official cause of the disaster remains uncertain, but the crash has been partly blamed on malfunctioning speed sensors used by Airbus.

Air France has been accused of not having responded quickly enough to reports that they might be faulty.

The device was the crucial memory unit from a flight data recorder and was recovered at 1000 GMT Sunday, France's Bureau of Investigation and Analysis (BEA) said in a statement.

The device was expected to arrive at BEA offices within eight to 10 days, to allow for the search of the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CFR), so both can be taken back to France.

Marinho said families are anxious to learn if the bodies of their loved ones will be recovered, so that they can be buried.

© 2011 AFP

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