French black box search focuses on 40-mile radius

13th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

French ships searching for the black boxes from an Air France flight that plunged in the Atlantic 11 days ago are focused on a 40-mile (70-kilometer) radius off northeast Brazil, a military spokesman said Friday.

Recife - French ships searching for the black boxes from an Air France flight that plunged in the Atlantic 11 days ago are focused on a 40-mile (70-kilometer) radius off northeast Brazil, a military spokesman said Friday.

"We don't know the exact place where the Airbus fell but an area has been marked out," within a 40-mile radius of the last position sent automatically from the plane, air army general Ramon Cardoso told a news conference.

French ships were using sonars to try to locate the black boxes, some 840 miles (1,352 kilometers) from the major port of Recife, Cardoso said.

Adding to the challenge, the ocean reached depths of up to 3,500 meters (11,483 feet) in the area, said marines spokesman vice admiral Edson Lawrence.

The French nuclear submarine Emerald arrived on Wednesday, to join three other French ships, Lawrence added.

The first 37 pieces of aircraft debris found at sea were now in a hangar at Recife airport, Cardoso said.

A French investigator, who would decide whether to first study the debris in Brazil or send it straight to France, was expected Sunday in Recife.

The search would continue until at least 19 June, Cardoso added.

Speculation surrounding the doomed Rio to Paris flight 447, which crashed with the loss of 228 people on board, has focused on the Airbus A330's airspeed sensors, known as pitot probes, which may have malfunctioned.

Brazilian and French navy crews have so far recovered 44 bodies off Brazil's coast.

AFP/ Expatica

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