French subs to resume search for flight boxes

16th July 2009, Comments 0 comments

French submarines will resume the search for the flight recorders of the Air France flight that crashed into the Atlantic ocean.

Paris – French submarines will next week resume the search for the flight recorders of the Air France flight that crashed into the Atlantic ocean last month, investigators said Wednesday.

Search teams deployed after the 1 June crash of Flight AF 447 stopped monitoring on Saturday for the remote signals of the so-called "black boxes," which are designed to emit for at least 30 days.

Starting next week, French submarines will attempt to physically track down the devices, in a second search phase lasting around a month, said a statement from the French bureau leading the crash investigation, the BEA.

The marine research ship the "Pourquoi Pas" and its dozen crew will use two diving vessels, a mini-submarine and a robot craft to hunt for the recorders, which are clad in orange metal casing to protect and make them visible.

One of the devices records flight data while the other captures the voices of the crew and other sounds in the cockpit.

The Airbus 330 crashed in a storm on its way from Rio de Janeiro to Paris with the loss of all 228 people on board, scattering debris and likely plunging the two recorders as deep as 3,500 metres (11,500 feet) under water.

Brazil's military called off the search for bodies and debris from the Air France jet, flight AF447, late last month.

Hundreds of pieces of debris from Air France Flight 447 -- from lifejackets to sections of flooring and including its entire tailfin -- arrived in southern France late Tuesday to be analysed in a defence ministry laboratory.

The 640 fragments recovered from the A330 were unloaded in the southwestern port of Pauillac, before being transferred by barge and truck to the CEAT laboratory in Toulouse.

Analysis of the debris will continue at the aeronautical lab under the supervision of the BEA and French air transport gendarmes.

The plane fragments were ferried from Recife in Brazil in containers on a cargo ship, the Ville de Bordeaux, normally used by Airbus to carry parts of the A380 superjumbo for assembly.

The BEA said in a report early this month, based on an initial study of the debris, that the plane was intact when it hit the ocean, but that the cause of the crash was still unknown.

AFP / Expatica

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