Rio-Paris crash: desperately seeking black boxes

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Key dates in the search for evidence about Air France's worst-ever accident:

- June 1, 2009: Air France flight 447, carrying 228 passengers and crew from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, disappears from radar screens over the Atlantic.

- June 2: The Brazilian air force reports finding floating debris in the area where the jet disappeared, some 1,100 kilometres (680 miles) off northeastern Brazil. The Atlantic Ocean is around 3,000 metres (9,800 feet) deep in the area concerned, with a very rugged sea bottom.

- June 6: A statement from the French aviation accidents service says the cause of the crash is unknown, but that data emitted before the plane vanished indicated anomalies in data transmitted by air speed captors on its fuselage.

- June 12: France sends one of its nuclear submarines to the area to help in the search for the aircraft's "black box" flight recorders, which are programmed to emit a signal for around a month after an accident.

Meanwhile a number of bodies from the crash are found.

- March 3, 2010: France announces a new campaign to located the flight recorders, using underwater robots.

- May 6: A French defence ministry spokesman says the sea area within which the devices are located has been narrowed down to within three nautical miles (five kilometres), but there is still no guarantee that they will be found.

© 2010 AFP

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