Coming up

Don't miss




'Caution, another Cast Lead lies ahead'

Read more


Rising into the ranks of Haute Couture

Read more


Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive

Read more


Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive (part 2)

Read more


A thin line between fact-checking and propaganda in Gaza social media coverage

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more


Ireland's missing babies cast light on dark history

Read more


World Cup 2014: Germany-Brazil inspires the Web

Read more


Boutros-Ghali: 'I wanted to reform the UN'

Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • Are French high school students getting smarter?

    Read more

  • Kurdish forces take over two oilfields in northern Iraq

    Read more

  • In Pictures: Petrol station hit by Hamas rockets

    Read more

  • Manhunt as FIFA partner flees Rio hotel to avoid arrest

    Read more

  • Video: Living in Tel Aviv, under threat of rocket attack

    Read more

  • Video: Palestinians fear full Israeli military offensive in Gaza

    Read more

  • US prepared to negotiate Gaza ceasefire, Obama says

    Read more

  • French companies will have to accept anonymous CVs

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces close in on Donetsk

    Read more

  • Germany asks US intelligence station chief to leave country

    Read more

  • Video: Muslims in China confront obstacles to Ramadan fasting

    Read more

  • Tour de France passes WWI Chemin des Dames battlefield

    Read more

  • Senegalese man awarded French visa in gay marriage debate

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge congressional action on child migrant crisis

    Read more


Brazil Navy recovers debris from crashed jet



Latest update : 2009-06-05

Amid questions about what caused Monday’s crash of Air France Flight 447 into the Atlantic Ocean, Brazilian navy vessels on Thursday began recovering debris from around the area where the plane is believed to have hit the sea.


Reuters - Brazilian search crews fished the first debris from a crashed Air France flight out of choppy Atlantic waters on Thursday amid concern the plane may have flown through a storm at the wrong speed.


Citing sources close to the inquiry, French newspaper Le Monde said the plane's maker, Airbus, was preparing to issue a recommendation advising airlines that fly the A330 of optimal speeds during poor weather conditions.

Airbus declined to comment and the French air accident investigation agency, which has to validate any such recommendations, was not available for comment.

Pilots often slow down when entering stormy zones to avoid damaging the aircraft, but reducing speed too much can cause an aircraft's engines to stall.

A Brazilian Lynx helicopter picked up a luggage pallet and two buoys before returning to a navy frigate sent to the area to help with the rescue, Brazil's air force said.

The crews also found yellow, brown and white items that appeared to come from the inside of the aircraft.

Searchers have found several debris sites spread out over 90 km (56 miles), a sign the plane may have broken up in the air.

The Air France A330-200 was en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris when it plunged into the Atlantic four hours into its flight. Air France has told relatives of the 228 people on board there is no hope of survivors.

Experts have been mystified by the sudden crash of a modern airliner operated by three experienced pilots, with theories on the cause ranging from extreme turbulence to a loss of cabin pressure to possible computer system faults.

Three Brazilian navy ships are searching the area about 1,100 km (680 miles) northeast of Brazil's coast, but have yet to reach the debris. Searchers have seen no traces of bodies.

"We were giving priority to finding bodies, but as we haven't found any we have time to collect the debris," Air Force Brigadier Ramon Borges Cardoso told reporters in the northern coastal city of Recife. "If we find bodies, we will stop everything and bring them here."

From a base on the islands of Fernando de Noronha, a sparsely populated volcanic archipelago 370 km (230 miles) from Brazil's coast, 11 air force planes have been carrying out search operations over a 6,000 sq km (2,300 sq mile) area.

Several hundred relatives and friends of the passengers crammed into the Candelaria church in Rio on Thursday morning, crying and hugging each other.

"Those who are missing are here in our hearts and in our memories," French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told them.


Brazil's defense minister Nelson Jobim said on Wednesday the presence of long fuel stains in the water could mean the crash was not caused by an explosion, which would have burned the fuel.

Jobim's remarks undercut speculation that a bomb may have blown up the plane in mid-air, a possibility intelligence services and security analysts say seems unlikely.

French authorities have not excluded the possibility of foul play. With the flight data and voice recorders probably at the bottom of the ocean, officials are worried they may never discover what caused AF Flight 447 to drop out of the sky.

The crash appears to have been sudden and brutal.

Spanish newspaper El Mundo said a transatlantic airline pilot reported seeing a flash of white light at the same time the Air France flight disappeared.

"Suddenly we saw in the distance a strong, intense flash of white light that took a downward, vertical trajectory and disappeared in six seconds," the pilot of an Air Comet flight from Lima to Madrid told his company, the newspaper reported.

The plane sent a series of automatic messages in the space of four minutes indicating system failures and a sharp dive, specialist magazine Aviation Herald said on its Web site, citing Air France sources.

The messages started arriving at 0210 GMT on Monday, indicating the automatic pilot had been disengaged, and ended at 0214 with an advisory that the cabin was at "vertical speed."

A problem with the aircraft's speed could be part of the puzzle, but one expert said it was doubtful whether any of the plane's flight readings were accurate in its final moments.

"Was the airplane going slowly or was it indicating that it was going slowly? There's a big difference." said John Cox, President of Washington aviation consulting firm Safety Operating Systems.


Date created : 2009-06-04