This is a developing story: The first bodies of passengers of the doomed Air France flight that plummeted into the sea have been found, Brazil's air force said Saturday.
The Brazilian military said search crews scanning the Atlantic Ocean located two male bodies of passengers aboard Flight 447 — which crashed midway through a trip from Rio de Janeiro to Paris before dawn Monday morning.
Air force spokesman Col. Jorge Amaral said searchers also recovered a leather briefcase with an Air France ticket for the flight inside of it.
"It was confirmed with Air France that the ticket number corresponds to a passenger on the flight," he told The Associated Press.
Amaral said the bodies were recovered Saturday morning and were picked up roughly 400 miles northeast of the Fernando de Noronha islands off Brazil's northern coast.
All 228 passengers and crew perished in the accident, which is believed to have occurred when the Airbus 330's systems failed during a violent storm about four hours into the flight. There were no survivors, officials said.
Earlier Saturday, the French accident investigation agency said that Air France had ignored a recommendation to change airspeed-detecting instruments on Flight 447 before the plane crashed in turbulent weather.
France's BEA concluded that the doomed plane received inconsistent airspeed readings by different instruments as it struggled in a massive thunderstorm.
Airbus had recommended to all its airline customers that they replace speed-measuring instruments known as Pitot tubes on the A330, the model that crashed, said Paul-Louis Arslanian, the head of the agency.
Investigators have been relying on 24 messages the plane sent automatically during the last minutes of the flight to try to locate the wreckage.
Without the aircraft's black box recorders, aviation officials have had little information to help them determine what caused the crash.
Earlier in the week, French investigators said debris reported to have been from Flight 447 was in fact not from the crashed Air France plane, despite Brazil's assertion that it was.
In Brazil, visibility and weather conditions improved Saturday in the area searchers are focusing on but debris earlier spotted on the ocean's surface may have sunk by now.
"Debris doesn't indefinitely float, and when it sinks we will not have the means of finding them," Air Force Brig. Gen. Ramon Cardoso told reporters late Friday.
Cardoso has insisted that the debris spotted — an airplane seat, a slick of kerosene and other pieces — was from the plane. But he confirmed that Brazilian searchers had yet to recovered any of the material.
He said searchers did not pursue the reports of debris — the first sighting was reported on Tuesday — because priority was given to the hunt for survivors or the remains of victims.
Meanwhile, a German government-owned satellite spotted debris in the Atlantic on Wednesday, a German Aerospace Center spokesman said, but he added it was unclear whether the material came from the plane. Brazilian Air Force: Bodies of Air France Flight 447 Passengers Found - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News - FOXNews.com I modified the title as the original was a little deceiving. alh1020