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alh1020 06-06-09 02:13 PM

Bodies from Air France Flight 447 Found
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

SAGA 06-06-09 11:55 PM

So they only found 2 of them?

alh1020 06-07-09 12:00 PM

More Bodies Found in Desperate Ocean Search for Air France Crash Wreckage

RECIFE, Brazil — Three more bodies were found Sunday in the ocean near the spot where an Air France jet is believed to have crashed a week ago, bringing the total number of bodies plucked from the water to five, Brazil's military said.

Authorities said pilots searching the mid-Atlantic also spotted an undetermined number of additional bodies from the air and are sending ships to recover them, Navy Capt. Giucemar Tabosa Cardoso said.

Flight 447 disappeared in turbulent weather May 31 during a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris with 228 people aboard — all now presumed dead.

The investigation is increasingly focused on whether external instruments may have iced over, confusing speed sensors and leading computers to set the plane's speed too fast or slow — a potentially deadly mistake.

The French agency investigating the disaster said airspeed instruments on the plane had not been replaced as the maker had recommended, but cautioned that it was too early to draw conclusions about what role that may have played in the crash.

The agency, BEA, said the plane received inconsistent airspeed readings from different instruments as it struggled in a massive thunderstorm.

In Brazil, Air Force Col. Henry Munhoz said he could not immediately provide information on how many more bodies were spotted from the air. Cardoso said late Sunday morning that ships should be able to recover some of them within hours despite rainy weather and poor visibility.

None of the bodies recovered Sunday had documents with them to indicate their identities, and authorities did not specify their gender. The first two bodies, found Saturday, were men.

The three bodies were found about 45 miles from the site where the jet sent out a burst of messages indicating it was experiencing a series of electric failures and losing cabin pressure. All the bodies that have been recovered were found in the same general area.

They declined comment on the condition of the recovered bodies, saying the release of that information would be too emotionally painful for relatives.

Authorities also announced that searchers spotted two airplane seats and other debris with Air France's logo, and they have recovered jet wing fragments and other plane debris. Munhoz said there is "no more doubt" that the wreckage is from Flight 447.

Hundreds of personal items belonging to the passengers have been recovered, but Munhoz said authorities would not immediately identify them because relatives of the victims panicked after authorities on Saturday announced the discovery of a laptop computer and a briefcase with a plane ticket inside it.

"We're don't want to cause them more suffering," Munhoz said.

The bodies and plane wreckage will be transported Monday to the Brazilian islands of Fernando de Noronha, where the military has set up a staging post for the search operation. From there, remains and debris will be taken to the northeastern coastal city Recife for identification.

Air France Flight 447 emitted its last signals roughly 400 miles northeast of the Fernando de Noronha islands.

The Pentagon has said there are no signs of terrorism. Brazil's defense minister said the possibility was never considered. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner agreed that there is no evidence supporting a "terrorism theory," but said that "we cannot discard that for now."

More Bodies Found in Desperate Ocean Search for Air France Crash Wreckage - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News - FOXNews.com

Dasher 06-07-09 01:01 PM

Sad, just sad.

bevo 06-08-09 07:25 PM

One of my friends just went to Ireland for some funerals. She had 3 friends on that flight from Ireland....

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