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Brazil - Air France Tail Found; Hunt For Black Boxes Continues With U.S. Help

Published on: June 8, 2009 05:05 PM
By: AP
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In this photo released by Brazils Air Force, Brazil Navy sailors recover debris from the missing Air France jet at the Atlantic Ocean, Monday, June 8, 2009. photo credit: Brazil NavyIn this photo released by Brazils Air Force, Brazil Navy sailors recover debris from the missing Air France jet at the Atlantic Ocean, Monday, June 8, 2009. photo credit: Brazil Navy

Brazil - A large tail section of a jetliner bearing Air France’s trademark red and blue stripes was recovered from the Atlantic Ocean Monday, helping narrow the hunt for “black boxes” that could explain what brought down Flight 447.

And some high-tech help is on the way _ two U.S. Navy devices capable of picking up the flight recorders’ emergency beacons far below on the ocean floor. What caused the Airbus A330-200 to plunge into the middle of the ocean on May 31 with 228 people on board might not be known until those black boxes are found.

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While large pieces of plane debris _ along with 16 bodies _ has helped narrow the search, it remains a daunting task in waters up to 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) deep and an ocean floor marked by rugged mountains.

“Finding the debris helps because you can eliminate a large part of the ocean,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Willie Berges, chief of the U.S. military liaison office in Brazil and commander of the American military forces supporting the search operation.

But ocean currents over the eight days since the disaster have pushed floating wreckage far and wide, complicating the search, Berges said. “In the sense that as the debris drifts away, you’re not sure exactly where the black boxes or other parts of the aircraft are on the bottom of the ocean.”

The U.S. Navy has helped locate black boxes in difficult situations before: pings from an Adam Air jet that crashed Jan. 1, 2007, off Indonesia’s coast were picked up 25 days later by a navy team.

The two towed pinger locators the U.S. is sending are expected to arrive in Brazil late Monday and will be dropped into the ocean near the debris field by Thursday, Berges said. The search is focusing on several hundred square miles (square kilometers) roughly 400 miles (640 kilometers) northeast of the Fernando de Noronha islands off Brazil’s northern coast.

The listening devices themselves are five-feet long and weigh 70 pounds. One will be towed by a Brazilian ship, the other by a French vessel, slowly trawling in a grid pattern across the search area. The devices can detect emergency beacons to a depth of 20,000 feet (6,100 meters).

Cables attached to the devices lead to on-board computers, enabling a 10-person team that accompanies each device to listen for pings and to visually see them on a screen, like a radar spotting objects in air.

The French nuclear attack submarine Emeraude, arriving later this week, also will try to find the acoustic pings, military spokesman Christophe Prazuck said.



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Read Comments (5)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 08, 2009 at 09:22 PM nachi Says:

theres one word to describe this accident.. ''tragedy'' and they happen to often. so lets stop riding our fancy cars for a second and think about 228 families have lost a loved one... lets think for a second lets say it was one of us then we would take huge actions.. lets not be selfish.. were all human

2

 Jun 08, 2009 at 10:57 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #1  
nachi Says:

theres one word to describe this accident.. ''tragedy'' and they happen to often. so lets stop riding our fancy cars for a second and think about 228 families have lost a loved one... lets think for a second lets say it was one of us then we would take huge actions.. lets not be selfish.. were all human

No, actually there are lots of words to describe this accident, but "tragedy" is NOT one of them.

3

 Jun 09, 2009 at 09:09 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Milhouse Says:

No, actually there are lots of words to describe this accident, but "tragedy" is NOT one of them.

huh????? why not?

4

 Jun 09, 2009 at 10:06 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Milhouse Says:

No, actually there are lots of words to describe this accident, but "tragedy" is NOT one of them.

????? whats that supposed to mean??

5

 Jun 09, 2009 at 03:38 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Milhouse Says:

No, actually there are lots of words to describe this accident, but "tragedy" is NOT one of them.

can you please explain what "tragedy" is not a proper term to define this TRAGEDY?!?!?!?!

6

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