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Second Black Box Found For Air France Flight

Jessika Walsten |
May 3, 2011 | 5:35 p.m. PDT

Deputy Editor

(Photo by skinnylawyer via Flickr)
(Photo by skinnylawyer via Flickr)
Searchers recovered the second black box Tuesday for the doomed Air France flight that crashed into the Atlantic in 2009.

The cockpit voice recorder, which was identified Monday before being brought to the surface Tuesday, from flight AF 447 was found just two days after the plane's flight data recorder was located.

With the black boxes, which are really orange cylinders so they are easier to find, investigators hope they can piece together what happened to the jet that went down en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, killing all 228 people on board.

"We can now hope to find out what truly happened within the next three weeks," French Transport Minister Thierry Mariani told RTL radio.

But there is no way to tell if the data was able to survive nearly two years at the bottom of the ocean until the black boxes are brought back to the labs of the Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses (BEA) north of Paris.

"In previous operations, the same type of recorder was damaged but BEA has always been able to read out and analyze this data," said. "We will try to push the limits to read them."

The Independent reports:

The discovery followed the location last month of the fuselage, engines and tail-plane of the aircraft 2.4 miles below the ocean surface about 400 miles east of the Brazilian coast. Mr Mariani said the finds justified the €32m (£29m) spent in four separate searches, the most expensive and elaborate operation of its kind ever undertaken.

The bodies of more than a score of passengers, still strapped to their seats, were found within the fuselage. Efforts will be made to bring the bodies to the surface but officials have warned this may prove impossible. Many relatives have said they would prefer the bodies to remain undisturbed.

Several theories have emerged about what caused the plane to plunge into the ocean. Some blame the crash on the freezing of the jet's speed sensors. While others, suggest pilot error could have come into play.

In March, an investigation was launched by a French magistrate into Air France and Airbus, the manufacturers of the plane, for manslaughter.



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