News Item

AF 447 flight data recorder found

The flight data recorder (FDR) from the Airbus A330, which disappeared off Brazil in 2009, has been retrieved from the seabed.

The Air France flight AF 447 - an A330-203 registered F-GZCP with 228 on board - disappeared on 1 June 2009 on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. It is suspected that it flew into into an area of intense cunims.

Last week, the search team found the FDR's outer casing - but not its memory.

But the French Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses (BEA - their equivalent of the UK Air Accident Investigation Branch) stated on 1 May that 'The investigation team localized and identified the memory unit from the FDR at 1000 UTC this morning. It was raised and lifted on board the ship Ile de Sein by the Remora 6000 remotely operated vehicle (ROV) at 1640 UTC.'

Air France KLM's CEO explains 'This new step in the investigation is very significant as it may provide additional information as to the causes of this accident that remain unexplained to this day'.

On the fourth attempt to locate the wreckage, searchers - lead by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution - located the wreck in early April. The search involves depths of up to 4,000 m (~13,000 ft) covering an area of 10,000 sq km, although the initial search area was far larger.

It is hoped that the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) will also be retrieved.

Details from Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses, AERBT and Air France below.

  • 01 May 2011
  • CMAG

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