Investigators closing in on Air France black box

by Jonathan on May 6, 2010

Divers recover stabilizer from Air France aircraft on June 8, 2009 (click to enlargen)

Today, I woke up to the great news that the black boxes of Air France flight 447 had been found. I jumped out of my bed in excitement to read all the news stories about this great find only to be kind of let down. They haven’t actually found the black boxes. Instead, they’ve located the zone of where the black boxes may be; they’re still unsure if they will be able to retrieve it, and it’s not 100% certain that the boxes are even there since it isn’t emitting signals or hasn’t been actually seen.

Nearly a year after those 228 people lost their lives, investigators have narrowed down the area where they believed the black boxes might be located. According to French Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Christian Baptiste, researchers believe that the area is about 2 square miles (5 square kilometers). Investigators used software to re-analyze sonar recordings that were picked up in the weeks following the crash, when the black box’s pingers were still emitting signals. Previous analyses of the recordings failed to pick up those signals.

“Does this mean we will find the black boxes? We are far from certainty,” Baptiste told a news conference.

Speaking on France-info radio, government spokesman Luc Chatel said “we should remain extremely prudent for the moment”.

“It would obviously be very good news for everyone, first for the families of the victims of the flight, and then for all of us, because it has been one year that we have been waiting with impatience to find out what really happened on the Rio-Paris flight,” he said.

BEA spokeswoman, Martine Del Bono said that the BEA is working on checking and validating this information.

New York TimesAssociated PressFrance 24

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