That’s it. It’s over. French investigators have officially called off the second phase search for the black boxes from Air France flight 447.
AF447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on June 1 while en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, France. All 228 people on board were killed. The flight’s voice and data recorders are crucial to providing information on what caused flight 447 to crash.
The BEA, the French accident investigation agency, said in a statement that the research ship that is leading the search for the black boxes in the second phase of the search have left the site. The ship, the Pourquoi Pas, is scheduled to arrive in Dakar, Senegal on Thursday.
According to the statement, the second phase of the search efforts “has finished” and investigators and experts will gather, in the coming weeks, to determine if they are going to launch a third phase.
BEA spokeswoman Martine del Bono said “we have not found the wreckage, we have not found the recorders”. She also said that the BEA will gather a team of roughly 10 specialists from around the world, including Brazil, France, the United States, and Germany, to study the data that has been gathered from the second phase and to decide the requirements and cost of a possible third phase. No estimates were given as to when a possible third phase would commence.
Bono said that the investigation was far from finished and that the black boxes must be found, which leads me to believe that they will continue to look for the black boxes.
The first phase of the search recovered 50 bodies and over 600 pieces of debris that was scattered throughout the ocean.
The second phase of the search was operated jointly by the French Navy and the French Research Institute for Exploration of the Sea. It was led by the Pourquoi Pas, which contained a manned submarine, the Nautile, a remote-controlled robot, the Victor 6000, and special sonar.
Airbus has promised to help fund a third phase of the search area.