Air France Crash Investigation : Recovered 29 bodies in total

Divers recovering a huge part of the rudder of the Air France A330 aircraft lost in midflight over the Atlantic ocean

Divers recovering a huge part of the rudder of the Air France A330 aircraft lost in midflight over the Atlantic ocean

Investigators have found eight more bodies in the Atlantic Ocean, bringing the total recovered from Air France flight 447 to 29.

Search crews also recovered the vertical stabiliser from the tail section of the airliner, according to Air Force Col. Henry Munhoz, a spokesman for the Brazilian airforce.

The discoveries of debris and the bodies are all helping searchers narrow their hunt for the jet’s black boxes, perhaps investigators’ best hope of learning what happened to the flight. The data and voice recorders are located in the fuselage near the tail section of the jet.

Brazilian military officials have refused to detail the large pieces of the plane they have found. But a video on the Brazilian air force website entitled “Vertical Stabiliser Found” shows video of the piece – which keeps the plane’s nose from swinging from side to side – being located and tethered to a ship.

Mr Waldock – who examined the photos and video of the stabiliser and rudder – said the damage he saw looks like a lateral fracture.

“That would reinforce the idea that the plane broke up in flight,” he said. “If it hits intact, everything shatters in tiny pieces.”

No signs of burn marks on the stabiliser offered scant clues: Any explosion or fire in the fuselage would likely not make its way back to the tail section, according to Mr Waldock. Examining the fracture surfaces will also be key, he said, since it will indicate from what direction the force came that snapped the piece.

Investigators are also looking at the possibility that external speed monitors – called Pitot tubes – iced over and gave dangerously false readings to cockpit computers in a thunderstorm.

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~ by anand213 on June 9, 2009.

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