EUROPE & CIS: AF447 likely crashed into ocean intact

Accident investigators are now stating they believe Air France Flight 447 did not break apart in flight, but instead impacted the Atlantic Ocean at high speed in the direction of flight, and with the underside of the fuselage striking the sea first, according to the first interim report from the French air accident bureau (BEA). […]


Accident investigators are now stating they believe Air France Flight 447 did not break apart in flight, but instead impacted the Atlantic Ocean at high speed in the direction of flight, and with the underside of the fuselage striking the sea first, according to the first interim report from the French air accident bureau (BEA).

The lead investigator for the BEA, Alain Bouillard, said that the conclusion was reached after visual examination of the Airbus A330-200 debris, including the tail fin and parts of the galley as well as the absence of any signs of fire or explosion on both the debris and bodies recovered.

But with the cockpit voice and flight data recorders still not recovered more than one month after the 1 June crash the investigators are still no closer to understanding the sequence of events that led to the crash. France will continue searching for the black boxes through their beacon until 10 July, at which time it will shift to using sonar and other systems to try to find debris. The next phase will run until mid- August, with a decision then on whether to continue recovery operations. The search is focused largely on a 40-squarenautical- mile area.