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article imageInvestigators Doubt Recovery of Black Box for Flight 447

By Amanda Connolly     Jun 3, 2009 in World
French investigators announced Wednesday the possibility that they may never find either of the two black boxes for Air France Flight 447.
The aircraft disappeared off radar during a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, and the discovery of a debris field has led investigators to conclude that the plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. Searchers discovered a trail of wreckage spanning five-kilometres, which they have said included an orange life-vest, an airplane seat, and a 7m piece of metal.
Paul-Louis Arslanian, head of France's accident investigation agency, said he is not optimistic that the black boxes will be found. "We may be unable to find the black boxes due to circumstance and logistics," he said at a press conference on Wednesday in Paris.
While the black boxes are designed to emit a low frequency signal for 30 days, Arslanian said that search planes have not detected any such signals. In the area that searches are focused on, the ocean reaches depths of up to 7 000m and is covered in underwater mountains.
According to him, even if the black boxes are found there is a chance that the information contained within them will be destroyed and/or useless to the investigation.
The plane was flying into what is known as a intertropical convergence zone, where it would have encountered a massive thunderstorm. At this time, investigators are still unsure whether the plane broke apart in mid-air or came apart upon impact with the ocean.
Air France said it received a bomb threat for a flight between Buenos Aires and Paris on May 27, but the flight proceeded when a check of the aircraft turned up clean.
So far, there are no signs of terrorism in connection with the crash of Flight 447, said France's Defense Ministry.
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