Lost jet data 'may not be found'

Other News Materials 3 June 2009 14:56 (UTC +04:00)

French aviation officials have said they may never find the flight data recorders of an Air France jet that went missing over the Atlantic, BBC reported.

The officials promised a thorough investigation but said the circumstances were very difficult.

Flight AF 447 was heading from Rio to Paris with 228 people on board on Monday when it was lost over the ocean.

Debris has been spotted 650km (400 miles) off Brazil's coast and navy vessels are converging on the area.

Brazilian and French officials said there was no doubt the wreckage was from the missing plane.

The French civil aviation officials, at a news conference in Paris, said they hoped there would be an initial report by the end of June.

The officials, headed by Paul-Louis Arslanian, chief of the French civil aviation ministry's bureau of investigation, said there had appeared to be no problems with the flight before take-off.

Mr Arslanian said there would be no speculation and that it was "essential we check and verify everything".

He said: "This catastrophe - which is the worst that our country has witnessed in terms of aviation, took place in a very difficult region... so the investigation will not be easy... but we are not giving up."

He said the information at the moment could only point to possible causes and not certain ones.

The first Brazilian naval vessel is due to arrive in the zone where the debris was found on Wednesday morning. The navy says the weather in the area is poor.

Three merchant vessels are already in the area after being diverted to help with the operation.

The plane's cockpit voice and data recorders, which will give the clearest information about what happened, can send signals for about 30 days.

But officials say they may be at a depth of up to 3,000m (9,800ft).

Mr Arslanian said he was "not optimistic" of finding the boxes because of the terrain under the sea.