Bodies Found From Air France Plane Crash

Other News Materials 6 June 2009 21:45 (UTC +04:00)

Bodies from the Air France passenger plane that crashed in the Atlantic Ocean off Brazil have been found by search teams, Skynews reported.

The news comes it was revealed the airliner sent out 24 automatic error messages in its final moments as its systems broke down one by one.

The head of the French agency probing the tragedy said signals from the jet before it disappeared showed its autopilot was not on.

Paul-Louis Arslanian said it was not clear if the autopilot had been switched off by the pilots or had stopped working because it received conflicting airspeed readings.

He said investigators were searching a zone of several hundred square miles in the Atlantic Ocean for the debris.

Plane manufacturer Airbus said an investigation found Air France Flight 447 had inconsistent readings from different instruments as it struggled in a massive thunderstorm.

The plane, with 228 people on board, disappeared early on Monday as it made its way from Rio de Janiero, heading to Paris.

Brazilian navy boat Grajau Class which is searching for debris from the Air France crash

Brazilian navy ship joins search

The wreckage of the jet has not been found, despite days of intensive searching by air and sea.

Brazilian officials said items discovered on Thursday turned out on closer inspection to be nothing more than rubbish, probably from ships.

A French nuclear submarine was on its way to the search zone, 600 miles off Brazil's north-east coast, to help look for the flight's black boxes.

It is vital to locate a beacon called a "pinger" that should be attached to the cockpit voice and data recorders, now presumed to be deep in the Atlantic, Mr Arslanian said.

"We have no guarantee that the pinger is attached to the recorders," he added.

Holding up a pinger in the palm of his hand, Mr Arslanian said: "This is what we are looking for in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean."

Two more Brazilian navy vessels were set to join three others already in the area.

Some 12 Brazilian and French aircraft were also flying over the zone.