Investigators probing the crash of Air France flight 447 say they have narrowed down the location of the aircraft’s black boxes.
The Airbus A330 crashed in stormy weather en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in June last year killing all 228 people on board.
General Christian Baptiste from the French defence ministry highlights the difficulties involved:
“The area from which those signals were coming is the size of Paris, and the boxes we are looking for are the size of a shoe box, the sea bed in that location is an area that looks like the Andes mountain range.”
The search is now concentrated around 400 kilometres northwest of the Brazilian islands of Sao Pedro and Sao Paulo.
For the victims families it brings comfort after months of anxious waiting.
John Clems is Vice President of the families association:
“It is great news for us, it fills us with hope and we hope we can find out where our relatives are and know exactly what happened in the last few minutes of their lives.”
Speculation on the cause of the catastrophe has focussed on the possible icing of the aircraft’s speed sensors, which may have given incorrect readings just seconds before the plane went down.