Three more bodies recovered in Air France crash (Second Lead)

June 7th, 2009 - 10:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Paris/Sao Paulo, June 7 (DPA) The Brazilian Air Force said Sunday that three more bodies from the Air France Airbus plane crash had been recovered from the Atlantic Ocean.
An air force spokesman in Recife announced the find, coming a day after the first two bodies - those of two male passengers - had been recovered.

The Airbus A330-200 plane with 228 people on board went down early Monday on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.

The gender of the three bodies recovered Sunday was not immediately disclosed.

The bodies were recovered some 1,200 km northeast of the Brazilian mainland, with an intensive search for further victims and for the missing Airbus plane now underway in the area involving some 14 aircraft and several ships.

The recovery of further victims from the crash came as investigators were now concentrating on a series of inconsistent airspeed readings sent by the plane in the final minutes of its flight, French Junior Minister for Transport Dominique Bussereau said Sunday.

“This series of readings (represent) the only real element for investigators at this moment,” Bussereau told RTL radio.

One of the paths being followed is the behaviour of a device called a Pitot tube, which provides information over ambient air pressure and therefore aids in measuring the airspeed of an aircraft.

“There have been situations on Airbus planes, and perhaps on others, where these tubes no longer indicated the airspeed because it entered a humid area, a low-pressure area, an area of turbulence,” Bussereau said.

As a result, the pilots would be looking at an erroneous airspeed reading, which could provoke two disastrous consequences - the plane is flying too slowly or it is flying too fast.

If a plane flies too slowly, it could stall in mid-air, Bussereau said.

If it flies too fast, it could disintegrate “because it would be approaching the speed of sound and the plane’s outer covering is not made to withstand such speeds,” he said.

However, Bussereau insisted that “no hypothesis could yet be privileged” as to why the Airbus 330-200 plunged into the Atlantic early Monday.

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