May 17, 2011
Black Box Discovery: Data recorders from Air France Flight 447 recovered from Atlantic
After multiple attempts to locate and retrieve the wreckage of Air France Flight 447, the black box data recorders from the fatal June 2009 crash have been recovered from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, a development that many hope will provide answers and comfort to the more than 2,500 family members who continue to grieve.
Air France Flight 447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on June 1, 2009, while en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. All 228 on board the flight lost their lives, making the crash the deadliest in the history of Air France.
Until now, the investigation into the Air France Flight 447 crash has been significantly hindered due to the absence of eyewitness accounts and an inability to locate the flight's black boxes. French accident investigators say they have now successfully been able to download all of the cockpit conversations and flight data from the newly discovered recorders and will continue to analyze the recordings during the next several weeks to try to determine what happened before the plane crashed. They hope to publish an interim report this summer.
Investigators at the French Bureau of Investigations and Analyses are also making copies of the data and voice recordings to provide to the French judicial police, who are conducting a separate criminal investigation into the crash.
Commenting on the French investigation process in an interview with CNN International, Motley Rice aviation lawyer and former Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Transportation Mary Schiavo said that the investigation system in France differs in that it begins with the possibility of criminal charges, a process that she said "can lead to remuneration, recompense for the families."
Read more about the Air France Flight 447 data recovery in a full article featured in The New York Times.