Air France Flight 447 debris located
A Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) search team has discovered wreckage from the June 2009 Air France crash off the northeastern coast of Brazil. The Airbus A330, which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, killed 216 passengers and 12 crewmembers. There were no survivors.
The WHOI team began their recovery mission on March 25; one week later, an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) located debris. Some of the wreckage detected by the AUV, a REMUS 6000, included the plane’s engine, fuselage and landing gear. A sonar image of the crash site was also taken.
WHOI President and Director Dr. Susan Avery believes her team’s discovery can help bring closure to those affected by the crash. “We are honored to have been part of this effort to locate Air France Flight 447 and proud to be able to bring hope of resolution to the families of the victims,” Avery said in a statement.
Air France-KLM CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon also expressed his gratitude that those touched by the tragedy will now have more answers. “This discovery, coming only days after the Air France and Airbus funded fourth sea search was launched, is good news indeed since it gives hope that information on the causes of the accident, so far unresolved, will be forthcoming,” Gourgeon said in a statement.
“Answers will perhaps therefore be found to the questions that, since June 1, 2009, families of the victims, our airline and the aviation community worldwide have asked as to how this tragic accident occurred.”