Brazil Spots Aircraft Debris in Atlantic

By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 2, 2009 9:34 AM CDT
French military spokesman Philipe Chow-Chuen speaks to reporters today outside a French army base in Dakar, Senegal.   (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
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(Newser) – Brazilian air force planes have spotted seats and other debris floating in the ocean under the path of Air France flight 447, and the military is scrambling to confirm the material is from the missing airliner, Reuters reports. "The command center needs to have at least one piece of the debris with a serial number to confirm that it belongs to the airplane," an air force colonel said.

Small pieces of metal and traces of what appeared to be jet fuel were spotted floating about 400 miles northeast of the Fernando de Noronha archipelago, near where the jet disappeared from radar. The speed of the recovery effort is crucial because the flight-data recorders transmit information for just 30 days after a crash. "This is a race against the clock," said a French government minister.