Terrorists Didn't Down Flight 447: Autopsies
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2009 4:21 PM CDT
Debris from the missing Air France flight 447 are put on display for the media after being recovered during search operations, at Recife's Air Force base, Brazil.   (AP Photo/Roberto Candia)
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(Newser) – Autopsy reports indicate that Air France flight 447 did not crash because of a terrorist strike, the Independent reports. Examinations of the first 16 bodies—all recovered whole—show no signs of explosion, fire, or penetration by shards of metal. The autopsy details, leaked to the Brazilian press this weekend, leave authorities all the more baffled by the fatal crash.

Automatic messages sent from the plane indicate problems with its spend sensors and tail rudder limiter, which keeps the main steering device from going wild. “The message tells us that the rudder limiter was inoperative,” an expert says. “It does not give you any reason why it is not working or what caused it.” Search teams have recovered 50 bodies in two groups 50 miles apart, which may mean the plane disintegrated in mid-air.