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Jet Likely Broke Apart in Mid-Air

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2009 5:57 PM CDT
Jet Likely Broke Apart in Mid-Air
From right, Paris Archbishop Andre Vingt-Trois, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy leave Notre-Dame cathedral following a service for the passengers.   (AP Photo/Bob Edme, pool)

(Newser) – The first Brazilian navy ship arrived on the scene where Air France flight 447 is thought to have gone down, but aviation officials aren't holding out much hope of finding the black boxes, reports the BBC. "We cannot rule out that we will not find the flight recorders," said one French official. Deep-sea submersibles won't arrive until next week because of bad weather.

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A Brazilian newspaper, meanwhile, published more details of the plane's final communications, which suggest the jet broke up in mid-air, notes the AP. The pilot reported he was going through dark, electrically charged clouds, conditions usually accompanied by ferocious winds and lightning. About 10 minutes later, a series of automatic distress signals kicked in as the plane's electrical system failed and the cabin lost air pressure. "This clearly looks like the story of the airplane coming apart," said an airline industry official. "We just don't know why." (Read more Air France Flight 447 stories.)

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