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2d recorder salvaged from Air France wreck

Associated Press / May 4, 2011

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PARIS — French investigators may be closer to solving the deadly 2009 crash of an Air France flight after the recovery early yesterday of the cockpit voice recorder from deep in the Atlantic Ocean.

The recorder was hauled up hours after investigators located it, according to France’s air accident investigator, the BEA. The plane’s flight-data recorder was pulled out on Sunday after its discovery by a submersible working at 12,800 feet below the ocean’s surface.

Experts have said that without the two “black boxes’’ there would be almost no chance of determining what caused the June 1, 2009, crash of Flight 447, which killed all 228 people on board in the worst disaster in Air France’s history. The flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris slammed into the Atlantic northeast of Brazil after running into an intense high-altitude thunderstorm.

“If the black boxes are readable, in three weeks we can hope to know part of the truth,’’ Transport Minister Thierry Mariani said on RTL radio.

BEA chief Jean-Paul Troadec said that the two pieces of equipment could allow analysts to piece together a timeline of what happened to the plane system’s, and the crew’s reaction.

He said that other aircraft debris, possibly including the cockpit, would be raised from the ocean floor for study, to further shed light on what went wrong.

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