Sun, June 07, 2009
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Two bodies retrieved from crashed Air France jetliner

2009-06-07 02:57:03 GMT2009-06-07 10:57:03 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

In this photo released by Brazil's Air Force, a Brazilian Navy ship, bottom left, approaches debris that Brazilian authorities believe are from Air France Flight 447 in the Atlantic Ocean, Saturday, June 6, 2008. Searchers found two bodies and the first confirmed debris, a briefcase containing an Air France Flight 447 ticket, in the Atlantic Ocean near where the jetliner is believed to have crashed, according to Brazil's military. (AP Photo/Brazilian Air Force)

BRASILIA/PARIS, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Two male bodies were retrieved Saturday morning from the crashed Airbus A330 as investigations revealed problematic speed monitors on the Air France jetliner.

Two male bodies were discovered in the Atlantic Ocean near the area where the Air France Flight 447 was believed to have crashed, the Brazilian Air Force announced at a press conference in Recife.

Both bodies were believed to belong to passengers aboard the crashed jet, Air Force spokesman Col. Jorge Amaral told reporters.

A suitcase containing a plane ticket for the flight was also found, as some other items including a blue-color cabin seat with serial number 237011038331-0 on it were recovered, said the spokesman.

The items still need verification and confirmation by Air France, the spokesman added.

The Air France Airbus A330 with 228 people on board vanished over the Atlantic Ocean early Monday after leaving Rio de Janeiro for Paris. Some of its debris has been recovered.

The French agency investigating the crash of Flight 447 said on Saturday that signals from the missing Air France jetliner suggested that its autopilot was not on before it vanished.

Paul-Louis Arslanian, the director of France's air safety investigation agency, said at a press conference in Paris that the plane sent 24 failure signals in the five minutes before contacts were lost, suggesting that the aircraft experienced multiple systems failures before it plunged into the sea.

He said some problems had been detected with the speed-measuring instruments on the Airbus A330. Airbus had recommended to all its airline customers that they replace speed-measuring instruments on the A330, he added.

"They hadn't yet been replaced" on the plane that crashed, said Arslanian.

However, according to Arslanian, it was inappropriate to swiftly tie the pitot tubes to the crash, saying that "it does not mean that without replacing the pitots that the A330 was dangerous."

Air France said Saturday it was speeding up replacement of problematic speed sensors on all of its Airbus A330s.

In a statement, Air France said that in May last year it began noticing "incidents of loss of airspeed information during cruise flight" on its twin-engine A330s and four-engine A340s.

The company said it had begun changing all speed monitors, or pitot tubes, on both aircraft types in its fleet on April 27 -- five weeks before Flight 447 went down.

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