French plane was intact when it hit the ocean

French plane was intact when it hit the ocean

Alain Bouillard, leading the preliminary inquiry on behalf of France’s BEA accident agency, said examination of wreckage indicated the A330 Airbus was still in one piece when it crashed, at high speed, into the ocean.

“The plane was not destroyed while it was in flight,” he told a press conference. “It seems to have hit the surface of the water in the direction of flight and with a strong vertical acceleration.”

Just over a month since Flight AF447 went down during a flight between Rio de Janeiro and Paris, killing all passengers and crew, investigators said they were facing one of the most challenging cases in the history of air travel. The pilots apparently sent no distress calls before the plane went missing, and a rescue team has been unable to find black boxes.

Investigators have warned that, without such crucial information, a full explanation into why the Airbus ran into difficulties will be hard to come by.

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