Brazil confirms Air France jet crashed in ocean

Jobim told reporters in Rio de Janeiro that the discovery "confirms that the plane went down in that area," hundreds of kilometres from the Brazilian archipelago of Fernando de Noronha.
"There isn't the slightest doubt that the debris is from the Air France plane," Jobim said yesterday.

He said the strip of wreckage included metallic and nonmetallic pieces, but did not describe them in detail. No bodies were spotted in the crash of the Airbus A330 in which all aboard are believed to have died.
The discovery came just hours after authorities announced they had found an airplane seat, an orange buoy and signs of fuel in a part of the Atlantic Ocean where ocean depths range from less than 1,610 meters to more than 4,800 meters.
Jobim said recovery of the plane's cockpit voice and data recorders and other wreckage could be difficult because much of the wreckage sank.
"It's going to be very hard to search for it because it could be at a depth of 2,000 meters or 3,000 meters in that area of the ocean," Jobim said.
The initial discovery of wreckage announced before Jobim spoke came about 36 hours after the jet went missing as it flew from Rio de Janeiro toward Paris.

A Brazilian air force spokesman said the two spots where debris was located suggested the pilots may have tried to turn the plane around to return to Fernando de Noronha.
"The locations where the objects were found are toward the right of the point where the last signal of the plane was emitted," said the spokesman, Col. Jorge Amaral. "That suggests that it might have tried to make a turn, maybe to return to Fernando de Noronha, but that is just a hypothesis."
Amaral said some of the debris was white and small, but did not describe it in more detail.
Jobim made the announcement after two commercial ships that joined the search late yesterday morning reached sites where the debris was found, a Navy spokeswoman said.
"Once they come across the objects, they will be analysed to determine if they are parts of the plane or just junk," she said.
A US Navy P-3C Orion surveillance plane and 21 crew members arrived in Brazil yesterday morning from El Salvador and was to begin overflying the zone in the afternoon, US officials said in a statement. The plane can fly low over the ocean for about 12 hours at a time and has radar and sonar designed to track submarines underwater.
The French dispatched a research ship equipped with unmanned submarines to the debris site. The subs can explore depths of up to 6,000 meters. The US was considering contributing unmanned underwater vehicles in the search as well, according to a defense source.

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