These plots of the wreckage and victims (red) recovered from the Air France flight AF447 disaster on 1 June show the enormity of the task that confronted search vessels and aircraft mostly provided by Brazil.


The data, released by the French accident investigator, the BEA, is mapped on 6 June, (above) and between then and 10 June, with a navigational reference point TASIL and the last known position of the Airbus A330-200 at bottom of frame, against the rugged ocean floor topography, more than 5000 metres deep in places.


Debris from the tail section of the jet, its wings, and from a galley near the second door from the nose of the jet has been found, together with 50 bodies from the 228 people on board.

There is no evidence of fire or a chemical explosion on the recovered objects according to reports from France and Brazil. The rudder and its housing in the vertical stabiliser or tail of the jet were recovered attached to each other and showed signs of having been ripped off as a unit from the top of the fuselage at a set of attachment points where aerodynamic or impact break-up would have been expected. Victim trauma is consistent with an air blast after a fuselage break up. The reports claim there is no evidence of water in the lungs of the victims, indicating death occurred on or before impact with the sea.

The battery powered beacons that would indicate the position of the missing cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder have at most around six days power remaining. If their location can be fixed on the ocean floor deep sea recovery equipment will attempt to raise them.

The search for signals from these devices continues but the sea is no longer giving up physical traces of the disaster, and the surface search and recovery operation has been scaled back.