A330 inquiry: Initial report to be published at end of June

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French air accident investigation agency Bureau d'Enquetes et d'Analyses (BEA) is to publish a preliminary report into the disappearance of the Air France Airbus A330-200 by the end of June.

Addressing a media briefing in Paris today BEA director Paul-Louis Arslanian said four teams had been established.

"My objective today is to have the first report by the end of June with around 20 people from the BEA working on this inquiry," he says. "The first team will concentrate on finding the wreckage and [flight] recorders, the second will look at the aircraft history, the third, aircraft operation and the fourth, aircraft systems."

Arslanian, who also headed the BEA's investigation into the fatal Air France BAC-Aerospatiale Concorde accident in 2000, notes there was no indication of any problem with the A330 prior to its departure on 1 June from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, although he says there was bad en route weather.

"After contact with Brazil was terminated, [Air France A330] was due to come into contact with Senegal but there was a zone where this was lost," adds Arslanian. "This catastrophe is the worst that our country has ever known in aviation terms, the inquiry will not be easy. It will be long, even very long."