Brazil bids to reduce confusion over A330 search progress

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Brazilian authorities are aiming to reduce confusion over progress in the search for the Air France Airbus A330 by relaying information on debris only once it has been positively identified as part of the aircraft.

Several patterns of debris have been observed by aircraft conducting the search but so far the only sections retrieved for closer examination have proven to be unrelated to flight AF447.

Despite this, Brazil's airspace control chief, Ramon Borges Cardoso, is adamant that debris sighted in the early stages of the search for the missing Air France Airbus A330 are parts of the aircraft, indicating that confirmation is essentially a formality.

He says that the seat, kerosene trail and wiring were aircraft parts, but states that the priority at the time was to search for survivors. Some sightings have been immediately discarded as irrelevant, he says, while uncertainty remains over others.

"We are searching and collecting material that's been found and returning to the same areas in which wreckage had been sighted," he states, but adds that rain and low visibility are hampering the effort.

He says that while the debris so far retrieved has not been linked with the Airbus, this is generating a "false sense" that nothing so far observed belongs to the aircraft. Cardoso points out that some of the sightings have taken place hundreds of kilometres apart.

Brazil's defence ministry says it will wait for collected wreckage to be positively identified as part of AF447 in order to "avoid misinterpretation" of progress in the search.