PICTURE: Crashed AF447's auxiliary power unit located

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Recovery teams have located the auxiliary power unit from the wreckage of flight AF447 in the South Atlantic, but are cautioning that the search for the flight recorders remains difficult.

Remote underwater vehicle images have enabled the search personnel to identify new components of the crashed Air France Airbus A330-200.

While the APU is located at the rear of the aircraft, there is no indication whether the recorders - normally mounted behind the rear pressure bulkhead - are in the same region.

af447 apu
 © BEA

Part of the flight-data recorder has been found, but not the vital memory unit which holds the data. The entire cockpit-voice recorder has yet to be located.

"The forward and aft parts of the aircraft are broken apart and mixed up, which means that a time-consuming systematic search is required," says the French Bureau d'Enquetes et d'Analyses.

Recovery work is being conducted from a specialised lifting vessel but no wreckage recovery has been undertaken, says the BEA, because "priority has been given to the search for the flight recorders".