French investigators have released the first images of the wreckage of the Air France Airbus A330-200 which crashed in the South Atlantic in 2009, after discovering the site of the accident after a near two-year search.
The images show the aircraft’s General Electric CF6 engines, sections of the wing and fuselage, and the A330’s landing-gear.
While the sea floor in the region is characterised by difficult terrain, the wreckage lies on a relatively benign abyssal plain.
French investigation agency Bureau d’Enquetes et d’Analyses says the A330 wreckage is located a short distance due north of the aircraft’s last known position, which has marked the centre of the search activity since the loss of the twinjet.
All images © Bureau d'Enquetes et d'Analyses
All 228 occupants of the aircraft were killed after it came down on 1 June 2009 while operating between Rio de Janeiro and Paris. The cause of the accident, while suspected to be linked to icing of pitot tubes, remains undetermined and the inquiry is to concentrate on locating and retrieving the two flight recorders from the wreckage.