French investigators are planning a 60-day renewed search for flight recorders from the crashed Air France Airbus A330, with preparatory work set to be completed next month.

In an update to the inquiry into the loss of flight AF447 on 1 June the Bureau d'Enquetes et d'Analyses says it is working to define the search zone and select the means to carry out the search.

The search zone work involves enhancing the data available regarding the aircraft's last known position and refining the modelling of currents in the area on the date of the crash.

BEA says the search team will estimate the drift of debris and put forward a probability distribution in a bid to find the most likely location of the wreckage.

"As regards the selection of the means to be employed, a review of equipment that allows work to be carried out down to a depth of 6,000m is under way," it adds.

Air France AF447 tail

The international group planning the search - the third co-ordinated attempt to locate the A330 - includes representatives from air accident investigation agencies in Germany, the UK, the USA, Russia and Brazil.

It also features the US Navy and the French Government's maritime agency Secretariat General a la Mer, plus specialised oceanographic, meteorological and mathematical institutes.

BEA says it wants to complete preparatory work in January and deploy resources in the search zone from February 2010.

"If the wreckage is localised, a campaign of undersea observation, cartography, raising some part of the equipment from the wreckage and - if need be - the recovery of any human remains will follow the searches," it says.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news