Page last updated at 10:28 GMT, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 11:28 UK

Timeline of Flight AF 447

Flight path of AF 447

Details have been gradually emerging about the disappearance of an Air France flight from Brazil to France in the early hours of Monday 1 June.

Flight AF 447 left Rio de Janeiro, bound for Paris, at 1900 local time (2200 GMT) on Sunday.

The aircraft, an Airbus A330-200, had been in operation since April 2005.

Shortly after the aircraft's scheduled arrival time in Paris of 1110 local time (0910 GMT), it was announced that the flight was missing.

Here are the latest developments:


The French nuclear submarine Emeraude - equipped with advanced sonar equipment - arrives at the crash site to search for the flight data recorders.


Brazilian officials say a total of 41 bodies have been recovered.

The first 16 bodies found over the weekend arrive at the rescue base at Fernando de Noronha, off the coast of Brazil. The other 25 are due to follow.


A Brazilian search team recovers a large tail section - painted with Air France colours - from the ocean.

The navy says about 100 more objects have been spotted in the crash zone, including seats with the Air France logo and oxygen masks.


Fourteen additional bodies are recovered over the course of the day, taking the total to 16.

Air France says it is accelerating the replacement of speed monitors on Airbus planes, amid speculation that faulty data on the old-type sensors may have caused the crash.


1700 GMT: The Brazilian air force finds the first two bodies from the area where the plane is expected to have crashed. In addition to the bodies, a suitcase and backpack are found, along with a seat from the plane.

The items are the first to be definitely linked to the plane, nearly six days after the crash.


2100 GMT: Brazilian air force retracts earlier statements, saying debris collected from the sea - including wooden pallets and buoys - is actually just "sea trash". It also says a large fuel slick is probably not related to the plane.


1400 GMT: A Brazilian air force spokesman says more, larger items of wreckage and a fuel slick have been spotted by air crews about 90km (55 miles) south of where other debris was seen on Tuesday.

0900 GMT: A French aviation official says he is not optimistic the plane's flight recorders will be found, given the depth of the ocean and the undersea terrain.

There appeared to be no problems with the plane at take-off, Paul-Louis Arslanian says, but the exact time of the crash is not known, nor whether the chief pilot was at the controls. An initial report is expected by the end of June.


1230 GMT: Debris is sighted by Brazilian search planes looking for the missing airliner 650km (390 miles) north-east of Brazil's Fernando do Noronha island.


1810 GMT: Air France releases the full passenger list, showing that most of those aboard are Brazilians or French. There are 32 nationalities in all.

1651 GMT: French President Nicolas Sarkozy says the prospect of finding survivors from the flight is "very slim".

Graphic of Airbus A330

1632 GMT: An Air France spokesman confirms there are 80 Brazilians on board the missing plane, as well as German, Italian, American, Chinese, British and Spanish citizens.

1515 GMT: It is reported that most of the 228 people on board the missing airliner are Brazilian, while at least 40 are French and 20 are German, according to a French minister.

1303 GMT: Prime Minister Gordon Brown says he fears British citizens may be on board the aircraft.

1213 GMT: Air France suggests the electrical fault may have been caused by the plane suffering a lightning strike.

1142 GMT: Air France confirms it received a message about an electrical fault from the aircraft.

1140 GMT: Brazil's air force says Flight AF 447 was "well advanced" over the Atlantic Ocean when it went missing.

1116 GMT: Senior French minister Jean-Louis Borloo says the plane would have run out of fuel by this point, and adds: "We must now envisage the most tragic scenario." He rules out a hijacking.

1036 GMT: Air France confirms the aircraft is missing.

1017 GMT: Brazil's air force confirms a search and rescue operation is under way near the Brazilian island of Fernando de Noronha.

0935 GMT: Paris airport officials announce to the public that flight AF 447 is missing.

0910 GMT: Aircraft was due to land at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.

0715 GMT: Air France decided "the situation was serious", according to the airline's chief executive Pierre Henri Gourgeon. Plans to establish a crisis centre are drawn up.

0214 GMT: According to the airline, an automated message was received indicating an "electrical circuit malfunction" on board.

0200 GMT: The aircraft crossed through a "thunderous zone with strong turbulence" according to an Air France statement.

0148 GMT: AF 477 leaves zone of radar surveillance off the Fernando de Noronha islands, about 350 km (217 miles) off the coast of Brazil.

0133 GMT: Last radio contact with flight AF 447, according to the Brazilian air force.


2200 GMT: AF 447 takes off from Rio de Janeiro's Galeao International Airport, heading for Paris Charles de Gaulle.

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