Page last updated at 16:11 GMT, Thursday, 25 June 2009 17:11 UK

Air France pilot body identified

An Air France Airbus A330-200 airliner (archive image)
Air France said it began noticing sensor problems in May 2008

The body of the chief pilot of the Air France plane that crashed into the Atlantic on 1 June has been identified, the company has said.

It said the remains of the pilot and also a flight attendant were among some 50 bodies recovered by search teams.

All 228 people on board the Airbus 330 flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris are believed to have been killed.

There has been speculation that faulty data on the old-style speed sensors may have caused the crash.

"Among the victims who have been recovered from the ocean, two members of the crew of flight AF447 have been identified to date: the captain and a steward," Air France said in a statement.

It did not provide any further details.

Brazilian and French teams are continuing their search for more bodies some 800km (500 miles) north-east of Brazil's Fernando de Noronha islands where the plane disappeared in turbulent weather.

1 June: Contact lost with plane over mid-Atlantic
2 June: First debris spotted from the air includes an airline seat. Brazilian defence minister says debris is from missing plane
3 June: More debris spotted, including a 7m-wide chunk of metal. Fuel slick seen on ocean surface
4 June: Buoys and pallet recovered from ocean said to be from plane. Officials later retract statement
6 June: First two bodies, plus suitcase and backpack found, along with seat thought to be from the plane

The plane's flight recorders - known as black boxes - have not been found.

Investigators say sensors onboard the plane were providing "inconsistent data" in the minutes before it went missing.

Air France said soon after the crash that in May 2008 it had begun noticing "incidents of loss of airspeed information during cruise flight" on its A330 and A340 jets - although only a "small number" of incidents had been reported.

The airline said it had contacted Airbus, who sent a recommendation to replace the monitors.

The plane that crashed into the Atlantic on 1 June had old-type speed sensor.

However, Air France stressed that the manufacturers had not made this a safety requirement.

French investigators also warned against drawing early conclusions.

An initial report by France's Investigation and Analysis Bureau (BEA) would be released on 2 July, the agency said on Thursday.

Flight of AF 447

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