French Air Accident Investigation Bureau (BEA) said Monday it had retrieved data from the black boxes of an Air France A330-200 jet which crashed in the Atlantic in 2009. The BEA said it had succeeded in downloading all the data from the flight data recorder (FDR) of Air France Flight 447 as well as the complete recording from the cockpit voice recorder (CVR), which recorded the final two hours of the flight.
Air France Flight 447 crashed in the Atlantic en route between Paris-Charles de Gaul and Rio de Janeiro on 1 June 2009, killing all 228 passengers and crew on board.
''Following operations to open, extract, clean and dry the memory cards from the flight recorders, BEA safety investigators were able to download the data over the weekend,'' the agency said in a statement.
The transfer was filmed in front of investigators from four countries and French judicial officials. This is the most significant breakthrough yet in the mystery that continues to envelope the flight.
All the data will now be subjected to detailed in-depth analysis, the BEA statement said, and added that this process would take several weeks. The BEA has now brought forward the publication date of a report by about six months and has also said it may be able to issue interim findings in the summer.
The recorders were located nearly 2.5 miles below the surface of the sea in early May after a search operation that has cost $50 million. Earlier, the BEA had warned that it was also possible that data could have been irretrievably damaged because of exposure to sub-sea conditions for a period of two years.