21 Jun 2009

Air France flight search scaled back

4:27 pm on 21 June 2009

Brazilian and French authorities are scaling back the search for bodies from Air France flight 447, which crashed in the mid-Atlantic ocean three weeks ago.

The Brazilian airforce has withdrawn a sophisticated radar search plane from the operation saying there is little more to be gained.

Brazilian air and sea searches have now recovered 50 bodies from the plane, which had 228 people on board.

Some debris from the Airbus A330 which crashed on 1 June has also been recovered, but there is little hope of recovering anything further.

There is still some smaller Brazilian and French navy vessels scouring the area, but little has been recovered in the past week.

A French nuclear submarine is still searching for two "black boxes" from the flight and the batteries which power the underwater beacon which allows the sub to locate the boxes are expected to expire within the week.