A search team has recovered the cockpit voice recorder from Air France Flight 447, which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in June 2009, killing all 228 on board. A remotely operated vehicle retrieved the CVR from the ocean floor, 12,800 feet down, on Tuesday morning, and it appears to be intact and in good condition (more photos are posted online at the French accident investigation bureau). Investigators also recovered the flight data recorder last week, but it is not yet clear how much data, if any, will be recoverable from the two devices after nearly two years submerged at such great depths. The units are designed to withstand impact and immersion, but only for 30 days. French transport minister Thierry Mariani said investigators hope to report on their data-retrieval efforts within about three weeks.
Air France CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon called the CVR retrieval "another decisive step forward in the inquiry" and thanked investigators for "persevering in this arduous search." The Airbus A330 crashed about 600 miles off the coast of Brazil while en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. Data from automated transmissions sent by the jet in its final moments suggest that the jet's airspeed sensors were transmitting faulty data as the aircraft flew at high altitude in bad weather. In March, a French court filed preliminary manslaughter charges against Air France and Airbus in connection with the crash.