French submarines have halted their search for the flight recorders of an Air France jet that crashed into the Atlantic on June 1, killing all 228 people aboard.
â€œThe search has not been able to locate the wreck of the plane,â€ Franceâ€™s BEA air investigators said in a statement.
The non-discovery of the two black boxes forecloses ascertaining the actual cause of one of the worldâ€™s deadliest crashes, and that also leaves the aircraft maker, Airbus, with the problem of nipping in the bud likely cause(s) of the crash.
However, the BEA indicated it had not lost all hope of finding the so_called black boxes and said a team of international experts would meet in the coming weeks to decide how best to continue the search process.
Despite the fact the flight recorders have not been found, investigators have stitched together information gleaned from a final burst of automated messages sent by the plane just before disaster struck, and from debris recovered in the sea.
The Air France plane was flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris when it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean not far from the equator after hitting a powerful storm.
The final messages showed sensors on the Airbus A330 were providing incoherent speed readings, sparking speculation that the pilots might have inadvertently stalled the jet.
Airbus has since urged clients to switch speed sensors on about 200 similar planes, replacing equipment made by Thales with parts supplied by Goodrich.
The plane plunged into a very remote part of the ocean and experts said the wreckage could have fallen to a depth of anywhere between 864 and 4,000 metres (2,835 and 13,120 feet), making any search extremely difficult.
Just as the hunt for the Air France wreck was wound down, French authorities announced that a boat with an underwater robot had arrived at the place where a Yemeni jet had crashed into the Indian Ocean on June 30, killing 152 people.
The French foreign ministry said the robot would be used to try to recover the black boxes of the Airbus A310-300 which crashed in bad weather off the Comoros archipelago.
A French submarine detected a signal from the planeâ€™s flight recorders in July and the underwater robot will now be used to try to locate the precise site and extract the recorders.
Officials say the cause of the crash remains unknown.
The plane was flying the final leg of a trip from France to Comoros, via Yemen. Only one person, a 14-year-old-girl, survived the crash.