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By Edward Cody and Sholnn Freeman
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, June 5, 2009; 1:19 PM
PARIS, June 5 -- The first pieces of debris picked up along the path of an Air France jetliner that went down in the Atlantic with 228 people on board turned out not to have come from the ill-fated aircraft, disappointed French officials said Friday.
The officials, responding to reports from Brazilian search teams, warned against jumping to conclusions as investigators here and in Brazil try to piece together elusive clues and figure out what caused the plane to fall suddenly from the sky early Monday on a stormy flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.
Dominique Bussereau, the French junior minister for transportation, emphasized in radio interviews that the investigation is just beginning. So far, he said, Brazilian and French authorities know very little about what happened aboard the Airbus 330-200 as it crashed while bucking through a violent thunderstorm about 400 miles northeast of the Fernando de Noronha islands off Brazil's northeastern tip./ex]
"The main goal is to put our hands on what are called the black boxes, the flight recorders," he added.
Defense Minister Herve Morin said a French nuclear submarine, SNA Emeraude, was dispatched to the search zone to try to pick up signals from the black boxes with underwater sweeps of the area. Investigators said the sea bottom at that point is mountainous, with valleys up to 9,000 feet deep, making their recovery a difficult, if not impossible, task.
The Brazilian military announced earlier that its helicopters, flying from one of the search vessels, had picked up a support piece from a wooden cargo pallet, a pair of flotation devices and other debris in the vast search zone and that the detritus was believed to have come from the downed plane. But Brig. Gen. Ramon Borges Cardoso, a senior Brazilian commander in the search effort, said later that, upon examination at a base in Recife, the debris turned out not to have been from the plane, Air France Flight 447. A Brazilian air force communique said the piece from the pallet measured nearly 27 square feet but provided no other details.
' Nuclear sub to join hunt for jet '
Nuclear sub to join hunt for jet
A French nuclear submarine is being sent to help find an Air France jet which disappeared over the Atlantic.
French defence minister Herve Morin said the hunter-killer submarine had surveillance equipment that could help find the plane's flight data recorders.
As the search continued, it was revealed that debris salvaged from the sea was not from the jet.
Airbus has reissued guidelines to pilots after experts said the plane may have had false speed measurements.
A spokesman for Airbus said that a notice had been sent reminding Airbus air crews worldwide what to do when speed indicators give conflicting read-outs.
Here is a Map of the Flight Rout .
and figure out what caused the plane to fall suddenly from the sky early Monday on a stormy flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.