Air France flight 447 crashed en route to Paris after leaving Rio de Janeiro May 31. Nineteen days later, here's the very latest on the search for clues about the accident.
About 400 pieces of debris. A large chunk of the stabilizer from the plane's tail, wiring, an airline seat, a boarding pass, personal belongings.
Evidence Not Recovered:
The two most important clues to the mystery -- the flight data recorder and cockpit recorder -- known as the plane's black boxes.
The Hunt for the Black Boxes:
T minus 11 days. The pinging sounds coming from the black boxes are estimated to last 30 days from the time of the crash, so the clock is ticking.
The world's best teams and equipment are in the remote Atlantic Ocean trying to detect the signals. The French nuclear sub, the Emeraude, equipped with high-tech sonar equipment, is listening for the acoustics, as is a U.S. Navy underwater listening device that can pick up the pinging sound from the black boxes at depths of 20,000 feet. A French research vessel, the Pourquoi Pas, is on hand with underwater robots to retrieve the black boxes if the signals are heard.
Latest Analysis of the Evidence:
Autopsies on the bodies being examined reveal multiple fractures of passengers' legs, hips and arms. The evidence indicates the plane may have come part in the air as opposed to breaking apart when it hit the water.
Large pieces of the plane collected also indicate a midair breakup.
Experts also say bodies are not burned, which suggests there was not an explosion. But they also say that while the bodies may provide clues, it's unlikely they will indicate the probable cause of the crash on their own.
Crash remnants pulled out of the Atlantic were flown to the island of Fernando de Noronha, the closest land to the crash site, some 400 miles off Brazil's coast. From there they are being transported to the mainland town of Recife for further analysis. The tail stabilizer of the plane, a huge piece of evidence, arrived in Recife June 14.
A French technician in Recife is analyzing the evidence and will determine whether debris will be taken to France or evaluated in Brazil.
How Long the Search Will Last:
At least until June 25. Starting this week, officials started to meet every other day to discuss when to stop the search. The decision will depend on whether they're still finding new clues.
The water is warm, about 82 degress Fahrenheit, which means bodies are more likely to float.
Read ABC News Stories on the Crash:
French Sub Joins Black Box Search (June 10, 2009)
Carriers Rush to Replace Speed Sensors (June 9, 2009)
Jet's Tail Could Lead to Answers (June 8, 2009)
Air France Official: 'We Can Fear the Worst' (June 1, 2009)
Airline Safety Measures Taken Since the Crash:
Air France has replaced speed sensors on its planes. Airlines, including Delta, US Airways and United are also rushing to finish replacing their sensors, a noncritical change recommended by Airbus 17 months ago. Faulty speed readings can cause the jet to fly dangerously slow or fast.