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More bodies found in missing jet search; Iced-up sensors could be to blame, investigators say.

Byline: LIAM CHRISTOPHER

FOUR more bodies were pulled from the Atlantic yesterday as Brazil's Navy stepped up its search for clues to the mystery of the Air France jet crash.

Five Britons were among 228 people - including 12 crew, a baby and seven children - thought to have perished in the world's worst aviation disaster since 2001.

So far six bodies have been recovered from the ocean and the authorities say they have spotted more from the air.

French investigators have said the communications system on flight AF 447,en route from Rio to Paris last Sunday, transmitted 24 error messages ahead of the flight's disappearance and its autopilot was not working.

The investigation is looking at whether external instruments may have iced over, confusing speed sensors and leading computers to set the plane's speed too fast or slow - a potentially deadly mistake.

Investigators have said that airspeed instruments on the plane had not been replaced as the maker had recommended, though it was too early to draw conclusions about what role that may have played.

Investigators said the plane received inconsistent airspeed readings from different instruments as it struggled in a massive thunderstorm.

Navy Captain Giucemar Tabosa Cardoso gave news of the recovery of the latest bodies.

There was no information on their gender - the first two to be recovered were men.

They were picked up roughly 400 miles (640km) northeast of the Fer nando de Noronha islands off Brazil's northern coast and are being taken there.

Air Force Colonel Henry Munhoz said there was no doubt that wreckage found was from Flight 447. Searchers have found two aeroplane seats and other debris with Air France's logo.

Structural engineer Arthur Coakley, 61, from near Whitby, North Yorkshire, and oil worker Graham Gardner, 52, from Gourock, Renfrewshire, were among the five Britons on the flight.

Orthodontist Dr Jose Souza, and Alexander Bjoroy, an 11-yearold boy who held a British passport, were also on board.

Londoner Neil Warrior - a PR director for Mazda Europe, aged in his 40s - was also on the plane, colleagues said..

CAPTION(S):

Lucas Gagriano Juca, 24, a Brazilian passenger French president Nicolas Sarkozy at Notre-Dame cathedral for yesterday's ecumenical service French president Nicolas Sarkozy at Notre-Dame cathedral for yesterday's ecumenical service
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 8, 2009
Words:374
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