Air crash family seeks closure as second black box discovered

THE family of a young Irish woman who died in the June 2009 Air France-KLM plane crash off Brazil believe evidence in the second recovered black box will prove whether the airline was responsible for her death.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner after the miraculous recovery of the equipment deep in the Atlantic, Aisling Butler’s father John said the find “will help to bring closure” over what happened.

The exact cause of the tragedy — which led to the deaths of 228 people, including Irish doctors Aisling Butler, Jane Deasy and Eithne Walls — could become clear as soon as next week.

Mr Butler said his family believe this may prove they are right to hold their own views of what caused the crash.

“The fact they found the black box is a great thing, it might bring some finality to allow us to get on with the rest of our lives.

“It’s not going to bring Aisling back, but we’ve certainly our own views on what happened. That plane was the only one to fly into the storm and we certainly believe they may be negligent in that,” he said.

Mr Butler’s comments were made after investigators retrieved the second black box data recorder from the doomed Rio de Janeiro to Paris flight.

France’s bureau of investigation and analysis (BEA) has confirmed the second piece of equipment — which contains audio of the moments leading up to the incident — was found on Monday night and brought on board the Ile de Sein ship yesterday.

BEA chief, Jean-Paul Troadec, said the data recorder is “in good condition” and still holds vital information despite being in deep water for almost two years.

The box was found by robot submarine. The first black box was recovered on Sunday, after a search that has already taken 23 months and cost €35 million.

The boxes are being taken to BEA laboratories at Bourget near Paris where the analysis will begin in about eight days.

The official cause of the disaster remains uncertain, but the crash has been partly blamed on malfunctioning speed sensors used by Airbus.

Air France-KLM has rejected claims it did not respond quickly enough to reports the plane might be faulty.

Only about 50 bodies were recovered at the time of the crash, but a number are visible within the seabed wreckage.

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