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Brazilian Air Force spots debris: Is it the Air France jet?

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AFP

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The Brazilian Air Force may have found debris from the Air France flight that disappeared Monday.

Brazil’s Air Force officials say that at 1 a.m. local time Tuesday, an R-99 reconnaissance plane spotted an orange buoy, an aircraft seat, a drum, kerosene and oil near to the plane’s last reported position.

Brazilian Air Force Col. Jorge Amaral was quoted as saying, “We cannot confirm that it is the Air France plane. We need to get these pieces out the water first.”

An Air Force statement said the R-99 aircraft initially spotted metal in the water approximately 650 kilometers (400 miles) northeast of the island of Fernando de Noronha, an idyllic archipelago off Brazil’s coast.

However, the plane did not land or identify the debris. Authorities narrowed down their search area to this region.

Another Brazilian aircraft, a C-130, returned to the scene and found materials 60 kilometers (37 miles) away from the original debris. It was not clear if it was the same debris and had drifted on ocean currents, or if it was different debris.

The pieces must be retrieved to be analyzed for code numbers to verify if they belonged to the missing Air France Airbus 300-200, officials reportedly said.

But Brazilan media reports say that it could take another day for ships to reach the debris site.

Ten planes are currently involved in the search along with an unspecified number of ships.

What brought it down?

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