Comment: In THIS article we wrote that "what ever happened to The Airbus 320-303 was a big tragedy, and finding an explanation including providing a needed closure is a priority. But considering what we know about authorities' ability to either ignore or distort the available data, we are a bit skeptical if the highly probable cause will ever be seriously looked into, and especially announced. Meanwhile, time is running out for another similar disaster to occur".

And now, it appears that due to the supposedly "dissociated" memory module of the plane's flight data recorder we may never know what really happened. At least from the official point of view. Didn't we tell you not to hold your breath?

© Unknown
The investigation into what caused the crash of an Air France jet two years ago suffered a major setback, officials said Wednesday, when search crews in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean located one of the plane's black boxes - only to discover that its memory unit was missing.

Martine Del Bono, a spokesman for France's Bureau of Accident Investigations, said the memory module of the plane's flight data recorder - which contains information on the plane's position, speed, altitude and heading when it ran into trouble - had been "dissociated" from its protective housing. "This is no doubt due to the shock of impact with the water," she said.

French investigators said the recorder was located by underwater drones late Tuesday, surrounded by debris from other parts of the airplane. The search continued Wednesday for the missing component, as well as for a second black box, which contains recordings of the conversations in the cockpit in the minutes before the crash.

But Ms. Del Bono conceded that the failure to find the data recorder's memory unit was a disappointment. "We would have hoped that it had remained intact," she said.

All 228 passengers and crew members were killed when Flight 447 went down on June 1, 2009.

It crashed in a thunderstorm en route to Paris from Rio de Janeiro.

Flight recorders are designed to resist the effects of impact, corrosion and pressure. Investigators declined to say Wednesday whether, without its protective housing, the data module - if found - would be sufficiently readable to advance the investigation.