In April, most of the Airbus jet was found, including the motors and some of the bodies. On April 27, we reported that the empty case was recovered after the Ile de Sein came in on the 26th from Senegal to assist in performing recovery operations in the current phase of Air France flight 447 project.
At that time, the Remora 6000 robot found the chassis of the CSMU but not the actual CSMU memory module, which (after the human remains) is the key prize wanted in this search, being the one thing that can shed light on what occurred on June 21 2009.
An hour ago (May 1, 2010) the news was released that the missing memory was located partially buried in the sand. The memory unit is now aboard the Ile de Sein.
BEA experts are cautiously optimistic about data recovery, and cite two years of water pressure as a disturbing factor.
In the search, the robot sends images up to the crew, who examines the transmissions for signs of the wreckage.
The official BEA statement is
“The investigation team localized and identified the memory unit from the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) at 10 h UTC this morning. It was raised and lifted on board the ship Ile de Sein by the Remora 6000 ROV at 16h40 UTC.”
Now the question remains if the data will be recoverable.
* images and information are from Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses