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Cape Cod Team Again Searching For Downed Plane Off Brazil

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Closeup of some of the first wreckage pieces and objects of the Air France A330 aircraft, flight AF447 lost in midflight over the Atlantic ocean June 1st and recovered from the sea, at the airbase hangar, in Recife, northeastern Brazil, on June 12, 2009. The Whether or not the black boxes from Air France flight 447 are found, the crash has shown that new technology is needed to record a flight's last moments in real-time, an aviation expert argues. AFP PHOTO/Mauricio LIMA (Photo credit should read MAURICIO LIMA/AFP/Getty Images)

Closeup of some of the first wreckage pieces and objects of the Air France A330 aircraft, flight AF447 lost in midflight over the Atlantic ocean June 1st and recovered from the sea, at the airbase hangar, in Recife, northeastern Brazil, on June 12, 2009. The Whether or not the black boxes from Air France flight 447 are found, the crash has shown that new technology is needed to record a flight’s last moments in real-time, an aviation expert argues. AFP PHOTO/Mauricio LIMA (Photo credit should read MAURICIO LIMA/AFP/Getty Images)

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FALMOUTH (AP) – Ocean researchers on Cape Cod are again teaming with the French in a fourth search for an airliner downed in the sea during a 2009 storm.

The Air France plane with 228 people on board crashed hundreds of miles off northeastern Brazil. The plane and its flight recorders haven’t been found, and the crash’s cause remains undetermined.

Discovering the cause took on new importance this month when a French judge filed preliminary manslaughter charges against Air France and plane manufacturer, Airbus.

On Tuesday, researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Falmouth joined French authorities in the latest search, scheduled to extend to July.

Searchers will use three autonomous underwater search vehicles, which can stay underwater up to 20 hours while using sonar to scan a rugged area, called the Mid-Ocean Ridge.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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