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2 Air France Flight Crew Bodies Identified

Air France says the bodies of two crew members have been recovered from the crash of the passenger jet that plunged into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil.

Air France CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon issued a statement Thursday saying the bodies of the flight captain and a flight attendant have been identified.  He expressed his condolences to the families on behalf of the airline.

Flight 447 disappeared from radar over the Atlantic Ocean on May 31.  The plane, with 228 people aboard, was en route to Paris from Rio de Janeiro.  So far 50 bodies - along with hundreds of pieces of debris - have been recovered.  Eleven victims have been identified.

Last week, the airline announced it will pay an advance of about $24,000 to the families of each victim of the crash.

Gourgeon said last week the company's lawyers are in touch with the families to put the payments in process.  He did not suggest that the compensation means an admission of guilt on the part of the airline.

The CEO also said a memorial service for the 228 victims is being planned.

Investigators have not determined the cause of the crash and are still searching for the flight data recorders.

The investigation has focused on the possibility that icing on the external speed sensors caused incorrect airspeed readings in the cockpit, which could have led the crew to fly dangerously fast or slow.

Air France has since replaced the sensors on its entire fleet of long-haul A330 and A340 planes.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP. 

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