During the night of Sunday 31 May to Monday 1st June 2009, the Airbus A330-203 registered F-GZCP operated by Air France crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. The aeroplane had taken off at 22 h 29 to undertake scheduled flight AF 447 between Rio de Janeiro Galeão and Paris Charles de Gaulle. 12 crew members (3 flight crew, 9 cabin crew) and 216 passengers, from thirty-two nationalities, were on board. The last radio communication between the crew and the Brazilian ATC took place at 1 h 35. Between 2 h 10 and 2 h 15, a position message and 24 maintenance messages were transmitted by the ACARS system. On Monday 1st June 2009 at around 7 h 45, the BEA was alerted by the Air France Operations Coordination Centre.
After having established without doubt that the airplane had disappeared in international waters, and in accordance with Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation and to the French Civil Aviation Code (Book VII), the BEA, as Investigation Authority of the State of Registry of the aeroplane, instituted a safety investigation and a team was formed to conduct it.
In accordance with the provisions of Annex 13, Brazilian, American, British, German and Senegalese accredited representatives were associated with the investigation as the State of the engine manufacturer (NTSB) and because they were able to supply essential information to the investigation (CENIPA, ANAC) or because they provided assistance in the sea search phases (AAIB, BFU).