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Official: Debris not from Air France crash

PARIS - France's transportation minister said Friday that French forces have found no evidence of an Airbus A330 airplane that vanished over the Atlantic and urged "extreme prudence" about suspected debris fished from the ocean.

Dominique Bussereau said he regretted that an announcement by Brazilian teams that they had recovered plane debris from Air France flight 447 turned out to be false.

Meanwhile, European planemaker Airbus sent an advisory to all operators of the A330 reminding them of how to handle the plane in conditions similar to those experienced by flight 447, which was an Airbus A330-200 version.

Bussereau said the search must continue and stressed that the priority is finding the flight recorders. The plane went down Sunday night with 228 people aboard.

Confusion broke out Thursday after the Brazilian Air Force said a helicopter plucked a cargo pallet from the sea that came from the plane, but six hours later said it was not from the Airbus.

"French authorities have been saying for several days that we have to be extremely prudent," Bussereau told France's RTL radio. "Our planes and naval ships have seen nothing."

He said it is "bad news" that the Brazilian teams were mistaken. "We would have preferred that it (the debris) had come from the plane and that we had some information," he said.

Airbus spokesman Justin Dubon said the planemaker sent a reminder of A330 operating procedures to airlines late Thursday after the French agency investigating the crash said the doomed flight had faced turbulent weather and inconsistency in the speed readings by different instruments. That meant "the air speed of the aircraft was unclear," Dubon said.

In such circumstances, flight crews should maintain thrust and pitch and -- if necessary -- level off the plane and start troubleshooting procedures as detailed in operating manuals, Dubon said.


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