These aerostructures include sections of the aircraft fuselage, passenger and pilot floor, canopy, tail cone, engine acoustic panel, ramp, cargo door, gearbox, horizontal and vertical stabiliser
Hassan said he can also guess from photos of the crash site that the sudden drop began with the sudden separation of tail components (rudder, vertical stabiliser
, horizontal stabiliser).
"It is clear that this heat damage is remote from the area in which the aircraft main and APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) batteries are located and at this stage there is no evidence of a direct causal relationship." Television pictures showed burn marks on the top of the plane near the back, just in front of the vertical stabiliser
. The US Federal Aviation Administration said it had also sent an official to Britain to gather facts for its own regulatory body, the US National Transportation Safety Board.
Currently the Queretaro site produces the aft fuselage of the Global 5000 and Global 6000 jets and the Learjet 85 aircraft's major composite structures, including fuselage lay-up and sub-system installation, wiring harness fabrication and installation, wing assembly, and horizontal and vertical stabiliser
He added: "It showed this 14ft hole and there was no imprint from the wings, no imprint from the vertical stabiliser
and no imprint from the steel and titanium engines and I'm going what on Earth's going on here?"
The airline also discovered a crack last year in the vertical stabiliser
of one of its MA60s, say industry sources.
The most important piece recovered so far is the virtually intact vertical stabiliser
, which could give BEA, the French investigative agency, solid clues about what caused the crash.
Brazilian military officials refused to describe the large pieces of the plane they had found, but a video on the Brazilian air force website entitled Vertical Stabiliser
Found shows footage of the piece - which keeps the plane's nose from swinging from side to side - being located and tethered to a ship.
The tail section includes the vertical stabiliser
- which keeps the plane's nose from swinging back and forth - and the rudder, which generates and controls the side-to-side motion of an aircraft.