A T-tail configuration, which consists of a vertical stabiliser
and a rudder, attaches the fuselage.
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).
Television pictures showed burn marks on the top of the plane near the back, just in front of the vertical stabiliser
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.