A debris field scattered across three miles (five kilometers) of open water marks the spot in the Atlantic Ocean where an Air France Airbus A330-200 went down with 228 people on board.
But until the plane's all-important black box recorders are recovered from the depths of the Atlantic, just what caused mishap and doomed Flight 447 will continue to haunt all of those concerned.
TERRORIST ATTACK NOT EXCLUDED
The reason for the crash remains unclear, with strong thunderstorms, lightning or a catastrophic combination of causes as possible theories
TRACE OF BLACK BOXES
Brazilian officials said the plane disappeared over the Atlantic somewhere between a point 186 miles (300 kilometers) northeast of their coastal city Natal and the Cape Verde islands off Africa.
The region is known as the "horse latitudes," where the tropics of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres mix, sometimes creating brutal thunderstorms that can rise to 55,000 feet (16,760 meters), higher than commercial jetliners can go.
KEY FACTORS TO CRASH
What caused the accident? Experts are at a loss to explain the crash.
The crew made no distress call before the crash but the plane's system sent an automatic message just before it disappeared, reporting lost cabin pressure and electrical failure.