PARIS (AP) -- A French accident investigator says it's unclear whether the chief pilot of Air France Flight 447 was at the controls when the plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean.
The head of France's accident investigation agency also says he is "not optimistic" that rescuers will recover the plane's black boxes, which are probably miles underwater.
Pilots on long-haul flights often take turns at the controls to remain alert. Asked whether the chief pilot was in the cockpit when the plane went down, the chief investigator told a news conference in France that there was no confirmed information either way.
He noted, "We don't even know the exact time of the accident."
He also told reporters there were no indications of a problem with the plane before it left Rio de Janeiro on Sunday night en route to Paris.