The Telegraph quoted investigators as saying that the Airbus 'descended vertically' and dropped 35,000 feet in a matter of seconds, hitting the water in its exact flying position.
The details of the last moments of Flight AF 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on Jun 1 were disclosed in an official report into the disaster released in the French capital. The report also found that the plane had not broken up in mid-air, as had initially been thought.
Alain Bouillard, the chief accident investigator said, "The plane was not destroyed while in flight. It appears to have hit the surface of the water in its flying position with a strong vertical acceleration."
Bouillard said uninflated life jackets were found all over the crash scene in the Atlantic soon after the crash.
The Airbus A330-200 went down within 930 miles off Brazil's mainland and far from radar coverage. Bouillard also said the plane's defective airspeed sensors were a 'factor but not the cause' of the crash.