Russia: FlyDubai black boxes badly damaged

2016-03-20 16:22
People comfort each other as they mourn for the victims of the crashed FlyDubai plane at the Rostov-on-Don airport. (AP Photo)

People comfort each other as they mourn for the victims of the crashed FlyDubai plane at the Rostov-on-Don airport. (AP Photo)

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Rostov-on-Don - Aviation experts on Sunday began examining the black boxes from the FlyDubai flight that crashed amid high winds at an airport in southern Russia, but said the cockpit voice and data recorders were badly damaged.

FlyDubai's Boeing 737-800 from Dubai nosedived and exploded in a giant fireball before dawn on Saturday after trying to land for a second time in strong winds in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don. FlyDubai confirmed all 62 people on the plane were killed. Most of the passengers were Russian.

Several planes had trouble landing at the airport at the time of the crash.

Sergei Zaiko, deputy chair of the Inter-State Aviation Committee, told Russia's Channel One that experts on Sunday were looking at the data recorders, which were delivered to Moscow earlier in the day. But the committee that investigates plane crashes in much of the former Soviet Union said in a statement they had been badly damaged and it was not immediately clear what, if any, data could be retrieved.

The black boxes were being viewed by experts from Russia, the United Arab Emirates, France and the US, since the American-made Boeing plane had French-made engines.

At Rostov-on-Don, hundreds of people flocked on Sunday to the airport, the region's largest, to lay flowers and leave candles and toys in memory of the dead. 

Closed-circuit TV footage showed the plane going down at a steep angle and exploding. The powerful explosion left a big crater in the runway and pulverised the plane and passengers' remains.

FlyDubai's chief executive Ghaith al-Ghaith said on Sunday the plane had enough fuel to maintain its holding pattern, which reportedly went on for two hours. He expressed confidence in Russian authorities and said the carrier intends to resume flights to the airport once it reopens.

Read more on:    united arab emirates  |  russia  |  air crashes

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