Indonesia finds crashed Sukhoi's second black box

Indonesian searchers have found the second "black box" of a new Russian passenger jet three weeks after it crashed into a mountain, killing all 45 aboard, an official said Thursday.

"We found the flight data recorder on Wednesday. It seems to be intact," search operation chief Ketut Purwa told AFP. The other black box, the cockpit data recorder, was found on May 16.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 crashed into the 7,200-foot (2,200-metre) Mount Salak in western Java on May 9, during what was supposed to be a 40-minute exhibition flight to showcase the new jet to prospective buyers.

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A search team that retrieved body parts strewn over the mountains and in a deep ravine had struggled since the crash to locate the flight data recorder, which typically emits a signal. It is unclear why it took so long to find it.

The box, which records instructions sent by electronic systems on an aircraft, was being handed Thursday to Indonesian air safety investigators. The cockpit data recorder is still under analysis in Indonesia.

The twin-engine jet is Russia's first post-Soviet civilian aircraft and was to be the new mascot for the nation's aviation industry. It made its first commercial flight last year.

Questions are swirling about why the plane descended to a dangerously low altitude in mountainous terrain and then crashed into Salak, a dormant volcano, with an experienced pilot at the helm.

A Russian fact-finding committee is investigating possible violations of safety standards. A separate investigation is being held in Indonesia.

by Kerry Sheridan © 2012 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: May 31, 2012