Fri, May 18, 2012
Aircraft Was On Demonstration Flight
Indonesian special forces have located the cockpit voice recorder from a Russian passenger jet that flew into the side of a volcano, killing 45 people. It is hoped the recording of the plane's veteran pilots could help explain what caused the accident. The instrument’s case was shattered and burned, and had contained both a voice recorder and a flight data recorder, but the latter device remains missing.
The Sukhoi Superjet 100, Russia's first new passenger jet model in two decades was being demonstrated for potential buyers when it flew into Mount Salak at an estimated 480 mph one week ago and exploded. Debris from the twin-engine jet covered the near-vertical flank of the long-dormant volcano. It took days for search teams to find the instrument, partly because it was so badly charred and hidden in heavy brush.
Bloomberg News reports that Gagah Prakoso, spokesman for the Search and Rescue agency said the box was actually painted orange, but the color was burned off in the crash, making it harder to find. It was found early Tuesday and given to investigators later that day. Indonesian experts, aided by their Russian colleagues, were analyzing the voice recorder in a lab in the capital, Jakarta, on Wednesday.
Indonesian authorities are hopeful they might be able to recover the final conversations between the pilot and co-pilot and air traffic control, but said there are no plans to make the transcripts public. (Photo Superjet 100 flight test aircraft provided by Sukhoi)
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