Tue, May 23, 2006
Flight Data Recorder May Be Nearby
On Monday, Russian search crews
recovered the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) from the Armavia A320
that went down in the Black Sea almost three weeks ago.
Using a remote diving vehicle with a robotic arm, workers
removed a 1 1/2 inch-thick layer of silt -- that had hidden the CVR
nearly 1,640 feet beneath the surface -- before removing the
recording device from the sea floor.
Authorities told local media that the CVR was damaged in the
crash, and may also have suffered further damage while buried under
the silt -- but they expressed optimism that the recorder would
still reveal information "very important to investigators."
"I think that what happened would be revealed," said Tatyana
Anodina, head of the Interstate Aviation Committee, on the chances
the recorders will help determine the cause of the accident.
Officials hope the recorders will shed some definite light into
what brought down the
Airbus jet over the Black Sea May 3, as it was on approach
to land at the Russian resort town of Sochi in heavy rain and poor
visibility. The accident killed all 113 onboard.
Weather is seen by many as a likely factor in the accident --
but speculation on what caused the crash has run the gambit from a
terrorist attack, to pilot and/or controller error, to the
possibility that drunken passengers could have played a role in
bringing the plane down.
Russian officials also stated they believe the plane's flight
data recorder may be within a 15-foot radius from where the CVR was
found -- also buried under silt on the sea floor.
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