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Divers Recover ’Black Boxes’ Of Crashed Jet Off Lebanese Coast

By Christopher Szabo     Feb 7, 2010 in World
Beirut - Divers have recovered the flight recorders of the Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed off Lebanon last month, killing all 90 people on board. The ”black boxes” have been taken to a naval base for investigation.
Voice of America (VOA) said Lebanese marine commandos retrieved the flight and data recorders of the Boeing 737 Sunday. Search teams located the latest pieces of the plane’s wreckage just 45 meters (138 feet) below the Mediterranean Sea south of Beirut.
The recorders have been taken to a Lebanese naval base in the capital and are to be handed over to a committee investigating the crash.
The Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737, on a routine flight from Beirut to the country’s capital, Addis Ababa, crashed shortly after take-off. The airliner broke apart in mid-air, burst into flames and crashed into the sea. No survivors were found and only 15 bodies have so far been recovered.
Lebanon’s Transportation Minister, Ghazi Aridi, said the aircraft abruptly changed course following take-off and added the pilot did not respond to appeals to correct his course.
VOA said Lebanese and Ethiopian officials have cautioned against blaming the pilot for the disaster until the information on the in-flight recorders has been reviewed.
The report pointed out that Ethiopian Airlines was considered one of Africa’s best carriers. The airline operates regular flights to Lebanon where many Ethiopians work.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Press (CP) said analyzing the date stored in the ”black box” was critical to discovering the cause of the crash. The report said passenger jets carried two black boxes, a data flight recorder, which records information on the aircraft’s movements, such as direction changes, and the cockpit voice recorder, which helps investigators understand what the crew said in the crucial minutes before a crash.
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