UK experts examine MH17 data recorder

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iol pic wld_UKRAINE-CRISIS-_0722_11 REUTERS A pro-Russian separatist places black boxes belonging to Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on a desk, before their handover to Malaysian representatives, in Donetsk. Picture: Maxim Zmeyev

London -

British investigators have started examining the second black box from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 which was shot down over Ukraine, the transport ministry said on Thursday.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) in Farnborough, south-west of London, is looking at the flight data recorder, which records information from instruments on the plane.

On Wednesday AAIB experts downloaded “valid data” from the first black box, the cockpit voice recorder, which should give them hours of the pilots' conversations.

“They have started examining the Flight Data Recorder,” a Department for Transport spokesman told AFP on Thursday.

“The analysis of any data will be done by an international team led by the Dutch.”

The boxes - which are actually orange in colour - were delivered to Farnborough by the Dutch Safety Board (OVV), which is leading an international investigation into the crash in which 298 people died, 193 of them Dutch.

Pro-Russian rebels controlling the crash site handed the boxes over to Malaysian officials on Tuesday, following an international outcry over the treatment of the wreckage and the bodies of the victims.

The OVV said on Wednesday that the data from the cockpit voice recorder data “was successfully downloaded and contained valid data from the flight. The downloaded data have to be further analysed and investigated”.

If the second black box also contains “relevant information” then the data from both boxes will be combined, it said.

The OVV is co-ordinating investigation teams from eight different countries, including Russia.

Western governments say the evidence points to the Boeing 777 plane having been shot down with a missile by pro-Russian separatists. - Sapa-AFP



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