Aviation experts have begun examining the flight data recorders of the FlyDubai flight that crashed on Saturday in Russia. But there are conflicting reports as to whether any data can be recovered from the black boxes.
Aviation experts began examining the flight data boxes amid conflicting reports of the quality of the recorded material from the FlyDubai plane that crashed early Saturday at an airport in Rostov-on-Don, killing all 62 people on board.
Grainy video of what is supposed to be the plane shows a small ball of flame descending from the sky and then exploding into a giant fireball upon impact.
The American made Boeing 737-800, with French-made engines, was attempting a second landing when the plane went out of control and nosedived into the tarmac.
The Inter-State Aviation Committee issued a statement saying that the plane's data and voice recorders were heavily damaged in the crash.
But Sergei Zaiko, the deputy chairman of the committee, was quoted by Russian news agencies late Sunday as saying that the quality of material on the data recorder was high.
Experts from Russia, the United Arab Emirates and France were examining the black boxes in Moscow, according to the aviation commission.
Airport remains closed
Meanwhile, hundreds of people flocked to the airport on Sunday, the region's largest, to lay flowers and leave candles and toys in memory of the dead. Rostov-on-Don is 600 miles (about 950 kilometers) south of Moscow, and about 70 miles east of the Ukrainian border.
The airport remained closed on Sunday as workers repaired the runway, which was left with a big crater as a result of the plane's impact. But officials say they expect to reopen on Monday.
FlyDubai's chief executive, Ghaith al-Ghaith said Sunday that the airline would resume flights into the city once the airport opens, expressing confidence in the Russian authorities.
He also said the downed plane had enough fuel, even though it had been circling for a prolonged period. He defended the decision to try to land, noting that the airport had remained open.
But according to news agency dpa, while the FlyDubai fight circled over Rostov-on-Don two other planes - one belonging to Russia's Aeroflot and another to Czech Airlines - were diverted to the airport in Krasnodar 155 miles away.
bik/cmk (AP, Reuters)