Sunday, February 07, 2010

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 flight data recorder recovered

by B. N. Sullivan

Ethiopian AirlinesThere are some new developments regarding the investigation of the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 409, the Boeing 737-800 aircraft that was lost shortly after taking off from Beirut on January 25, 2010. Most importantly, the aircraft's flight data recorder (FDR) has been recovered, and has been sent to France for analysis.

Yesterday, Lebanon's Transportation and Public Works Minister Ghazi Aridi announced that a part of the tail section of the aircraft was located by a search vessel in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of a Naameh. Mr. Aridi told the press that the newly discovered wreckage, which was found at a depth of about 45 meters (150 ft), was between 10 and 20 meters in length. Early this morning, divers were able to recover the FDR. The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) has been located, but has not yet been recovered.

The remains of eight more victims who were lost in the accident also have been recovered. According to Reuters, 23 bodies have been recovered to date. The crash of Flight ET 409 claimed the lives of 90 people.

Some wreckage from the Ethiopian Airlines plane also was discovered on the shoreline of Syria, near the port city of Latakia. Syrian authorities have said they will hand over the wreckage to the Lebanese authorities.

UPDATE Feb. 10, 2010: is reporting that divers have recovered part of the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) from the Flight ET 409 crash site. Specifically, "the recorder's chassis has been found but the cylindrical memory unit, and its attached locator beacon, are missing."

Lebanese officials say that recovery personnel are continuing to search for the missing parts.

UPDATE Feb. 16, 2010: Lebanese officials announced that the missing memory unit from the Flight ET 409 cockpit voice recorder has now been recovered from the sea by military divers. The device has been sent to France for analysis.

RELATED: Click here to view  all posts about Ethiopian Airlines Flt 409 on Aircrew Buzz.