Lebanon hands over ET-409 black box to France

ADDIS ABABA (PANA) — Lebanon will hand over the recovered Flight Data Recorder (Black Box) of the crashed Ethiopian Airlines jet, ET 409, to the French authorities for investigations, Ethiopian Airlines Chief Executive Girma Wake said on Sunday.

‘The flight data recorder has been recovered. The search crews are in the process of retrieving the cockpit voice recorder. Once they are retrieved, they will be sealed and taken to France for decoding,’ the Ethiopian Airlines CEO told PANA by phone.

The Ethiopian Airlines plane with 90 people on board crashed off the coast of Lebanon on 25 January, shortly after take-off. The search crews located the main parts of the aircraft’s rear wings on Sunday.

Mr Wake said the Lebanese authorities had decided the flight data recorder would be handed over to the French authorities for â~decoding.’

‘It will be read in the presence of the Ethiopian authorities, the Lebanese and the representatives of the Boeing Corporation of US,’ Mr Wake said.

The flight data recorder will tell the investigators the possible causes of the crash.

It will indicate the exact speed at which the jet went down and could also tell if any instruments malfunctioned after take-off.

The cockpit voice recorder, which has not been retrieved, will tell the investigators the exact details of the conversations between the pilot and the airport control tower.

The aircraft, a Boeing 737-800, was last checked in December, 2009 and proved to be fit to fly.

France and Canada have been best known for the decoding of flight data and cockpit data recorders. The French are known to have pioneered the introduction of the flight data recorders in air accident investigations.