Investigators Have Trouble Deciphering Crashed Dubai Plane’s Data

Investigators are having trouble deciphering data from the black boxes of the flight that crashed in Russia.

2 min read
File photo of the crashed plane in Dubai. (Photo: AP)

Russian investigators say they can not immediately read data from the flight recorders of a Dubai plane that crashed in southern Russia last week, killing all 62 on board.

Sergei Zaiko, deputy chairman of the Inter-State Aviation Committee which is investigating the crash, told Russian television on Monday that the black boxes have been damaged to the point that experts cannot immediately read the data. He said, however, that they had copied data from the data recorder and have yet to do that for the voice recorder. Once it’s done, the experts will see if they can extract the data.

FlyDubai’s Boeing 737-800 nosedived and exploded in a giant fireball before dawn on Saturday on the runway of Rostov-on-Don after trying to land for the second time in strong winds.

That process could take weeks, officials have said.


Russian media say the two main theories under consideration by investigators, who have opened a criminal investigation into the tragedy, are possible pilot error or a technical failure.

Flydubai’s CEO Ghaith al-Ghaith said on Saturday it was too early to determine why the plane, which was just over five years old, crashed.

One of the big unanswered questions is why the plane attempted to land in what were reported to be fiercely strong winds and did not divert to a nearby airport. An Aeroflot plane had earlier made several aborted landing attempts and been diverted.

Investigators are likely to focus, among other issues, on how the decision to land was reached, why the plane circled above the airport in a holding pattern for over two hours and on the precise thinking of the pilots and the airport’s landing tower.

(With agency inputs)

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