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Thu 24 Mar 2016 12:22 PM

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Black box data retrieved from FlyDubai flight FZ981

Fundraising campaign raises $54,400 so far for families of lost crew

Black box data retrieved from FlyDubai flight FZ981
A Flydubai passenger Boeing jet crashed early Saturday as it attempted to land in bad weather in southern Russia, killing all 62 people on board in the latest air disaster to hit the country. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Investigators have transcribed audio data retrieved from the cockpit voice recorders of Flydubai flight FZ981, according to state news agency WAM.

The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) confirmed that the black box data – considered crucial in helping to determine the cause of the crash last Saturday – has now been transcribed.

The aircraft missed the runway at Rostov-on-Don airport in south Russia on Saturday and crashed in poor weather conditions, killing all 62 people on board.

The GCAA said in a statement: “The AAIS (Air Accident Investigation Sector, UAE) along with the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board, USA), and their technical advisers continue to support the investigation team from the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), which is now in the process of analysing the available data from the flight recorders.”

GCAA director general Saif Mohamed Al Suwaidi added: “The harmonised efforts deployed by experts from IAC, AAIS, NTSB, FAA (Federal Aviation Administration, USA), and Boeing will be very helpful during the course of the investigation.”

The cockpit voice recorder group convened on Tuesday afternoon to start an analysis of the recordings.

Meanwhile the aircraft wreckage was moved to a secure area where another investigation group is currently carrying out an initial examination, WAM reported.

Ismail Al Hosani, assistant director-general of the Air Accident Investigation Sector, at the GCAA, said: “As of today [Wednesday], all of the wreckage has been collected from the accident site and transported to a hangar for initial examination.

“The wreckage will be sorted and any parts that may require forensic examination will be identified.”

Meanwhile, Flydubai confirmed it had retired the flight number FZ981 “as a mark of respect” – though flights to Rostov-on-Don resumed last night.

The airline said in a statement: “The flight from Dubai to Rostov-on-Don operated on 22 March as flight number FZ935 and will continue to operate as per the current schedule.”

A fundraising campaign to support the families of the flyDubai crew killed in Saturday’s crash has reportedly raised more than AED200,000 ($54,400).

According to 7Days, Dubai-based Flydubai Captain Sacha Khamnei and other supporters have set a target of more than AED500,000 ($136,000), to “provide all the support possible to the families of the lost crew at this tragic and difficult time”.

One donor, David Partington, a teacher from Dubai, said: “These families are all expats and will probably have lost the main breadwinner in their household.”

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