2nd Black Box Recovered near Lao Air Crash Site
    2013-11-02 22:36:04     Xinhua       Web Editor: Liu Yuanhui
The second black box data flight recorder has been recovered from the wreckage of Lao Airlines flight QV301 which crashed into the Mekong on October 16, Yakua Lopangkao, director general of the Lao Civil Aviation Department said Saturday.

The aircraft, a France-made twin engine ATR 72-600, was carrying two black box units when it crashed in bad weather kilometers from its destination of Pakse International Airport in the south of Laos.

The unit recovered Friday is responsible for recording radio transmissions made to and from the plane as well as cockpit conversations and ambient sounds. The unit recovered on Wednesday is responsible for recording performance parameters and inputs sent to the aircraft's electronic systems. The data will provide officials with insight into the final tragic moments of flight QV301.

After Lao authorities have examined the units, the aircraft's manufacturer and the French aviation accident investigation agency will take the units back to France to analyze the data. Full analysis of the black box units' information could take up to a month.

Lopangkao previously said that the recovery efforts were made extremely difficult by the depth of the river and the strong wet- season current. The murky Mekong water offers almost zero visibility and a dangerous environment for recovery divers who are forced to navigate the riverbed by touch.

The flight took off from Lao capital Vientiane at 2:45 p.m. ( 0745 GMT) on October 16 and was scheduled to land at Pakse International Airport in Champassak province a little over an hour later. The aircraft hit the riverbank before coming to rest in the Mekong just 7 km from its destination. Officials believe the accident may have been caused by poor weather conditions in the wake of tropical storm Nari.

None of the 44 passengers and five crew of QV301 survived the crash. The captain of flight QV301 was an experienced pilot from Cambodia according to Lao Airlines President, Somphone Douangdara.
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