Investigators have found one of flight data recorders of the Russian military aircraft that crashed in the Black Sea. The black box was found 1,600 metres away from the shore, the Russian defence ministry told a news agency. It will be sent to Moscow later on Tuesday for analysis, reported Reuters.
Another report said investigators found the data recorder in “good condition”. They also said that the location of the second black box had been identified, according to BBC. Earlier, Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov had said it would be a challenge to locate the flight recorders as the devices did not have radio beacons.
The black box has information that could help investigators determine what caused the crash. A person close to the investigation told another Russian news agency that the military aircraft may have been overloaded. “Witness accounts and other objective data obtained during the investigation suggest the plane was unable to gain height and for some reason – possibly overloading or a technical fault – crashed into the sea,” said the official who did not want to be named. Earlier, Transport Minister Sokolov had said that a pilot error or possible technical fault most likely caused the Russian military plane to crash into the Black Sea.
Investigators have also found “a further five fragments of the plane”, said the Defence Ministry. These included pieces of fuselage and engine fragments. The search for the bodies continue. Remains of only 16 of the 92 people who died have been found so far, reported BBC.
All of this comes a day after the main body of the crashed plane was found in the Black Sea and rescue teams also recovered 11 bodies and 154 “fragments” of bodies. The bodies have been flown to Moscow to be identified.
On December 25, the plane with 92 people on board, including journalists, military staff, musicians from the Alexandrov Ensemble and an official army choir of the Russian armed forces, went off the radar soon after taking off from Sochi. The Tu-154 plane did not check in with air traffic control at its scheduled time of 5.40 am (local), after taking off at 5.20 am. The plane was flying over the Black Sea when it disappeared. The flight, which was classified as not being civilian, was heading to Latakia, Syria.