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Black boxes of downed MH17 arrives in UK for examination

Last updated on: July 23, 2014 17:34 IST

The black boxes from the downed Malaysia Airlines in eastern Ukraine arrived in the UK on Wednesday for expert analysis by air accident investigators.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch said that the black boxes of Flight MH17 which crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17 had been delivered to its headquarters in Hampshire.

The AAIB experts were set to go through the information from the cockpit voice recorder, which should give them hours of pilots' conversations, as well as study the contents of the flight data recorder.

The AAIB will be able to send details of their findings to the Dutch authorities within 24 hours, giving experts in the Netherlands further information of the doomed Boeing 777 jet's last moments. They will attempt to download data from the recorders who are leading the investigation.

The passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur came down in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board, 193 of them Dutch citizens.

US officials say the plane was mistakenly shot down by pro-Russian separatists in the region.

Ukraine's government said in a statement had said that the black boxes were transferred to Britain under the observation of the United Nations' International Civil Aviation Organisation.

The statement said also said that the vital data recorders were flown out of Kiev following an agreement between Malaysian, Dutch and Ukrainian officials and representatives from the ICAO.

"Under the protocol it was determined that the objects called 'black boxes' were presented to the Ukrainian side but the Ukrainian side did not get involved with them and these objects did not remain under Ukrainian control for even one minute," the statement added.

The AAIB is responsible for investigating civil aircraft accidents and serious incidents in Britain.

It also provides assistance and expertise to the "international air accident community" to help improve aviation safety worldwide.

In airplanes there are two types of black boxes. They are flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder. The main purpose of the Cockpit Voice Recorder is, to record what the crew say and monitor any sounds that occur within the cockpit and the Flight data recorder records the many different operating functions of a plane all at once, such as the time, altitude, airspeed and direction the plane is heading.

For full coverage on the MH17 crash, click HERE.

Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said it was a normal procedure for black boxes to be sent for analysis to the nearest laboratory authorised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

Liow said this decision was taken after pro-Russian rebels controlling the crash site handed the boxes over to Malaysian officials following an agreement between Prime Minister Najib Razak and separatist commander Alexander Borodai.

“Following the agreement, Prime Minister Najib Razak brokered with rebel leaders (in eastern Ukraine), Malaysia has taken custody of flight MH17’s black boxes. As the PM said, they will be passed to the international investigation team for analysis,” he said.

Malaysia also called for a comprehensive investigation by international independent bodies into the crash.

In a strongly worded motion at a specially convened session of Parliament Najib called on all parties to work together to ensure investigations are completed immediately. “The House also demands that a comprehensive investigation be carried out so that those believed to be responsible for this crime against humanity through the shooting down of MH17 are immediately brought to justice,” Najib said.

Image: A Malaysian expert examines a black box belonging to Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 during its handover from pro-Russian separatists, in Donetsk. Photograph: Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters

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