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Ukraine Welcomes Iranian Handover Of Flight Recorders As Data Extraction Begins

By RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service July 20, 2020

KYIV -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has welcomed Iran's handover to France of the flight recorders from a Ukrainian airliner that was downed shortly after taking off from Tehran on January 8.

French investigators have begun working on extracting data from the black boxes recovered from the Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) jet that was downed by a missile, killing all 176 people on board.

France's BEA accident investigation bureau said on July 20 that the cockpit voice recorder will be accessed first, and then the flight data recorder, in a process that is expected to take several days.

Iranian forces say they downed the Boeing 737 on January 8 after mistaking it for an incoming missile at a time of high tensions with the United States.

Iran later called it a "disastrous mistake" by forces who were on high alert.

Zelenskiy said Ukrainian experts would take part in decoding the black boxes, alongside air accident investigators from France, the United States, and Canada.

Iran agreed in June to send the black boxes to the BEA for analysis, ending a long dispute with Canada, Ukraine, and France over access to the data.

Many of the crash victims were Canadian citizens or permanent residents, or had Canada as their final destination.

Iran's Civil Aviation Organization last week issued an interim report blaming the tragedy on the misalignment of a radar system and lack of communication between the air-defense operator and his commanders.

With reporting by Reuters and AFP

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-welcomes -iranian-handover-of-flight-recorders-as- data-extraction-begins/30737368.html

Copyright (c) 2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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