Iran says black boxes show pilots alive after missile hit Ukraine jet

Iran says black boxes show pilots alive after missile hit Ukraine jet
Iran said the pilots onboard the downed Ukraine jet were still alive after the first of two missiles hit the plane, according to date from the black boxes.
2 min read
All 176 people onboard the flight were killed [Getty]
The black boxes of a Ukrainian airliner mistakenly downed in Tehran have revealed the pilots were still alive after the first of two missiles hit the plane, Iranian officials said on Sunday.

Flight 752, a Ukraine International Airlines passenger jet, crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran's main airport on January 8.

Iran admitted days later that its forces accidentally shot down the Kiev-bound Boeing 737-800 aircraft, killing all 176 people on board.

Tehran's air defences had been on high alert at the time in case the US retaliated against Iranian strikes hours earlier on American troops stationed in Iraq.

The head of Iran's civil aviation authority on Sunday revealed for the first time what was on the black boxes, which had been sent to France for analysis.

Touraj Dehghani Zanganeh said that the cockpit voice recorder registered a conversation between the pilot, co-pilot and an instructor between the two blasts.

Read also: Iran says ready to pay compensation for Ukrainian plane crash

"Up to 19 seconds after the first missile exploded in the vicinity of the aircraft, (they) noticed abnormal conditions and were in control of the aircraft until the last moment," he said, quoted by state television's website.

"The instructor indicates that the aircraft has an electronic problem and the auxiliary power has been activated," he said.

"The pilots were notified that both engines of the aircraft were on."

The black boxes stopped working 19 seconds after the first explosion, making it impossible to retrieve data on the impact of the second missile, he said.

Analysis on the "effect of the second missile cannot be obtained from the black boxes," said Zanganeh.

Iran, which has no means of decoding the black boxes, sent them to France for analysis in mid-July, nearly six months after the disaster.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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