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Results from CAL crash black box analysis expected next week.

TAIPEI, June 19 Kyodo

Salvage workers Wednesday managed to recover the second flight recorder of a China Airlines (CAL) Boeing 747-200 jetliner that crashed into the Taiwan Strait last month, killing all 225 people aboard.

Kay Yong, managing director of Taiwan's Aviation Safety Council, said the black box containing the flight data recorder was retrieved Wednesday morning from the seabed north of the Penghu Islands by divers from a Singaporean salvaging company after a Taiwan Navy minesweeper pinpointed its exact location Tuesday.

He said the flight data recorder will be sent back from Penghu Island to Taipei for processing later in the day together with the cockpit voice recorder, which was retrieved from the strait Tuesday.

Yong said that analyzing the two recorders' information, which is seen as crucial in determining the probable cause of the fatal accident, will take at least four to five days.

The cockpit voice recorder records radio transmissions and sounds inside the cockpit such as the voices of the cockpit crew and engine noise.

The flight data recorder monitors parameters such as altitude, airspeed and the heading of the plane.

So far, radar and satellite data suggest that the 22-year-old plane broke into four major parts in midair at an altitude of more than 9,000 meters before plunging into the sea, though the cause remains unknown.

Radar provided by China's civil aviation authorities indicated that flight CI611 was still on its ascent to its cruising altitude less than half an hour into its flight from Taipei to Hong Kong when it suddenly lost altitude and speed before pulling up again and suddenly disappearing from the screen.

Yong's independent council is spearheading the probe into the cause of the crash in cooperation with U.S. aviation experts and representatives from the U.S.-based makers of the plane and its engines.

A total of 130 bodies have been found so far, while the remaining 95 remain missing and are believed trapped in the submerged parts of the wrecked plane.
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Japan Transportation Scan
Date:Jun 24, 2002
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