Iran to send UAI’s downed Flight PS752 black boxes to Ukraine

Iran agreed to send the black boxes of the downed Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 to Ukraine.  

Iranian officials have agreed to send the black boxes to Kyiv for analysis, Reuters reported on March 11, 2020. According to the publication, Iran’s civil aviation authority also invited other interested countries to participate in reading the data. 

Once the recorders are delivered, an international team of investigators is expected to examine the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) in order to conclude the investigation into the accident that claimed the lives of 176 people. 

In response, Canada, whose 63 citizens were on board the downed plane, welcomed Iran’s decision to transfer the recordings to Ukraine and to France if necessary, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs François-Philippe Champagne wrote in a post on social media, adding “We will continue to judge Iran by its actions.”

While it was previously unclear whether Iran would agree to send the boxes abroad,  Ukraine was seen as one of the two most realistic options to receive the Flight PS752 recorders. The other candidate was the Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA) ‒ French air accident investigation agency.

Doubts were if Iranian authorities could analyze the recorders themselves. For instance, in January 2020, Iranian Civil Aviation Authority’s official reportedly said that the organization had done everything it could, but lacked means to examine data on the flight recorders because the downed Boeing 737-800 was a “modern” airliner. 

Ukraine International Airlines’ Flight PS752, carrying 176 people onboard, crashed shortly after takeoff on January 8, 2020. The flight originated from Tehran International Airport, Iran, and was bound for Kyiv, Ukraine. 

Onboard the Boeing 737-800 were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians (including nine crew members), 10 Swedes, 4 Afghans, 3 Germans, and 3 British nationals, according to Vadym Prystaiko, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. None of them survived.

While Iran initially claimed the aircraft had suffered a “technical problem”, the country’s officials, including President Hassan Rouhani, eventually admitted that the Ukrainian airliner was shot down by the Iranian military

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