Black box of downed Russian Su-24M jet damaged

The black box of Russia’s Su-24M jet downed over Syria is damaged, and deciphering will be held with help of special equipment, Deputy Commander of Russian Aerospace Defense Forces Sergey Dronov told journalists on Friday.

“Considering the fact that the box is damaged, deciphering flight data will be held with use of special equipment. Until now no work has been done with the black box. It is in the same condition as it was found at the crash site,” Dronov said.

According to Dronov, specialists from China and Great Britain have agreed to take part in the investigation of the death of the Su-24M pilot.

“In order to ensure maximal transparency and openness, we addressed foreign experts from 14 countries with an invitation to take part in the work [investigation] as observers. However, many specialists refused to participate in the investigation citing various reasons, excluding only Mr Liu Chang Wei from China and Mr Jonathan Gillespie from the United Kingdom,” Dronov said.

US citizens will also take part in the investigation of the incident.

“The president and vice president of the international society of investigating air accidents, US citizens Del Gandio and Ron Schleed, are taking part in this effort,” Dronov said.

The Russian side is represented by Oleg Kalida, the head of flights safety service of Moscow’s helicopter plant and a veteran pilot who took part in combat operations of Su-24 jet.

Head of the informational and analytical department of the Defense Ministry flight safety service Andrey Semenov said the black box of the downed bomber may have been damaged by the missile that downed it.

“The flight recorder is stationed in the tail section [of the plane], near keels,” Semenov said commenting on the process of opening the black box and removing the memory module.

“The tail section has most likely been affected by a missile in addition to the impact of collision with the ground,” he added.

According to Semenov, the memory unit removed from the black box was damaged.

“It was decided to carry out an X-ray inspection which will allow to establish damages of each of 16 chipsets,” Semenov said adding that the procedure will be carried out in a laboratory.

“On the top plate of eight shipsets, there are obvious damages with scraps which most likely means that there is no flight data there,” he added.

The deputy head of flights safety service of Russia’s Armed Forces has said the analysis of flight data recorder of the Russian bomber will begin on Saturday.

“Tomorrow, on December 19, an analysis and processing of the flight data will be carried out,” Sergey Baynetov said, adding that the results will be unveiled on Monday.

The results will be presented on December 21.