Cockpit voice recorder retrieved from wreck of Kenya Airways Flight 507

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

A Kenya Airways Boeing 737.

A search team has found the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) from the wreckage of Kenya Airways Flight 507. The plane, a Boeing 737-800, crashed in Cameroon on May 5, killing all 114 on board.

The aircraft's flight data recorder, which records details of what happened to the plane, had previously been located and analysed in Canada. Kenyan authorities had specifically requested that it had been analysed there instead of Europe or the United States, saying that this was preferable due to ongoing strained relations between Boeing and Airbus, and due to the bilingual nature of Canada helping to ease communication between Kenya and Cameroon. Preliminary analysis had found no evidence of mechanical failure. Kenya Airways CEO Titus Naikuni said as part of a statement that Camaroonian authorities were preparing to send the voice recorder to Canada also.

So far, the investigation has determined that after reaching an altitude of 3,000 feet shortly after take-off, the plane nose-dived sharply at 45 degrees for thus far undetermined reasons. The CVR analysis is expected to help the investigation to progress as it will allow investigators to analyse the final conversations of the pilots both between themselves and with air traffic control. Authorities have warned that the investigation and final report may take over a year.

On Tuesday, Kenya Airways agreed on interim compensation payments of over 1.9 million shillings to the families of the crash victims.

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