Flight Recorders From FlyDubai Jet That Crashed in Russia are ‘Significantly Damaged’

Russian Emergency Ministry rescuers examine the wreckage of a crashed airplane at the Rostov-on-Don airport on March 20, 2016.   Investigators in southern Russia on March 20 were probing the causes of a flydubai passenger jet crash that killed all 62 people on board, as emergency workers at the site wrapped up the salvage operation. Investigators confirmed that all 55 passengers and seven crew -- including nine different nationalities, with 45 coming from Russia -- died instantly and launched a criminal probe into whether pilot error, a technical fault or poor weather was to blame. (PHOTO CREDIT: Vasily Maximov/AFP/Getty Images)
Russian Emergency Ministry rescuers examine the wreckage of a crashed airplane at the Rostov-on-Don airport on March 20, 2016.
Investigators in southern Russia on March 20 were probing the causes of a flydubai passenger jet crash that killed all 62 people on board, as emergency workers at the site wrapped up the salvage operation. Investigators confirmed that all 55 passengers and seven crew — including nine different nationalities, with 45 coming from Russia — died instantly and launched a criminal probe into whether pilot error, a technical fault or poor weather was to blame. (PHOTO CREDIT: Vasily Maximov/AFP/Getty Images)

Investigators working to extract data from flight recorders from a flydubai jet that crashed in Russia say they are “significantly damaged.”

Flight FZ981 from the United Arab Emirates was making its second attempt to land in Rostov-on-Don early Saturday when it crashed about 250 meters (800 feet) from a runway, killing all 62 people on board.

The flydubai plane had aborted an initial scheduled landing and circled for more than two hours in poor weather conditions above Rostov-on-Don airport.

Russian state media reported strong winds and poor visibility at the time.

The search operation at the crash site ended Sunday, with investigators moving on to the cause of the accident and identification of bodies, officials said.

Specialists from Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee, the United Arab Emirates and France had started inspecting the damaged flight recorders, opening and extracting the memory modules from the devices in preparation for downloading the data, the IAC said in a statement.

The preparation for the data extraction was expected to be completed Sunday, it said.

Identifying bodies
Russia’s Minister of Transport Maxim Sokolov announced the end of the airport search operation Sunday, government news agency Tass reported.

The ministry will focus on helping Russia’s investigative committee, interstate aviation committee, insurers and Boeing representatives, Deputy Emergencies Minister Leonid Belyaev said.

“We shall also continue studying the plane’s fragments to clear out reasons of the crash, will continue working on identification of the bodies, on collecting the DNA, and working with the families of the victims,” Tass quoted him as saying.

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SOURCE: CNN, Susannah Cullinane