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Iran seeks help reading plane's black boxes amid pressure to hand them over

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Iran seeks help reading plane's black boxes amid pressure to hand them over

By Alexander Cornwell, Babak Dehghanpisheh

 

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FILE PHOTO: Soldiers carry a coffin containing the remains of one of the eleven Ukrainian victims of the Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 plane disaster during a memorial ceremony at the Boryspil International Airport, outside Kiev, Ukraine January 19, 2020. Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

 

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran has asked the U.S. and French authorities for equipment to download information from black boxes on a downed Ukrainian airliner, a request that will add to international frustration at Tehran’s failure to send the recorders abroad for analysis.

 

Canada, 57 of whose citizens were among the 176 people killed in the crash, has said France should handle the flight data and voice recorders as one of the few nations with the ability to analyse the information.

 

Kiev has repeatedly called for Iran to return the black boxes from the U.S.-built Boeing 737 flown by Ukraine International Airlines that was shot down in error on Jan. 8.

 

Tehran, already embroiled in a long-running standoff with the United States over its nuclear programme that briefly erupted into tit-for-tat military strikes this month, has given mixed signals about whether it would hand over the recorders.

 

A further delay in sending them abroad will add to international pressure on Iran, whose military has said it shot the plane down by mistake in the tense hours after Iran launched missiles at U.S. targets in Iraq.

 

Iran, which took several days to admit its role in bringing down the plane and faced street protests at home as a result, launched its missiles at U.S. targets in response to a U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian commander on Jan. 3.

 

“If the appropriate supplies and equipment are provided, the information can be taken out and reconstructed in a short period of time,” Iran’s Civil Aviation Organisation said in its second preliminary report on the plane disaster.

 

Its initial report was released just 24 hours after the incident, before Iran’s military acknowledged its role.

 

A list of equipment Iran needs has been sent to French accident agency BEA and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, the Iranian aviation body said.

 

‘MAXIMUM PRESSURE’

 

“Until now, these countries have not given a positive response to sending the equipment to (Iran),” it said, adding that two surface-to-air TOR-M1 missiles had been launched minutes after the Ukrainian plane took off from Tehran.

 

The aviation body said it did not have the equipment needed to download information from the model of recorders on the three-year-old Boeing 737.

 

Iran has for years faced U.S. sanctions that limited its ability to purchase modern planes and buy products with U.S. technology. Many passenger planes used in Iran are decades old.

 

Under Tehran’s 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers, Iran received sanctions relief in return for curbing its nuclear work. But Washington reimposed U.S. sanctions after withdrawing from the pact in 2018, a move that led to the steady escalation of tension in recent months between the United States and Iran.

 

Responding to U.S. President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign that is designed to shut off Tehran’s vital oil exports, Iran has been scaling back on its commitments to the nuclear accord.

 

After Tehran’s latest move this month to scrap limits on uranium enrichment, a process that can make material for nuclear warheads although Iran denies any such aim, Britain, France and Germany triggered the nuclear pact’s dispute mechanism.

 

Launching the mechanism starts a diplomatic process that could lead to reimposing U.N. sanctions on Iran.

 

European capitals say they want to save the deal but have also suggested it may be time for a broader pact, in line with Trump’s call for a deal that would go beyond Iran’s nuclear work and include its missile programme and activities in the region.

 

Iran says it will not negotiate with sanctions in place.

 

The Iranian general killed in the U.S. drone strike, Qassem Soleimani, was responsible for building up a network of militias that created an arc of Iranian influence across the Middle East.

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-01-21

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My former Job was assisting the airlines doing this exact thing. Good to do occasionally for maintenance reasons. It takes proprietary hardware and software to download the flight/voice recorder data. Well documented process, but not easy to do on a burned up or damaged box.

 

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4 hours ago, Megascott said:

My former Job was assisting the airlines doing this exact thing. Good to do occasionally for maintenance reasons. It takes proprietary hardware and software to download the flight/voice recorder data. Well documented process, but not easy to do on a burned up or damaged box.

 

What is the reason downloading the data requires proprietary hw and sw?

 

Is this commercial reason or is there fear that if others can download the data, it can be tampered? If that's the case, then the data can be tampered by the parties, who are able to read the data.

 

Are there better solutions available, where the data can be signed in a way, that the data can be released out to the public domain, with ability to check that the data is authentic?

 

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Might as well give them to the appropriate organization have it out in the open and earn what you can in the interest of openness in this tragic incident 

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okay okay, yes we need help to open the black box 

image.jpeg.19c707906ccd82ef410f2ca1140672c9.jpeg

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Imagine the world we could live in if we took away all forms of superstition.

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There is an ugly truth behind it. No wonder they refuse to hand it over. 
Perhaps the plane was called to get back to airport right after it took off, but refused by the pilot. 

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16 hours ago, anterian said:

what possible additional information is needed

A possible scenario:

Shot the plane after pilot refused to get back to the airport. (Perhaps there was a passenger/passengers who was/were wanted by them).
1st missile warned the pilot and tried to go back, but 2nd missile caused the crash while it was trying to go back to the airport. 
The black box is the key (all communications recorded) No wonder they refuse to hand it over to France. 

Edited by The Theory
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7 minutes ago, The Theory said:

A possible scenario:

Shot the plane after pilot refused to get back to the airport. (Perhaps there was someone who was wanted by them).
1st missile warned the pilot and tried to go back, but 2nd missile caused the crash while it was trying to go back to the airport. 
The black box is the key. No wonder they refuse to hand it over to France. 

If you had seen the latest video the NYT had received you could see there are 2 missile strikes. There was no warning, don't you think the US & Israel would have been monitoring commercial radio traffic?.

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56 minutes ago, sandrabbit said:

don't you think the US & Israel would have been monitoring commercial radio traffic?.

Probably not, the range of VHF radio would probably not extend to even 100 miles at low altitude, and the only practical way to listen in was either a covert listening station and anyone even suspected operating such a station would be toast if caught, maybe satellites but they would have to be nearly overhead at the right time, again maybe possible to from a reconnaissance aircraft outside Iran's territory, but there again such planes and satellites would probably be monitoring military frequencies.

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1 hour ago, sandrabbit said:

If you had seen the latest video the NYT had received you could see there are 2 missile strikes. There was no warning, don't you think the US & Israel would have been monitoring commercial radio traffic?.

Do for any query about communications between aircraft and ground- it (along with all other unrelated comms) are recorded 24/7 via Air Traffic control. That there isn't any recorded for this aircraft would be an impossibility,  outside of Intent... 

Edited by tifino

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I find it scary that the guys on the Forum here have not really shown empathy for the dead, but have come up with a shed load of conspiracy theories. I hope you have not been directly or indirectly affected by this incident.

 

Either: send the cockpit voice recorder and flight recorders to somewhere they can be read and properly interpreted, or ship the equipment and specialists to where the boxes are.

In the name of humanity, get this sorted. It's been too long already.

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