Russia begins decoding downed warplane’s flight recorder

Moscow, Dec 18 (IANS) Russia on Friday began decoding the flight recorder of the Su-24 jet that was downed by Turkey, with the first set of data expected to be released on December 28.

An F-16 fighter jet of the Turkish Air Force shot down the Su-24 on November 24 for allegedly violating Turkish air space. Russia claimed the jet did not cross into Turkey.

The flight recorder was opened in a laboratory in the presence of experts from Russia, China and Britain, Xinhua news agency reported.

Although the defence ministry has invited 14 countries to participate in the investigation, many of them declined to join in.

Journalists could watch live pictures of the process in the hall of the Interstate Aviation Committee, a supervising body overseeing the management of civil aviation in the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The black box recorded the last 40 minutes of the flight, but three of the eight chips from the flight recorder have been damaged and will need to be x-rayed, Andrei Semenov, head of Russian military’s information and analytic department, said.

The ministry promised that further work on deciphering the flight recorder will be continued in the presence of international observers.

Russia claims that it has proof confirming that the Russian jet did not violate Turkish air space and posed no threat to the country, Russian Aerospace Forces Deputy Commander Sergei Dronov said.

“The information we have provided concerning the situation in the area has not been refuted by anyone, including Turkey,” claimed the officer.

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