x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Black box of crashed military jet located

Two pilots who ejected from a military plane that crashed near the Palm Deira are recovering from their injuries, as an investigation into the cause of the accident continues.

DUBAI // The "black box" of a military training aircraft that crashed into the Gulf on Friday near the Palm Deira has been located and will be retrieved today.

The retrieval of the crash recorder from the wreckage of the Italian M-346 will bring an end to the search operations.

Both pilots were recovering from their injuries at Rashid Hospital. One of them was expected to be discharged today.

"The fuel engine and fuselage have been located," said Enrico Scarabotto, the chief test pilot for Alenia Aermacchi, the aircraft manufacturer. "The wreckage will be retrieved and the crash recorder [black box] will be extracted."

The crew was returning to Italy from the Dubai Airshow when the plane crashed at about midday, three nautical miles from the Palm Deira, which is under construction. The two pilots ejected before the plane hit the water.

Yesterday, the search crews located and retrieved the main parts of the aircraft.

The pilots were part of a 10-member crew that had taken part in the airshow. Each pilot has more than 20 years of flying experience.

Mr Scarabotto said the UAE authorities and Aermacchi will jointly decide whether the wreckage will be sent to Italy or will remain in the Emirates until investigations are completed.