12 Jan 2009

Investigators to meet after Air NZ crash data recovery

7:21 am on 12 January 2009

Accident investigators will meet in France this week, after information was recovered from the black boxes of an Air New Zealand airbus that crashed into the Mediterranean in November.

The A320 airbus crashed near the southern French town of Perpignan, killing five New Zealanders and two Germans.

The plane had been leased to a German airline and was on a scheduled test flight before being returned.

The French bureau investigating the accident, the BEA, says work in the laboratories of Honeywell, the American maker of black boxes, has recovered information from two of the devices.

One was the cockpit voice recorder and the other was the flight data recorder.

New Zealand's Transport Accident Investigation Commission said the bureau will hold a meeting in Paris on Tuesday (local time) to discuss how the inquiry is developing.

Two experienced investigators from the United Kingdom will represent the commission at the gathering.

Air New Zealand said the data recovery will hopefully provide clues about the cause of the accident.

Investigators will now analyse the data, alongside a criminal investigation by French police.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission says the sea is still too unsettled for a salvage mission of the aircraft to be undertaken.