Black-box data retrieved from plane that crashed in Russia

Russian investigators said on Monday they had been able to retrieve data from a damaged cockpit voice recorder recovered from the scene of a plane crash at the weekend in southern Russia that killed all 62 people on board.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered officials to examine whether Russia's flight safety rules needed to be tightened up after the crash, which happened as the Boeing 737-800 tried to land at a regional airport in strong, gusting wind.

Questions have been raised about why the aircraft went ahead with its attempts to land when another jet heading for the same airport a short while earlier had diverted elsewhere because of the bad weather.

The crashed jet, operated by Dubai-based budget carrier Flydubai, came down in the early hours of Saturday at Rostov-on-Don airport in southern Russia on its second attempt to land after flying from Dubai.

The Dubai government said on Twitter that Flydubai would resume flights from Rostov-on-Don on Tuesday. Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said other flights to and from the city had resumed. The airport was closed for a time after the crash.

The plane's flight data recorder survived largely intact, but the cockpit voice recorder – which should shed light on the pilots' final conversations – was badly damaged, leading officials to say initially it could take weeks to restore it.

"Memory has already been retrieved from the black boxes, it's being worked on," a spokesman of the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), which is investigating the crash, told Reuters.

"The decoding of the two black boxes may take between several weeks and several months," he said.

There is so far no suggestion of an attack on the aircraft.

Russian media say the two main theories under consideration by investigators are possible pilot error or a technical failure.

Flydubai's CEO Ghaith al-Ghaith said on Saturday it was too early to determine why the plane, which was just over five years old, crashed.

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