List of unrecovered flight recorders
Flight data recorders (FDRs) and cockpit voice recorders (CVRs) in commercial airplanes continuously record information and can be immensely helpful to determine the cause of a crash. The deepest a flight recorder has been recovered was the case of South African Airways Flight 295, where the cockpit voice recorder was recovered 16,000 feet (4,900 m) under the ocean. However, there are many cases where recovered recorders did not definitively identify the cause of a crash. Recorders may be recovered, but too damaged to read or have blanks, like in TWA Flight 800, American Airlines Flight 77, or Swissair Flight 111, after power is cut off. In the case of the bombing of TWA Flight 841 on September 8, 1974 neither the FDR or CVR were recovered from the Ionian Sea despite the locations being narrowed down through the use of the attached underwater locator beacons ("pingers") according to the official investigation report.
List of unrecovered flight recorders
|Date of crash||Flight No.||Airline||Plane type||Presumed location||Notes|
|1965-08-16||389||United Airlines||Boeing 727-22||Lake Michigan, off Chicago, Illinois||Resting in 76 m (249 ft) of water; FDR recording media never found|
|1970-05-02||980||ALM||Douglas DC-9-33CF||Caribbean Sea||Resting in 5,000 ft (1,500 m) of water; neither recorder found|
|1973-07-22||816||Pan American World Airways||Boeing 707-321B||Pacific Ocean, off Papeete, Tahiti||Resting in 700 m (2,300 ft) of water; neither recorder found|
|1975-09-30||240||Malév||Tupolev Tu-154||near the Lebanese shoreline||Resting in between 600 and 1,000 m (2,000 and 3,300 ft) of water|
|1979-01-30||cargo||Varig aircraft PP-VLU||Boeing 707-323C||in the Pacific Ocean, around 200 kilometers East Northeast from Tokyo, Japan||The aircraft debris were never located and thus, neither the CVR and FDR was found and the cause of the crash was never determined.|
|1985-01-01||980||Eastern Air Lines||Boeing 727-225||25 nmi (46 km) from La Paz at the 19,600 ft (5,970 m) level of Andean peak Mt. Illimani.||Due to the extreme high altitude and inaccessibility of the accident location, the FDR and CVR were never recovered.|
|1987-11-28||295||South African Airways||Boeing 747-244B Combi||Indian Ocean, near Mauritius||CVR located at 4,900 m (16,100 ft); FDR not found.|
|1987-11-29||858||Korean Air||Boeing 707-3B5C||Andaman Sea||Neither flight recorder was ever found.|
|1992-10-04||1862||El Al Israel Airlines||Boeing 747-258F||Groeneveen and Klein-Kruitberg flats in the Bijlmermeer, Amsterdam Zuidoost||One Black Box was found. The tape was broken in 4 pieces. The last 2:45 minutes were unreadable.|
|2001-09-11||11||American Airlines||Boeing 767-223ER||North World Trade Center, New York City|||
|2001-09-11||175||United Airlines||Boeing 767-222||South World Trade Center, New York City|||
|2001-10-04||1812||Siberia Airlines||Tupolev Tu-154||Black Sea||Neither flight recorder found.|
|2004-10-14||1602||MK Airlines||Boeing 747-244(SF)||Halifax, Nova Scotia||FDR Recovered; CVR mutilated in post crash fire|
|2009-11-18||2009 Pel-Air Westwind ditching||Pel-Air||IAI 1124A Westwind II||Norfolk Island||No fatalities.|
|2012-06-03||992||Dana Air||McDonnell Douglas MD-83||Lagos, Nigeria||CVR recovered; FDR mutilated in post crash fire|
1973-03-05 Ferry AVIACO Caravelle SE-210 10B1R1 Off Funchal, Portugal Resting in 105 metres (350 ft) of water; FDR recording media never found
1977-12-18 730 SATA Caravelle SE-210 10B1R1 Off Funchal, Portugal Resting in 70 metres (210 ft) of water; FDR recording media never found
- NTSB Aircraft Accident Report, United Airlines N7036U in Lake Michigan
- NTSB Aircraft Accident Report, Aircraft Accident Report: Overseas National Airways, Inc. Douglas DC-9 N935F, Operating as Antillaanse Luchtvaart Flight 980, Near St. Croix, Virgin Islands, May 2, 1970
- Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network
- The Lost Flight - Malév 240 | Airliners.net
- "Varig accident description". Aviation Safety Network. 1979-01-30. Retrieved 2009-10-20.
- Investigation of Controlled Flight into Terrain. Descriptions of Flight Paths for Selected Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT) Aircraft Accidents, 1985-1997. by Robert O. Phillips. Federal Aviation Administration, U. S. Department Of Transportation, Project Memorandum DOT-TSC-FA9D1-99-01, March 1999.
- "Seoul Pardons North Korean in Bombing of Airliner Killing 115". Los Angeles Times. 13 April 1990.
- 9/11 Commission Report, Notes to Chapter 1, note 76, page 456 (PDF page 474),
- Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee (May 2013). "Aviation Accident Investigations" (pdf). Government of Australia. pp. 28–29.
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