List of unrecovered flight recorders
Flight data recorders (FDRs) and cockpit voice recorders (CVRs) in commercial aircraft continuously record information and can provide key evidence in determining the causes of an aircraft loss. The greatest depth from which a flight recorder has been recovered is 16,000 feet (4,900 m) the CVR of South African Airways Flight 295.
Recovered recorders are not always able to definitively identify, however, the causes of an accident. Recorders successfully recovered can be too damaged to be read, or may have missing data caused by power loss, as with TWA Flight 800, American Airlines Flight 77 and Swissair Flight 111. In the bombing of TWA Flight 841 on 8 September 1974, neither the FDR nor CVR were recovered from the Ionian Sea, despite the locations being narrowed down through the use of the attached Underwater locator beacons (knows as "pingers").
|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.|
|1988-07-03||655||Iran Air||Airbus 300||Persian Gulf||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|
|2005-10-22||210||Bellview Airlines||Boeing 737-200||Lisa Village,Ogun||FDR was never found|
|2009-11-18||2009 Pel-Air Westwind ditching||Pel-Air||IAI 1124A Westwind II||Norfolk Island||No fatalities. ATSB was later criticised for not recovering the recorders.|
|2012-06-03||992||Dana Air||McDonnell Douglas MD-83||Lagos, Nigeria||CVR recovered; FDR mutilated in post crash fire|
|2014-03-08||370||Malaysia Airlines||Boeing 777-2H6ER||South Indian Ocean||Plane and all 239 passengers and crew missing
CVR missing; FDR missing
search for debris and recorders underway
|2015-03-24||9525||Germanwings||Airbus A320-200||near Le Vernet, French Alps||CVR recovered; FDR still missing, search underway|
- 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, 2 May 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.
- "Shooting Down Iran Air Flight 655". Iran Chamber Society. 2004.
- 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.