Search teams retrieve crashed A320's cockpit-voice recorder

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Recovery teams have retrieved the cockpit-voice recorder of the Airbus A320 which crashed off the eastern coast of France during a check flight.

The aircraft, being returned off lease from XL Airways to owner Air New Zealand, had been performing a test flight from Perpignan on 27 November.

It was returning to the airport when it crashed into the Mediterranean Sea, about 3.5nm (6.5km) from the French coast, with the probable loss of all seven occupants.

Air New Zealand group general manager, international airline, Ed Sims says the carrier has been informed of the CVR's recovery. He says the recorder appears to be in good condition and will be sent to Paris for data extraction and analysis by the Bureau d'Enquetes et d'Analyses.

location of anz a320 

 © Tim Brown/Flight

"This marks a significant step in the process of understanding what caused this tragic accident," adds Sims. "French authorities continue to put every effort into the recovery operation."

Sims says more than 40 divers have been working to retrieve the CVR and will resume efforts to locate the A320's flight-data recorder. Recovery teams at the scene had detected location signals from both devices.

Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe is travelling to France with safety specialists from the carrier, as well as representatives from New Zealand's police force, transport accident investigation commission, and airline pilots' association.