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Dana Air flight recorders en route to NTSB lab

The flight data and voice recorders recovered from a crashed Dana Air Boeing MD-83 will be available for analysis by the US National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) early on 8 June.

The Dana Air twinjet crashed on 3 June in Lagos, Nigeria, while on final approach to the south-facing runway of Murtala Muhammed airport. Both the voice and data recorders were recovered the following day by Nigerian authorities, and then turned over to the NTSB.

"Recorders for Sunday's deadly Dana Air crash in Nigeria are actually en route back to the US now, and are supposed to arrive tomorrow morning at Dulles [airport] to be transported to our lab," said NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman, speaking at the International Aviation Club in Washington DC.

The NTSB has assumed the lead role in the investigation as the accredited representative of the International Civil Aviation Organisation on foreign accidents.

Senior investigator Dennis Jones, who spends six months every year in Africa supporting NTSB's safety promotion efforts in the region, is leading the Dana Air crash investigation on the ground in Lagos, Hersman said.

Local reports have focused on the condition of the aircraft and possible bird strike, with a Dana Air executive reportedly claiming that fragments of birds were found in one of the twinjet's engines.

The MD-83 crash killed all 153 people aboard, including seven crew members. Ten more people were killed on the ground.

The pilot, Dana Air Captain Peter Waxtan, had 18,500 flight hours, with 7,100h aboard the MD-83, the airline says. First officer Mike Mahendra had flown 1,100h, including 800h on an MD-83.

The MD-83 had accumulated more than 60,000h in flight on more than 35,000 cycles, the airline says. The most recent 400h A-check had been performed only three days before the crash, Dana Air adds.

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