The investigation into Swissair flight SR111 which crashed on 2 September has taken a major step forward following the recovery of the flight data recorder (FDR).

Swissair in Zurich says the FDR was recovered yesterday evening. As the search for the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) continues, the Swiss flag carrier says that there are a number of "contacts" that are being investigated.

Recovery of the FDR will be a crucial stepping stone to determining the reasons for the loss of the Swissair Boeing MD-11 which crashed off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, claiming 229 lives.

Meanwhile, the airline has issued a statement saying that the aircraft could not fly a direct approach to Halifax once the emergency "Pan, Pan, Pan," radio call was made at 110km (60nm) from Halifax and at a height of 10,000m (33,000ft).

Chief pilot designate at Swissair, Rainer Hiltebrand, says that the aircraft could not have made a direct approach for an emergency landing because it was "too high and too heavy" - a fact which has "-been borne out by reconstructions performed in the MD-11 simulator".

Source: Flight Daily News