Friday, 10 October 2003 - 11:02pm |
National News

Black boxes recovered from crashed plane off Kapiti

1 min read

Divers have tonight recovered the two flight recorders or ‘black boxes’ from the Convair freight plane which crashed into the sea off Kapiti Island a week ago.

Police search spokesman Senior Sergeant Mike Coleman, Kapiti Police, says the boxes were found in the plane’s tail section, lying on the seabed about 35m below the surface.

&#34They were recovered from a section of the plane measuring about 10m x 5m x 3m,&#34 he says. &#34They’re in our possession overnight and will form part of the air accident investigation.&#34

Some cargo harnesses were also recovered but as yet there is no sign of the bodies of the two air crew -- pilot Barry Cowley and copilot Paul Miller.

&#34It’s amazing the divers were able to recover anything today,&#34 Senior Sergeant Coleman says. &#34The water visibility was simply atrocious.&#34

He says the divers have sighted a large cargo container and the whole area has been buoyed and marked.

The police and navy dive teams were joined today by the Wellington Police launch Lady Elizabeth III which has been undergoing a major repaint and survey work in Nelson. The Lady ‘Liz’ left Nelson late today and diverted to Mana overnight to pick up extra equipment needed in the search.

Divers will resume their painstaking trawl of the seabed at 8.30am tomorrow.

Police are asking recreational boaties to stay away from the search area off Kapiti.

&#34We know there will be a lot of vessels out being a weekend and there’s a lot of interest in the recovery operation,&#34 Senior Sergeant Coleman says. &#34The search area is marked but it’s a safety issue too that we keep the target zones clear for the search vessels and the divers.&#34