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Rescue Plane’s Flight Data Recorders Found

From Staff And Wire Reports

The Navy has recovered the “black box” flight data recorders from a Portland-based Air Force Reserve rescue plane that crashed off the Northern California coast last November, killing 10 crewmen.

The black boxes from the HC-130P aircraft were being sent to Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma for analysis, Lt. Cmdr. Jacquie Yost, a Navy spokeswoman, said today.

The data and cockpit voice recorders were recovered Tuesday by the Navy Deep Submergence Unit aboard the salvage ship USS Safeguard. Rough seas were delaying the salvage of other pieces of wreckage and a search for eight bodies that have yet to be recovered, Yost said.

The Safeguard had pulled the massive tail section of the plane, which contained the black boxes, to within sight of the surface Tuesday when a hoisting cable snapped, Yost said.

The Navy then used an unmanned diving machine named Deep Drone to inspect the tail section nearly a mile below on the ocean floor at the wreck site, about 40 miles off Cape Mendocino, Calif.

The plane was part of the 939th Rescue Wing in Portland. One crewman survived the Nov. 22 crash. The Coast Guard found two bodies while searching for survivors after the crash.

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