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December 5, 2009

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Investigators to replay air crash

INFORMATION recovered from the black box of the cargo plane which crashed in Shanghai last Saturday will be used in a simulator to reproduce the accident, an official with the Civil Aviation Administration of China said yesterday.

He said the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 simulator in Beijing, which is used to train pilots, will be able to use data from the Zimbabwe-registered plane to simulate conditions on the aircraft at the time of the crash.

"The cockpit is the same as that on the real plane," the official said.

All the data decoded from the black box will be input into the simulator including the plane's speed, altitude and distance to the ground from various angles during the crash. The accounts of surviving crew members will also be factored in to ensure the investigation will be "complete and correct," he said.

Meanwhile, investigators were still at the scene of the crash last night on the No. 1 runway at Shanghai's Pudong International Airport.

"Operations at the airport are unaffected as we have other two runways," an airport official said.

The accident happened at 8:12am on November 28, when the cargo plane was taking off.

Seven crew members were on the plane, three were killed and four injured.

Witnesses said the tail hit the ground and caught fire.


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