Iran says black boxes show pilots alive after missile hit Ukraine jet
The black boxes of a Ukrainian airliner mistakenly downed in Tehran have revealed the pilots were still alive after the first of two missiles hit the plane, Iranian officials said Sunday.
Flight 752, a Ukraine International Airlines passenger jet, crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran's main airport on January 8.
Iran admitted days later that its forces accidentally shot down the Kiev-bound Boeing 737-800 aircraft, killing all 176 people on board.
Tehran's air defences had been on high alert at the time in case the US retaliated against Iranian strikes hours earlier on American troops stationed in Iraq.
Touraj Dehghani Zanganeh said that the cockpit voice recorder registered a conversation between the pilot, co-pilot and an instructor between the two blasts.
"Up to 19 seconds after the first missile exploded in the vicinity of the aircraft, (they) noticed abnormal conditions and were in control of the aircraft until the last moment," he said, quoted by state television's website.
"The instructor indicates that the aircraft has an electronic problem and the auxiliary power has been activated," he said.
"The pilots were notified that both engines of the aircraft were on."