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World - Americas

'Black boxes' invaluable to crash investigators

flight data recorder
The recovered flight data recorder  
September 9, 1998
Web posted at: 12:18 p.m. EDT (1218 GMT)

PEGGY'S COVE, Nova Scotia (CNN) -- Search crews working off Nova Scotia are hoping the Atlantic Ocean will give back the cockpit voice recorder it swallowed when Swissair Flight 111 plunged into the ocean September 2.

All 229 people on board the jetliner were killed in the crash, so the flight's data and voice recorders could provide investigators with valuable information about the plane's final minutes.

Officials found the data recorder over the weekend, but they say it recorded no information in the last minutes up to the crash.

The boxes are known as "black boxes," but they actually are reddish-orange, so that they can be easily spotted by search crews.

CNN's Carl Rochelle has more on what the boxes record and how they can help investigators.

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