01/10/2020

Officials from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada say Iran is giving Canadian investigators access to the black boxes from downed Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS752 but that Canada’s role in the investigation beyond that remains unclear.

Officials from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada say Iran is giving Canadian investigators access to the “black box” flight data recorders from downed Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS752, but Canada’s role in the investigation beyond that remains unclear.
“The TSB will deploy a second team of investigators with expertise in aircraft recorder download and analysis once we confirm where and when this activity will take place,” said TSB’s Kathy Fox during the TSB’s first public update of its efforts to participate in the crash probe. CBC.ca is carrying the briefing live.
While access to the flight and data recorders is a positive sign, Fox said, Canada remains in the dark about what else Canadian investigators might be allowed to see.
“In this investigation, and I want to be clear about this, we do not yet fully know what the scope of our role will be,” she said.
Giving Canadian investigators access to the flight data recorders is more than international law requires, Fox said.
Transportation Safety Board Chair Kathy Fox says that the Iranian Air Accident Investigation Bureau has shown signs of allowing TSB investigators to participate in the analysis of the black boxes from flight 752.1:16
Canada also is being given access to the crash site and will be allowed to examine the wreckage.
“In this case, especially because 57 of the passengers on the aircraft were Canadian, it is our hope that the TSB will be allowed to bring more of its expertise to a thorough and transparent investigation,” said Fox.
The investigation currently is being overseen by Iran’s Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau, said Fox.
Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne said the board’s team will be “fully in place in Tehran” by tonight, but Iran has yet to promise Canada the access to the evidence it has requested.
The plane crashed Wednesday after it was struck by a surface-to-air missile launched by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, an action Iran has blamed on “human error.”
Transportation Safety Board Chair Kathy Fox says that the black boxes from Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752 are still in Iran and have been damaged, but that they may be moved to a site that will allow investigators to analyze them.1:27
It went down just minutes after taking off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport, and only hours after Iran had launched a ballistic missile strike on two military bases housing U.S. and Canadian troops in retaliation for the U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Canada has about 500 troops in Iraq; some were moved to Kuwait in recent weeks in response to the ongoing volatility on the ground. About half of those Canadians are with the NATO training mission, while the others including up to 250 special forces members are involved in the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition.
Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that there were Canadian personnel present at one of the two bases targeted by the Iranians when the attack occurred.
Iranian authorities initially blamed the crash on a mechanical failure. On Saturday, after Trudeau said he had intelligence suggesting the plane was shot down by Iran, officials in Iran admitted their country’s military accidentally shot the plane down.
Trudeau and Champagne have been pushing for full access to the crash investigation. Iran’s civil aviation authority has said that it’s following international rules and will allow other countries to participate in its investigation.
But the role Canada is being offered by Tehran amounts to the bare minimum required by the international legal convention on aviation accident investigations and at this point does not include active participation in the crash probe.