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Airbus black box's magnetic tape damaged, official says - 1

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SOCHI, Southern Russia, May 24 (RIA Novosti) - Experts may face problems deciphering flight data from an Armenian Airbus that crashed into the Black Sea May 3 as the magnetic tape of its cockpit flight recorder was seriously damaged, an official said Wednesday.

Tatiana Anodina, head of the Interstate Aviation Committee, said: "The cockpit voice recorder has a magnetic tape and, therefore, is more affected by the marine environment and serious mechanical effects."

She said experts might have to decipher each fragment of the tape separately, and that they may not be able to do this within the 15-day timeframe announced earlier.

The recovery operation at the scene of the tragedy, which left 113 people dead, was officially declared over earlier Wednesday.

The airliner, operated by Armenia's Armavia, crashed while flying from the Armenian capital, Yerevan, in stormy weather 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from Russia's Adler airport, which services the popular resort of Sochi.

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