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Ukraine Plane Crash

Malaysia Jet: Can a Plane's Black Box Be Destroyed?

Among the early news related to Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17, which crashed in eastern Ukraine on Thursday killing all 295 people aboard, is an unconfirmed report that pro-Russian separatists have obtained the "black box" flight recorder.

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The report not confirmed by NBC News was published by the Interfax news agency and cited by Reuters. "The black box is a well-developed piece of equipment designed to withstand enormous forces from an aircraft accident, but nothing is indestructible if a concerted effort is made to open or destroy it," Adrian Gjertsen, the director of U.K.-based aviation consultancy Aviation Support Limited, told NBC News. Black boxes are designed to withstand impact of up to 3,400 times the force of gravity, ocean depths of up to 20,000 feet and the extreme temperatures of fire and ice, according to black box maker Honeywell.

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