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photo of Chairman Hall at press conference 2/8/00.
Former Chairman Jim Hall, Dr. Vern Ellingstad(l), and Dr. Bernard Loeb(r), with CVR and FDR from Alaska Airlines Flight 261
  Alaska Airlines Flight 261
Pacific Ocean near Point Mugu, California
January 31, 2000

Board Meeting Information:

December 10, 2002

Hearing Information:

December 13-16, 2000
The National Transportation Safety Board held a public
investigative hearing on the crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261.

Investigation Information:

Reports from the Public Docket

Photos of Recovered Components 
Gimbal nut and jackscrew from horizontal stabilizer (2/14/00)
Aircraft fairing and vertical stabilizer (2/10/00)

Recommendation Letters
Past Statements from the Chairman
Past Press Releases

Information from other sources: 
U.S. Navy
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NTSB General Information:
Descriptions of CVR and FDR
Press Releases and Advisories
Family Assistance
NTSB Investigative Process
Aviation Accident Synopses

  On January 31, 2000, the National Transportation Safety Board launched a Go Team to Oxnard, California, to begin its investigation of the crash of Alaska Airlines flight 261. The McDonnell Douglas MD-83 (N963AS) was in route from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to Seattle, Washington with a stop planned for San Francisco, California. All 83 passengers and five crewmembers aboard the MD-80 died when the aircraft crashed into the Pacific Ocean. 

The Navy mapped the accident area with underwater side scanning sonar and video, enabling wreckage recovery.

The CVR and FDR were recovered by the Navy from about 700 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. 

The FDR was recovered February 3; it contains 48 parameters of information, including stabilizer trim position and elevator position. The 25-hour magnetic tape captures the entire 2 hours and 43 minutes of the accident flight, as well as information from previous flights.

The CVR was recovered February 2 and contains slightly more than 30 minutes of data. 

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