The National Transportation Safety Board has retrieved the remains of a long-lost black box belonging to 1985’s ill-fated Eastern Airlines Flight 980.
Shortly after 10 a.m. today, at a small airport in Norwood, Mass., NTSB investigator Bill English met with Dan Futrell and Isaac Stoner to pick up pieces of evidence to one of the biggest aviation mysteries of the 20th century.
Several pieces of mangled orange metal and a spool of magnetic tape are on the way to the NTSB’s laboratory in Washington, D.C.
In May 2016, two Bostonians, Dan Futrell and Isaac Stoner, climbed Bolivia’s Mt. Illimani and, at an elevation of 16,000 feet, recovered what appears to be the flight recorders from the U.S. airliner, a task many experts and investigators thought was impossible.
Flight 980 crashed on Jan. 1, 1985, on its approach to the airport outside La Paz, Bolivia. El Alto, as the airport is commonly called, is the highest international airport in the world with a runway perched at over 13,000 feet. There were 29 people on board the Boeing 727, including eight Americans. No one survived, and multiple international efforts to recover the flight recorders ended fruitlessly because of the inaccessibility of the crash site, the NTSB previously said.