Russian authorities plan to use a robotic device to try to recover the flight data recorders from an Armenian passenger jet that crashed in the Black Sea earlier this month, killing all 113 people on board, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported Sunday.
The device, which includes a video monitor and a hydraulic apparatus that will be used to try to lift the recorders from a depth of nearly 500 meters (1,640 feet), was being loaded onto a ship in the port of Novorossiisk, ITAR-Tass said.
It cited the head of the state commission investigating the May 3 crash, Transport Minister Igor Levitin, as saying an operation to recover the "black boxes" would begin Tuesday.
Authorities hope the recorders will help them pinpoint the cause of the crash. The Armavia Airbus A-320 plunged into the sea in heavy rain and poor visibility as it approached the airport in Adler, near the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.
The PT-1000 device has been used by geologists to lift natural objects weighing up to 40 kilograms (88 pounds) from the sea floor, the report said. It has not been used to lift man-made objects.
(ITAR-Tass-Photolur photo: fragments of the crashed plane recovered from the Black Sea.)