Dutch media report that Malaysia has agreed to give the black boxes to the Netherlands, which in turn has asked the UK to conduct the investigation of the boxes. The UK has agreed.
CNN and Reuters have this news too, Reuters referring to Cameron in the UK as well as to a Malaysian minister.
This afternoon in Southsea, at close to 2 pm UK time (13:53), I saw six low-flying helis, followed by one low-flying plane that looked like a fighter jet to me. I wondered what was going on.
Next came another low-flying plane which returned and started doing some acrobatics, which initially made me think it was all related to an airshow.
Possibly, one of the helis returned after that as well. (A flypast?)
A heli in the air is not unusual at all here, but two flying together, then followed by four more on their own, to be followed by something that looks like a fighter jet, and all flying low, that is a bit unusual.
There does not seem to be an airshow going on anywhere right now. The big Farnborough airshow finished a few days ago. The black boxes are also going to Farnborough (which is nearby, in the same county as Southsea).
The “acrobatics” I saw could well have been a salute. The plane flew up high, then dove to the ground and levelled off as if to say “I am escorting you to heaven as far as I can go, but I have to return to earth.”
Did I witness the black boxes being flown in or was this something else altogether?
According to Reuters, an Belgian Air Force jet flew to Kiev “this afternoon” and would be taking the boxes to the UK “this evening”.
It takes a regular jet about 3 hours to fly the distance. The indication “this evening” is very vague within an international context, but the time difference between Kiev and the UK is only 2 hours.
As usual, I forgot to take pictures, but I consider that a good thing.
What I witnessed was something else, related to the HMS Illustrious. The salutes were for this ship, a helicopter carrier. I was too far from the shore at the time to be able to see the carrier.
The flypasts were by Apache, Lynx, Merlin, Sea King and Chinook helicopters as well as a hawk jet and a fighter plane from the Second World War.
This BBC article explains the background of why the black boxes are going to Farnborough. It is one of the two places in Europe that has the capability to investigate them. It’s as simple as that.