Vital black box found in debris

Device may be sent to US for analysis

Vital black box found in debris

A DGCA official holds the Black Box of the doomed Air India Express flight, discovered at the crash site in Mangalore on Tuesday. AFP

Impacted by the crash, the box was found near the aircraft’s tail and its orange colour had turned black.
The DFDR, located in the aircraft's tail, gives details on the plane’s acceleration, engine thrust, airspeed, altitude and rudder position.

Though affected by the crash, “nothing has happened to the main portion (of the DFDR) where the main memory is located,” Directorate- General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) officials said.

The recovery of the black box and assistance from a team of experts from aircraft manufacturer Boeing and US-based National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) would help speed up probe into the crash, DGCA officials said. The NTSB is an independent federal agency that
investigates civil aviation accidents, besides those on the seas and highways.

The DFDR has been handed over to the air safety team of DGCA that is probing the crash, to be sent to the DGCA headquarters in New Delhi. The other part of the black box, Digital Flight Data Acquisition Unit (DFDAU) and the plane’s Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) were found on Sunday.

All the three components would be examined at the DGCA headquarters and if need be, would be sent to the US for detailed analysis, DGCA officials said. Help from the US was earlier sought when the helicopter carrying Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy crashed into the Nallamala forests last year. Black box probe of the helicopter had pointed to pilot error.

The information from the black box and the CVR tapes would together give a clearer picture of the moments before the aircraft exceeded the runway threshold at the table-top Bajpe airport and crashed. However, the process of investigation would take at least two weeks, sources said.

“The NTSB team is coming from the US to help the DGCA in investigations. Boeing team is also joining them. A full committee will be set up to carry out the probe,” Air India spokesperson Harpreet Singh De said.

The air safety team has also held a series of meetings with DGCA officials, Air India's engineering department, aircraft manufacturer Boeing and other technical experts, civil aviation ministry sources said. Four teams of investigators from engineering, operations, ATC and aerodrome units, which inspected the wreckage, the runway and the accident site, would also help in the probe.

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