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Mangalore Air Crash
Cockpit voice recorder found
Search on for crucial digital flight data recorder
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, May 23
Personnel of the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) today recovered the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) of the ill-fated Dubai-Mangalore flight that crashed at Mangalore Airport yesterday.

However, the digital flight data recorder (DFDR) or the black box that contains crucial data with regard to the crash is yet to be found by the DGCA teams searching the wreckage of the Boeing 737-800 belonging to Air India Express.

The CVR is used to record the audio environment in the flight deck of an aircraft for the purpose of investigation of accidents. This is achieved by recording the audio exchanges through the microphones and earphones of the pilots’ headsets and of an area microphone in the roof of the cockpit.

According to a DGCA spokesman, though the recovered CVR was partially burnt, “it is expected to yield the desired information”. The DGCA, it may be noted, is probing the crash, which is one of the worst tragedies in the history of aviation in the country.

The DGCA personnel also found the digital flight data acquisition unit (DFDAU), which is a parallel unit of the DFDR, and records flight parameters but for a shorter duration than DFDR. The spokesman said their teams were still searching for the DFDR. He said they had already carried out preliminary replay of air traffic control tapes and a detailed analysis was underway. He said preliminary investigation of navigational, aerodrome and runway facilities existing at the time of accident had also been carried out.

Records pertaining to airplane and crew such as engineering, operations, training, air traffic control, fire fighting and allied services had been taken over by the DGCA investigators for detailed analysis, the spokesman said. He said analysis of CVR and flight data would take about a fortnight. And analysis of other records, which had been taken over, would also take a couple of weeks, he added.

Bir Singh Rai, Director, Air Safety (DGCA), would lead the team investigating the accident.

Experts of the US Federal Aviation Authority, Boeing and air safety firm Kenyon will be assisting in deciphering the Black Box and the CVR. A forensic team from Hyderabad carried out DNA tests on the bodies that have been charred beyond recognition. (With PTI inputs)

Devices that matter

CVR: Cockpit voice recorder is used to ascertain the audio environment recorded through microphones in the cockpit of an aircraft

DFDR: Digital flight data recorder is expected to contain crucial data with regard to the crash.

DFDAU: Digital flight data acquisition unit, a parallel unit of the DFDR, records flight parameters but for a shorter duration than DFDR





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