The process of analysing the Black Box and other vital components of the Air India aircraft that crashed on Saturday began on Tuesday to ascertain the cause of the accident with officials and experts holding a series of meetings here.
The Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and the Digital Flight Data Acquisition Unit (DFDAU), which record the cockpit audio and technical details of the plane, were opened for preliminary analysis by officials of the Air Safety Directorate of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), official sources said.
These two vital components were brought to the DGCA headquarters from the Mangalore crash site last night.
Officials of various divisions of the DGCA, Air India’s engineering department, aircraft manufacturer Boeing and other technical experts held a series of meetings during the day, the sources said.
Several kinds of tests would be conducted on the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) or the Black Box, which has been damaged in the crash, to decode it.
The entire process of opening up and carrying out preliminary examination of these devices would take several weeks, the sources said.
The CVR and DFDAU have been damaged due to the impact of the crash and the high intensity flames that followed.
Efforts would be made to take out the electronic chips of the CVR and insert them in a serviceable unit in order to decode them and retrieve information, the sources said.
These components, including the FDR, could also be sent to the US, where the Boeing 737-800 was manufactured, for technical analysis.
The sources said that any decision in this regard would be taken only after preliminary examination of the major components, including the Black Box, CVR and DFDAU.
While the CVR captures radio transmissions and sounds in the cockpit such as the pilots’ voices and engine noise, the DFDAU records all parameters of a short-duration flight.
While the taped conversation between the Air Traffic Control at the Bajpe Airport and the pilots of the Boeing 737-800, moments before the crash, has been played out, the investigators would now depend on technical information from these devices to corroborate findings made from these tapes, the sources said.
Four teams of investigators from engineering, operations, ATC and aerodrome units, which inspected the wreckage, the runway and the accident site, would now pool in their resources to carry out their task further.