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Experts analyse key devices of crashed AI plane

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - 18:32

New Delhi: 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.

Meanwhile, a team of experts from the National
Transportation Safety Board of the US would join the
investigation into the Air India Express plane crash.

The NTSB is an independent federal agency which
investigates civil aviation accidents, besides those on the
seas and highways.

"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 told reporters.


First Published: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - 18:32
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