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Part of black box ‘vanishes’ mysteriously
Published on 25 May. 2010 1:39 AM IST
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Teams of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and police on Monday resumed their search for the digital flight data recorder, a part of the black box, of the Air India Express plane that crashed here Saturday, killing 158 people.
There was an element of mystery to the black box. Initially, Air India announced it had recovered the black box. Then came the denial. Again, AI said it had found the box. Hours later came another denial. The question being asked is where did the black box vanish? The accident took place in a `limited area’ and it would not have been difficult to find it. Moreover, the box emits a loud beep which can be caught a few kilometres away.
Air India has now sent out a sketch of the box, hoping that someone would find it. In aviation parlance, black box is a loose term used for two pieces of equipment -- the digital cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder -- that give crucial inputs to investigators on causes of air accidents.
One device digitally records all conversations inside the cockpit and those with the air traffic controllers. The other has the history of the aircraft’s flight details, such as acceleration, engine thrust, airspeed, altitude, rudder position, which are also vital for crash probes.
The cockpit voice recorder of the crashed plane has been affected by fire but it is expected to yield the desired information, according to a DGCA statement.
The DFDAU, a parallel unit of the digital flight data recorder, has also been recovered.
search for the latter is continuing, the statement said.
“Analysis of CVR and flight data will be conducted in the next fortnight. Similarly, analysis of records pertaining to the crash will take a couple of weeks,” a probe official told IANS, citing the statement.
AI Express flight IX 812 burst into flames after falling over a cliff early Saturday and most of the 158 victims, including 19 children and four infants, were charred to death. The Boeing overshot the runway on landing at Bajpe airport, about 20 km from here.
All six crew members of the flight also perished in the disaster. The eight survivors are being treated in various hospitals in the city.

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