Bangalore: Investigators on Tuesday recovered the digital flight data recorder or DFDR, a crucial instrument that would give insights on what caused the Saturday’s crash of the ill-fated Air India Express flight in Mangalore that killed 158 people on board.
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Analysis of the instrument, mounted in the aircraft’s tail would give details such as the plane’s acceleration, the engine thrust, altitude and the pressure when it touched the runway. It stores around 100 hours of data on the aircraft.
“There is some damage to the instrument but the portion where the main memory is located is safe,” said Seemanth Kumar Singh, Police commissioner of Mangalore.
The instrument will be initially sent to Delhi for a detailed analysis.
On Sunday, two other instruments – cockpit voice recorder or CVR, that would have conversations of the pilots between themselves and with the air traffic controller, and digital flight data acquisition unit or DFDAU, which provides clues on the aircraft parameters an hour of its flight were recovered. The three instruments form part of the so-called black box, but is painted orange for easy discovery.
Officials of the India’s aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Boeing Co, the aircraft maker and of the airline Air India were scouring the debris of the plane for three days to locate the instrument.
The early morning flight from Dubai overshot the tabletop runway in Mangalore, broke the barricades and jumped into a cliff before exploding. Eight passengers escaped from the crash site, assisted by local villagers. The crash site is atleast five kilometers from the main terminal of the airport. The crash was one of the deadliest in India in over a decade.
“Once you connect the FDR and CDR is linked and analysed, we could get results in a week,” one investigator at the crash said on Sunday.