Mangalore/New Delhi: Investigators hunted in vain for the crucial data recorder, also known as the black box, of the crashed Air India plane for the second full day on Monday and were studying tapes of air traffic control contact with the aircraft in its final moments.
Bodies of 22 persons are yet to be identified and the results of DNA tests are awaited.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sent his “deep condolences” to the families of those who died and held a one-minute silence before a news conference in New Delhi.
The search for the orange-coloured digital flight data recorder was suspended in the evening and will be resumed on Tuesday. It is typically mounted in the tail of an aircraft.
A preliminary replay and analysis of the taped conversation between air traffic control at the Bajpe Airport and the pilots of the Boeing 737-800 moments before the crash was carried out on Monday, official said on condition of anonymity.
Investigators had on Sunday recovered the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and digital flight data acquisition unit (DFDAU) from the wreckage of the flight from Dubai that crashed at Bajpe Airport here on Saturday, killing all but eight of the 166 persons on board. DFDAU is similar to the black box but stores information for a shorter period of time. The two on-board devices would be brought to New Delhi soon for a detailed analysis to help determine the cause of the accident.
Hunt for answers: The search for the orange-coloured digital flight data recorder was suspended and will be resumed on Tuesday. Hemant Mishra/Mint
Meanwhile, a Srinagar-bound SpiceJet aircraft with 186 passengers on board on Monday landed under emergency conditions in New Delhi after air traffic control learnt that it had suffered a tyre-burst while taking off and asked it to return.
The Boeing 737-800 was airborne for 15 minutes and had travelled nearly 100 miles before it turned around. The aircraft safely landed back in New Delhi and all passengers are safe, an airline spokesperson said. “Keeping the safety of passengers in mind, as a precaution, the aircraft returned to Delhi. We followed all procedures for landing in such situations,” the spokesperson said.