Egypt pulls second black box of doomed plane out of the sea

Egyptian investigators had received the two flight recorders and would analyse the information over weeks, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said.

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In several previous plane crahses – such as the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800 or the crash of American Airlines Flight 77 on September 11, 2001 – authorities had hoped to find clues in the recorders only to discover that the data had been damaged or the recordings had stopped suddenly.

The EgyptAir Airbus A320 disappeared between the Greek island of Crete and the Egyptian coast on 19 May, with the cause of the disaster still unknown.

The black box was retrieved at dawn by a specialized undersea search vessel operated by the Mauritius-based company Deep Sea Search, the Egyptian-led investigative committee said in a statement. Most importantly, the ship managed to retrieve the fragment containing the memory unit, the most vital part in the device, the statement added. The wreckage was believed to be at a depth of about 9,800 feet.

Seven crew and three security personnel were also on board.

The cockpit voice recorder keeps track of up to two hours of conversation and other sounds in the pilots’ cabin, but also ambient noise within the aircraft.

Automatic messages sent in the minutes before the plane disappeared from radar appeared to indicate smoke on board, as well as problems with the cockpit windows, autopilot and the flight control system.

A top security official at the Cairo International Airport, Brig. Radar data showed the aircraft had been cruising normally in clear skies before it turned 90 degrees left, then a full 360 degrees to the right as it plummeted from 38,000 feet to 15,000 feet. Investigators said earlier that they had narrowed down search area to a five-kilometer (three-mile) radius of the Mediterranean.

A Russian plane crashed in the Sinai Peninsula last October, killing all 224 people on board in an attack claimed by Daesh.

The second flight data recorder belonging to ill-fated EgyptAir flight MS804 has been found, said the Egyptian investigation team on Friday (Jun 17).

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That crash – claimed by the Islamic State group’s affiliate in the Sinai and blamed by Moscow on an explosive device planted on board the aircraft – decimated Egypt’s tourism industry, which had already been battered by years of turmoil in the country.

EgyptAir black box recovered