DGCA begins crash probe, finds voice recorder, data unit

Mangalore, May 23 (Calcutta Tube) The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) late Sunday began investigating the crash of the Air India Express Boeing 737-800 (VT-AXV) after the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and a part of the black box containing the digital flight data acquisition unit (DFDAU) were handed over to it by the search party.

‘The aircraft’s CVR has been recovered. Though affected by fire, it is expected to yield the desired information,’ the regulator said in a statement here.

Though DFDAU, a parallel unit of the digital flight data recorder (DFDR), which records flight parameter for shorter duration has also been recovered, search for the latter (DFDR) is continuing,’ the statement pointed out.

The DGCA appointed Air Safety director Bir Singh Rai as an inspector of accidents to assist the investigation team and experts.

‘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.

The DGCA will send the CVR and the black box to the probe team after recovering the flight data recorder by Monday.

The probe team inspected the aircraft wreckage at the crash site, runway and adjoining area of the Bajpe airport, about 20 km from this coastal city.

For ascertaining the causes behind the air mishap, which claimed 158 lives, the investigation team has formed four groups — engineering and wreckage group, operations group, air traffic control group and aerodrome group.

The wreckage group has been split into two-three sub-teams to search for various evidence.

‘Preliminary replay of air traffic control (ATC) tapes has been carried out along with analysis of the conversation between the ATC and pilots — captain Zlotka Glusica, who was commanding the aircraft, and co-pilot captain H.S. Ahluwalia,’ the official said.

The teams have completed preliminary investigation of navigational, aerodrome and runway facilities that were in use when the aircraft coming from Dubai overshot the tabletop runway while landing and plunged into the gorge to a fiery crash.

Similarly, records pertaining to the aircraft and air crew such as engineering, operations, training, ATC, fire fighting and allied services have been collected for analysis.

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