“It is intact,” said a relieved G.M. Mathew, Air India general manager (flight safety), as he climbed the steep incline holding up the recovered black box on Tuesday morning.
Found more than 72 hours after the Air India Express Dubai-Mangalore flight crashed at Mangalore’s Bajpe Airport on Saturday, the black box or the digital flight data recorder (DFDR) will reveal vital clues on what caused the country’s first commercial plane crash since July 2000.
The box has been sent to New Delhi.
The instrument, which will have data on a range of parameters including engine performance, altitude, rate of descent and information on pilots’ response, was damaged on one side but Mathew said that the main part — a palm-sized black cylinder — was intact with the “main memory”.
The thick forest, hilly terrain and intense heat made the rescue and search operations extremely difficult, said fire officer C. Basavanna.
After all the 158 bodies were recovered, earth-movers were brought in to level the ground.