The cockpit voice recorder from crashed EgyptAir flight MS804 has been found by search teams who were forced to salvage the device over several stages as it was damaged, the Egyptian investigation committee said on Thursday.
It said in a statement that a specialist vessel owned by Mauritius-based Deep Ocean Search had, however, been able to recover the memory unit from the so-called black box.
The flight data recorder gathers information about the speed, altitude and direction of the plane, while the cockpit voice recorder keeps track of conversations and other sounds in the pilots’ cabin.
France’s aviation safety agency has said the EgyptAir plane transmitted automated messages indicating smoke in the cabin and a fault in the flight control unit minutes before disappearing from radar screens.
Investigators have said it is too soon to determine what caused flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo to crash on May 19, although a terror attack has not been ruled out.
The search vessel John Lethbridge, equipped with an underwater robot, arrived in Egypt last week to begin searching an area around 290 kilometres north of the Egyptian coast.
The robot discovered pieces of the fuselage at “several sites”, the Egyptian board of inquiry said late yesterday.
Some wreckage had already been pulled out of the Mediterranean by search teams last month, along with belongings of passengers.
The black boxes of Air France Flight 447, which crashed in 2009 in the Atlantic Ocean, were located nearly two years later and recovered from a depth of almost 4,000 metres.