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AI plane's black box may hold clues about crash

May 23, 2010 12:34 IST

A day after the Boeing 737-800 crashed near Mangalore airport, killing 158 people on board, search teams at the site are still looking for the Cockpit Voice Recorder or the black box which may reveal the reason behind the crash.

A member of the Karnataka police team, which is carrying out search operations at the crash site, told rediff.com that the massive wreckage of the ill-fated plane has to be cleared before looking for the black box.

Jija Hari Singh, inspector general of police (fire and emergency service) said, "The black box will be found on Sunday. The work of recovering the bodies has to be completed first and only then can we begin searching for the black box."
The area where the black box fell after the crash has been identified.

The search party has managed to find the throttle of the plane in a forward position, indicating that the pilot thrust the aircraft in a forward position before the crash.

The black box is crucial to probe the reason behind the crash. The preliminary finding of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation suggests that the pilot's error could have caused the crash.

The DGCA is now trying to find out why the pilot overshot the runway by over 1,500 feet. The Air Traffic Controllers had issued a landing clearance approximately 4 miles before the touchdown, but the pilot seemed to have lost contact with the ATC during the final moments.

The DGCA team will also look into whether the plane experienced any technical difficulties at the time of landing. "Although it is highly unlikely that there was anything wrong with the plane, we will still go into that aspect as matter of procedure," DGCA sources told rediff.com.

Vicky Nanjappa
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