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Cockpit voice recorder found; black box still buried under wreckage

By Vicky Nanjappa
May 23, 2010 18:47 IST
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The search for the black box of the ill-fated Air India flight -- which crashed near Mangalore airport on Saturday morning killing 158 people on board -- will commence at 6.30 am on Monday. Search operations were called off on Sunday due to poor light.

Though the search team could detect signals from the black box, it was unable to retrieve the box buried under the massive wreckage at the crash site, a source told

The black box is crucial for the investigation into the reason behind the crash as it will help the probe team ascertain the exact reason behind the plane overshooting the runway and plunging into the ravine.

The search party managed to recover the cockpit voice recorder, but the probe team from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation may not be able to glean much information from it, other than a recording of the Air Traffic Controller giving its clearance for the landing.  

ATC officials had already told the DGCA team that they lost touch with the pilots in the final moments before the plane crash.

The DGCA personnel, who are investigating the crash, say that it appears to be a case of pilot's error. "We have inspected the runway and the crash site as well as the object the plane hit and it appears that the pilot was at fault. We are waiting for the black box which will give us a clear picture," said a DGCA official.

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Vicky Nanjappa