EgyptAir Black Boxes Sent to France for Repair, Investigators Say

By Jim Liao, Epoch Times
June 24, 2016 3:19 pm Last Updated: June 24, 2016 3:31 pm

Conclusions on what caused EgyptAir flight MS804 to suddenly crash in the Mediterranean last month remain on hold as Egypt’s initial attempts to retrieve data from the black boxes belonging to the plane have failed.

According to a statement by Egypt’s Ministry of Civil Aviation on June 23, damage to the memory units of both boxes—the Cockpit Voice Recorder and the Flight Data Recorder, made it so investigators could not read the data.

The committee now plans to send the boxes to France for repairs and “removal of salt accumulations.” After that, the boxes will be returned to Egypt for another round of testing. 

An EgyptAir Airbus A320 with the registration SU-GCC taking off from Vienna International Airport, Austria, on August 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Thomas Ranner, File)
An EgyptAir Airbus A320 with the registration SU-GCC taking off from Vienna International Airport, Austria, on August 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Thomas Ranner, File)

The second of the two boxes—the Flight Data Recorder, was pulled out of the ocean last week by a vessel contracted by the Egyptian government. While data retrieval from the black boxes is pending, the vessel continues to look for the plane’s wreckage, images of which were obtained for the first time last week.

The boxes are important tools for figuring out what caused the EgyptAir flight to crash. Data extracted from the boxes will allow investigators to hear pilots, co-pilots, and other voices in the cockpit right before the plane crashed.

The plane vanished from radar as it was heading from Paris to Cairo on May 19. All 66 people on board the plane were killed, and some of the debris has been recovered from the sea.

Some wreckage from the plane was found about 180 miles north of the Egyptian city of Alexandria.

According to Reuters, only a few remains have been retrieved and were sent for DNA testing.