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Egypt Unable to Retrieve Data from EgyptAir MS804 Black Boxes, Enlists French Help

June 24, 2016
The ‘black boxes’ retrieved from EgyptAir flight MS804 (AFP/Media center of the Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation)
The ‘black boxes’ retrieved from EgyptAir flight MS804 (AFP/Media center of the Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation)

Egypt’s initial attempts to retrieve data from the black boxes of EgyptAir flight MS804 have failed and “key parts” of the flight data and voice recorders will be sent to France next week for repairs.

According to a Thursday statement from EgyptAir, the French agency BEA (Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses) will “carry out repair and removal of salt accumulations” on the damaged black boxes, after which they will be sent back to Egypt for data analysis.

BEA is a French government agency that specializes in investigating aviation accidents.

Search vessels located the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder, both of which were damaged, earlier this month after having found the main locations of the plane’s wreckage in the Mediterranean.

Data extracted from the cockpit voice recorder will allow investigators to hear what the pilot and co-pilot were saying in the moments before the airplane crashed, and should include any background noise.

Meanwhile, the second black box, containing the flight data recorder, will provide additional data that may allow investigators to determine the cause of the crash.

Flight MS804 vanished at 2:30AM Cairo time on May 19. The passenger plane was carrying 66 people from Paris to Cairo and ”vanished” moments after entering Egyptian airspace. Terrorism and mechanical failure are among the possibilities being explored by the investigative committee.

On Thursday, Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail issued a decree officially declaring the plane’s passengers deceased, while EgyptAir chairman Safwat Mosallam announced that the airline will be allocating a “temporary” compensation of USD 25,000 to each family of the plane’s victims.

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