The French air accident investigation office, the BEA, has recovered the cockpit voice recorder for Air France flight 447.
The discovery and retrieval operation on May 2 follows the May 1 discovery and recovery of the flight data recorder’s crash survivable memory unit. Now both so called ‘black boxes’ are in the hands of investigators.
The BEA reports that a French navy patrol boat will be dispatched to pick both elements up from the Ile de Sein vessel that is conducting the search for debris of the Airbus A330-200 that crashed June 1, 2009 on its flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris killing all 228 onboard. The storage devices will be taken to French Guyana and then flow to Paris where they will undergo analysis at the BEA’s headquarters in Le Bourget outside Paris.
The cockpit voice recorder, in particular, could shed light on the exact crew composition in the cockpit at the time of the accident. The aircraft appeared to be flying through extremely turbulent weather. While the flight data recorder’s information -- if it is usable -- should help explain the sequence of events that brought down the A330, the cockpit voice recorder could contain equally important data on the decision-making process the pilot and copilot went through.
The cockpit voice recorder, like the other devices, were found and retrieved by the Remora 6000 unmanned underwater vehicle.