Air India Express Flight IX-1344 carrying over 190 passengers crashed near Kerala's Kozhikode airport late Friday night. Till now 19 deaths, including both pilots, have been confirmed, while over 120 injured passengers are still in hospitals receiving treatment. The black box, also called flight data recorder, was recovered on Saturday, August 8. The box is critical for understanding what went down on flight IX-1344 before it crashed. Meanwhile, it has been sent to Delhi for further investigation.
"Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) of the ill-fated aircraft have been retrieved. AAIB (Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau) is conducting investigations," Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted.
What is a Black Box?
The black box constitutes a Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) and a Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR). It is used to record hundreds of data-points. These include crucial information about the aircraft such as its system status, speed, altitude, etc. The black box also records all conversations that take place inside the cockpit of the aircraft, particularly between the pilots of the plane. By analysing the black box air crash, investigators can determine what the pilots were discussing before the crash. If they have enough data they can determine the cause of the crash. However, this is a long process that could take many weeks.
What is already known about the crash?
According to FlightRadar24, a Swedish flight tracker website that displays real-time flight movements, the Air India Express flight made two attempts to land at Kozhikode Airport before crashing. DCGA investigators have confirmed that the pilots were facing some difficulty in landing, though details are not known at the moment. The black box analysis will help fill in the gaps.
In another attempt to land from the opposite side of the airport, the aircraft skidded, overshot, and ultimately crash-landed in a nearby area.
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh has asked the public not to speculate on the reasons behind the crash. He said, "Let's not speculate on the cause(s), contributing factors of the crash, and wait for the result of the investigation".
The flight was operating under the Vande Bharat Mission to repatriate Indians stranded abroad because of the coronavirus lockdown. Many of the passengers were returning home from Dubai after losing their jobs due to the pandemic.