Yesterday, aviation investigators in Egypt began repairing the two black boxes from doomed EgyptAir Flight MS804.
In a report from CNN, the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder were both described as severely damaged by the crash impact and seawater.
When the EgyptAir wreckage was located last week, the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder (FDR) were discovered nearly 10,000-feet below the Mediterranean, amongst other debris. If the crucial memory chips—which were extracted and dried—are still functioning, investigators could have access to a wealth of intelligence about the crash.
Pilot conversations, cockpit alarms, and engine noise are among the clues examiners hope will be recorded on the CVR.
According to Reuters, it’s the FDR (which contains 25 hours of technical data including the aircraft’s speed and altitude, wing positions, engine performance, any smoke alarms, and control inputs, among other technical specs) that will most likely provide valuable insight into the cause of the crash.
Technical assistance could be provided by the French Bureau of Investigations and Analysis (the flight was en route to Cairo from Paris when it dropped off radar at 37,000 feet) as well as the black box-maker, Honeywell International.
Melanie Lieberman is the Assistant Digital Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @melanietaryn.