Investigators on Thursday recovered the black box from the crashed Indian Air Force Mi-17V5 helicopter that killed Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 others in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor. The black box also known as a flight recorder will provide crucial details of the final minutes before the tragic accident.
Official sources said the black box was retrieved after authorities expanded the search area from 300 metres to one km of the accident spot.
India’s top-most defence officer, General Rawat, was on board the helicopter that took off from the Sulur IAF Station in Coimbatore for the Defence Staff College in Wellington when it crashed midway.
WHAT IS A BLACK BOX?
A black box is a device that is installed in aircraft to help investigators in case of unfortunate accidents. Similar to a hard disk, the black box is a highly protective machine that records all flight data and conversations in the cockpit. Apart from recording cockpit conversations, the recorder also holds information on automatic computer announcements, radio traffic, discussions with the crew and announcements to the passengers.
According to experts, the flight recorder also stores private conversations between the pilots, making it crucial in case of a crash as it could provide key details about the developments leading up to an accident.
There are two types of flight recording devices: the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) that stores all the recent history of the flight through the recording of dozens of parameters collected multiple times per second and the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) that records cockpit sound including pilot conversations