Following the death of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat in a military helicopter crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu, an investigation is now underway to probe the matter. The Indian Air Force is now in the process of collecting all relevant data and material, including the copter’s black box, or flight data recorder.
The recovery of this item is essential, as it records vital parameters about each flight, including airspeed, altitude, cockpit conversations and air pressure among others. This data will prove invaluable to the investigation, as the helicopter dis not send out a distress signal prior to the crash.
There are two recorders – a Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) for pilot voices or cockpit sounds and a Flight Data Recorder (FDR). Technicians peel away protective material and clean connections to make sure they do not erase data. The audio or data file must be downloaded, copied and turned into graphs. Investigators then listen to the files in a recording studio with audio mixing and playback equipment linked to a screen showing synchronized data. Investigators then attempt to interpret the data and publish a report of the crash.