Information downloaded from the repaired flight data recorder (FDR) retrieved from the wreckage of the Egyptair A320 that crashed into the Mediterranean Sea on May 19 confirms the existence of smoke in the airplane’s lavatory and avionics bay before its rapid descent, according to Egypt’s Civil Aviation Ministry. The Egyptian authorities also reported that recovered wreckage of the front of the aircraft showed signs of high temperature damage and soot.
The findings appear consistent with ACARS data transmitted as the pilots apparently lost control of the airplane. The series of messages, sent over a period of three minutes, also relayed window sensor indications and problems with the autopilot and flight control system.
Egyptian aviation authorities had turned over both the flight data and voice recorders to the French aviation accident investigation bureau (BEA) after they failed in attempts to extract any information from the heavily damaged devices. The Egyptian civil aviation authority on Tuesday announced that BEA experts had repaired the FDR and that repairs to the CVR would begin on Wednesday. In Cairo, investigators have begun decoding and validating more than 1,200 FDR parameters to start what the CAA called the next phase of reading and analyzing the data.
Separately, the CVR remains in Paris, where the BEA continues its efforts to repair the device. Meanwhile, recovery crews continue to search for remaining bodies of the 66 passengers and crewmembers that died in the crash.