Egyptair Crash: Second Flight Recorder Recovered

Egyptair Crash: Second Flight Recorder Recovered

The flight data recorder from the EgyptAir plane that crashed in the Mediterranean Sea last month has been retrieved, Egyptian investigators say.

The news comes a day after search teams recovered the cockpit voice recorder from the wreckage of Flight MS804.

Both recorders, known as the "black boxes", are crucial to discovering why the Airbus A320 came down on 19 May, killing all 66 people on board.

The plane was flying from Paris to Cairo when it vanished from radar.

Investigators have said it is too early to rule out any causes for the crash, including terrorism.

'Several pieces'

The Egyptian investigation committee said the data recorder had been "retrieved in several pieces" by a specialist ship, the John Lethbridge.

The ship, operated by Deep Ocean Search, found the plane's wreckage on Wednesday in several locations about 290km (180 miles) north of the Egyptian coast, at a depth of about 3,000m (9,800ft).

The data recorder is usually located in the plane's tail along with the voice recorder, which had to be salvaged in stages on Thursday because it was badly damaged.

The investigation committee said the data from the second recorder's memory unit will be downloaded once it has been transferred to the Egyptian port of Alexandria.

The data recorder gathers information about the plane's speed, altitude and direction.

Earlier on Friday, an unnamed official in the investigation committee told AP news agency that the voice recorder's data was already being analysed by experts, including representatives of France's air safety agency and the plane's manufacturer, Airbus.

The cause of the crash remains a mystery.

Egypt's civil aviation minister has said a terrorist attack is more likely than a technical failure.

Automated electronic messages sent by the plane revealed that smoke detectors went off in a toilet and in the avionics area below the cockpit, minutes before the plane's signal was lost.

On Monday, the investigation committee confirmed that radar data showed the plane turned 90 degrees left and then 360 degrees to the right, dropping from 11,300m (37,000ft) to 4,600m (15,000ft) and then 3,000m (10,000ft) before it disappeared.

What do we know so far?

EgyptAir Flight MS804 vanished over the eastern Mediterranean early on Thursday 19 May with 66 passengers and crew on board

Some surface debris was found 290km (180 miles) north of the Egyptian city of Alexandria

Wreckage was subsequently found in several locations at a depth of about 3,000m (6,800ft)

Signals from the plane indicated that smoke was detected in the toilet and in the avionics area below the cockpit

Aircraft made a 90-degree left turn followed by a 360-degree turn to the right before vanishing off radar