It took nearly two years to find the missing wreckage of Air France flight 447 but the most important piece in trying to find out what happened on that night back in June of 2009 remains missing: The black box.
The search for the two flight recorders (often collectively referred to as the ‘black box’ despite their orange color) is an important part of the investigation since the recorders, assuming the data has not been damaged, should provide voice recordings from inside the cockpit as well as crucial flight data.
According to Bloomberg, investigators will meet in Dakar, Senegal tomorrow before heading to wreckage site.
Diving deeper than the Titanic’s final resting place, a robot tethered to a surface ship will sift through the aircraft debris in search of the two flight recorders bolted inside the tail of the fuselage. Their data promises the best chance yet to explain the crash, the deadliest in Air France’s history. Complicating the mission is the presence of numerous bodies, some still strapped into their seats and preserved by the cold water and lack of oxygen or light.
The wreckage sits more than two miles below the sea surface making missions to the wreckage difficult. Using robots and cameras however, investigators have been able to identify most of the wreckage and have even found the tail section where the black box is kept. Authorities now hope that the recorders can be found and brought back to the surface while keeping their fingers crossed that the extremely durable devices are in good enough condition to analyze the data.