CNN reported Sunday night that the “memory unit” of the flight data recorder for the Airbus A330 involved in the crash of Air France flight 447 has been found and brought to the surface by investigators stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
The memory unit will hopefully provide evidence for investigators trying to determine what exactly brought the plane down back in June of 2009. The flight data recorders, which the memory unit is apart of, are extremely rugged and built to withstand extreme elements but considering the amount of time that has passed, not all experts are convinced that retrievable data will be found once the device is inspected.
A British aviation consultant said he is skeptical about how useful the memory unit will be to investigators, considering it has been sitting between 2,000 to 4,000 meters (6,562 to 13,124 feet) below the ocean’s surface for 23 months.
“If you were to throw a computer into the ocean, imagine how all the parts would eventually split and you have the corrosive effects of seawater and the depths involved,” Phil Seymour, chief operating officer of the International Bureau of Aviation, said Thursday.
If the data stored in the memory unit is even partially salvageable, it should go a long way in determining the cause of the crash as the flight data recorders record the conversations in the cockpit as well as the data transmitted by the plane’s various sensors and instruments.
No timeline has been set for when authorities believe the device will be flown back for inspection and data retrieval.