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Cockpit voice recorder of crashed plane to be sent to US for data extraction

This comes after the Singaporean investigators faced difficulties retrieving the data from its intact memory puck.

2 minute read
A view of the debris of the crashed plane in Elmina, Shah Alam, Aug 17.
A view of the debris of the crashed plane in Elmina, Shah Alam, Aug 17.

The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) of the aircraft that crashed onto the Guthrie Corridor Expressway near Elmina, Shah Alam, last Thursday will be sent to its manufacturer in Florida, US, to retrieve the last 30 minutes of its audio data before the crash for analysis.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the CVR was initially sent for analysis at a laboratory in Singapore last Saturday, but there were technical issues and limitations that prevented the retrieval of the audio recording.

"The head of the Air Accident Investigation Bureau (BSKU) will return to Kuala Lumpur this afternoon and brief me. We will try as soon as possible, either later today or tomorrow morning, to send them there (to Florida).

"To answer the question of what happened, we have to seek assistance from external parties, and my priority is to provide answers to the families of the victims and the public as quickly as possible," Loke said at a press conference after the launch of the 2023 Malaysian Aviation Safety Seminar in Kuala Lumpur today.

Yesterday, Loke reportedly said the BSKU had faced difficulties in retrieving data from the charred CVR, whose memory puck was still intact.

He said experts in Singapore would retrieve data from the final 30 minutes of voice recording captured in the memory puck before the crash happened.

According to the minister, the full report on the crash involving the Beechcraft Model 390 (Premier 1) plane could take up to a year to complete, but based on international guidelines, a preliminary report would be issued within a month from the date of the incident.

Responding to public inquiries regarding the role of the transport ministry in regard to the tragedy, Loke explained that when an air accident occurs, the investigation of the case no longer falls under the responsibility of the police or the home ministry but comes under the job scope of BSKU, which is under the transport ministry.

"It's not the case of interfering; it's about the responsibility for human lives and safety. I want to clarify that matters involving air accidents are under the BSKU, and they report directly to the transport minister. That's how it's structured in our aviation administration," he said.

On the seminar themed Promoting Unified Aviation Safety Across the Region, Loke said he hoped that it would provide some recommendations related to aviation safety to the government.

"We are hoping that they can share ideas, and hopefully they can come up with one or two resolutions that can be applied, but any adoption of safety standards must be guided by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards," he said.

The Beechcraft 390 Premier 1 aircraft flying from Langkawi to Subang crashed onto the Guthrie Highway at about 2.50pm on Aug 17, killing all eight people onboard, including Pahang state executive councillor Johari Harun.

An e-hailing driver and a p-hailing rider on the highway were also killed.

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