The Egyptian committee responsible for investigating the Egyptair flight MS804 crash has denounced reports claiming it refused an offer from a US team participating in the investigation to repair the memory units of the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and the Flight Data Recorder (FDR).
In an official statement, the committee urged media to rely only on statements made by the committee.
The committee added that all representatives participating in the investigation, including the US team, have agreed to have the black boxes’ memory units repaired in French labs.
Meanwhile, the John Lethbride survey vessel, which was commissioned to find wreckage from the crash, is still identifying debris from the flight, while Egyptian and French forensic doctors are helping to process the bodies.
On 19 May, EgyptAir flight MS804, travelling from Paris to Cairo, crashed into the Mediterranean Sea, claiming the lives of all 66 people on board.
The investigation committee’s inspection of the CVR and the FDR began on Sunday, with the assistance of representatives from France and the US.
The memory units have been removed from both devices, but more tests are being carried out before the data can be extracted.
Graham Braithwaite, a professor of safety and accident investigation at Cranfield University, believes both recorders are in good shape. “In other words, there are no moving parts and the data is recorded on memory chips,” Braithwaite previously told Daily News Egypt.
“These are small parts of the crash-protected recorders, but they are clearly very precious. Investigators need to be sure that in trying to read the data, they do not damage or corrupt it, which is why they will plan everything before they do it,” he added.
Since the aircraft was manufactured in France, French national investigation agency Le Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses (BEA) will be involved in analysing the data and through it, manufacturer Airbus.
“The BEA has a lot of experience in the recovery of flight data and has worked with Egypt in the past, both on the Metrojet event and, I believe, the Flash Airlines B737 accident,” Braithwaite added.
The approach cautiously draws upon the expertise of various parties to ensure the investigation is impartial and that the manufacturer, operator, and other stakeholders are kept at a safe distance.