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Mangalore air crash: Did pilot try last-minute take-off?

Did the pilot of Air India plane IX 812 attempt a last-minute take off?

Crucial evidence that could finally unravel the mystery behind Saturday’s crash in Mangalore that left 158 people dead has been found and investigators are now trying to find answers to questions like these as they look into what could have possibly gone wrong. According to sources, the throttle in the cockpit, extricated from the debris, was found in a forward position suggesting that the pilot may have attempted a final thrust to take-off seconds before the crash.Altogether 158 people were killed and eight others miraculously survived after the Air India plane IX 812 overshot the runway by 2,000 feet, going off the edge of Mangalore’s table-top airport. The plane was flying from Dubai to Mangalore with 160 passengers and six crew members on board.

Meanwhile, investigators on Sunday also retrieved the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and the Digital Flight Data Acquisition Unit (DFDAU), which record cockpit conversation and technical details, from the wreckage of the ill-fated Air India Express. But the search for the crucial Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) still continues.

The CVR and the DFDR are known as the ‘Black Box’. While the CVR captures radio transmissions and sounds in the cockpit such as the pilot’s conversation with the Air Traffic Controller and engine noises, the DFDR logs actual flight conditions, including altitude, airspeed, heading, vertical acceleration and aircraft pitch.

The DFDAU records short-duration flight parameters.

The instruments recovered will be brought to Delhi to be examined by Air Safety Directorate of the DGCA to ascertain the causes for the crash, official sources said.

A statement by the Civil Aviation Ministry said that the CVR was affected by fire but was expected to yield the desired information.

Official sources say it will take at least two weeks to analyze the data.

Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel has said the DGCA inquiry report should be awaited to draw any conclusion. (With PTI inputs)

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