Analysing the black box of the crashed AirAsia flight will be a tough challenge for a veteran Indonesian aviation investigator as he knew the pilot of the doomed jet who taught him how to fly.
Nurcahyo Utomo, who has been an aviation investigator for almost two decades, said listening to recording from black boxes over and over again could be disturbing and required utmost mental strength.
The task of analysing the black boxes of the ill-fated AirAsia flight QZ8501 would be harder for Nurcahyo, who was a junior to the pilot Captain Irianto and knew him personally.
“Irianto was my senior and he is the one who taught me how to fly.
“I could not imagine how am I going to listen to his last words,” said Nurcahyo, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Committee.
He said listening to the playback of a black box involved in a crash is not like listening to music or a discussion.
“We are listening to a recording that represents the last moments before the crash and it is disturbing. There are times where the investigators would get unnerved listening to the recording,” he told Viva.co.id, an Indonesian online portal.
Analysing the recording while listening to their final words like “Allahuakhbar” (God is great) repeatedly, give the investigators goose bumps, Nurcahyo said.
“It is as if we can feel them… Allahuakhbar, Allahuakhbar were the last words said before they died.
He said that despite the heavy heart, the investigators could not escape from the task as listening to the last conversation would be the key to reveal the cause of the crash.
“We will know what really happened from the conversations between pilot and co-pilot prior to the crash,” he said.
The black box, that contains the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder, is crucial to determine the cause of the crash that claimed all 162 lives on board the ill-fated AirAsia Flight QZ8501, en route from Indonesia’s Surabaya city to Singapore.
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The recorders are expected to shed new light on the mysterious crash as they contain a wealth of data that will help investigators to piece together sequence of events that led to the Airbus A320-200 plunging into the Java Sea.
Officials yesterday gave new dramatic details of the accident, with search and rescue agency coordinator S B Supriyadi saying an initial analysis of the wreckage recovered so far indicated the plane exploded on impact with the water due to a rapid change in pressure.
The Indonesian meteorological agency has said weather was the “triggering factor” for the crash, with ice likely damaging the engines of the plane.