EgyptAir Flight 804: Crucial memory chips damaged

Story highlights

  • Technical team working on repairing memory chips of black boxes
  • Airbus A320 crashed in the Mediterranean Sea on May 19

(CNN)Investigators could be weeks away from uncovering what caused EgyptAir Flight 804 to crash into the Mediterranean Sea last month, officials tell CNN.

A technical team investigating the crash is repairing the crucial memory chips of the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder, an official close to the investigation tells CNN. The so-called black boxes were discovered last week.
    Both units were damaged by the crash impact and sea water, officials said.

    Are the chips still readable?

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    The cockpit voice recorder captures sounds from the flight deck, including flight crew conversation and alarms and background noise that can help investigators understand what the flight crew was doing at the time of a crash.
    The flight data recorder gathers 25 hours of technical data from the airplane's sensors, recording several thousand distinct pieces of information, including air speed, altitude, engine performance and wing positions.
    The Airbus A320, which had 66 people aboard, suddenly vanished from the radar as it soared over the Mediterranean from Paris to Cairo on May 19.
    Officials are conducing electric testing on the data units and tell CNN that they will be able to confirm within a week "if the chips are readable."
    Amidst speculation ranging from mechanical failure to terrorism, investigators are looking to extract any bytes of the data to find the critical evidence needed to reveal what caused the crash.
    Egyptian government and airline officials have promised to be transparent in their investigation into what happened to the plane.