Flight data recorder of ill-fated helicopter recovered by investigators

Raoul Esperas

Posted at Apr 30 2019 12:05 AM

MANILA - The most important part of the Airbus H-130 Eurocopter that crashed Thursday at a fish pond in Malolos, Bulacan was recovered by aircraft accident investigators of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Monday.

CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio, in a phone interview with ABS-CBN News, said the flight data recorder (FDR) of the ill-fated helicopter with registry number RPC 8098 was recovered intact from the crash site.

Apolonio said that the absence of a distress call prior to crash, as well as the death of all the passengers, can keep investigators in the dark as to what happened.

In this case, only the flight data recorder can determine the technical information including the condition of the aircraft moments before it crashed, Apolonio added.
The FDR also has voice recording of the aircraft and all those who is using the communication headset inside the aircraft
Apolonio said that the aircraft accident investigators have contacted Airbus Industries, manufacturer of the Airbus Eurocopter so that the recovered flight data recorder can be brought to France for technical evaluation. 

It would take three to six months to completely evaluate technical data in the FDR.

The Airbus Eurocopter, a modern design helicopter, is widely used around the world as VIP transport, with 1 pilot and 6 to 7 passengers, and as an air ambulance with 1 pilot, 2 medical crew and 2 stretchers.
Its tail rotor is specially designed with hard casing purposely to minimize the noise from the rotor blade thus earning the branding as the most quiet aircraft even while the engines are running.
Apolonio said all the major parts of the helicopter were also recovered with no sign of explosion damage, contrary to eyewitness account that they heard an explosion prior to the crash.

All the recovered parts were brought to the CAAP hangar in Plaridel, Bulacan for reconstruction to determine cause through visual reconstruction.