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France’s BEA begins Helios CVR examination

Flight International online news 17:00GMT: France’s air accident investigation body, the BEA, is assessing information on the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) from the Helios Airways Boeing 737-300 which crashed in Greece on 14 August.

While the flight-data recorder from the Helios crash was found quickly, recovery of the CVR was delayed because its recording system and protective shell had separated from its main casing at the moment of impact. But BEA, which is tasked with analysing both recorders, says that the CVR was "only slightly damaged".

Meanwhile, according to Air Transport Intelligence, the French agency is evaluating "for the possible benefit of the Greek investigation" data from a depressurisation event on 19 August involving a 737-300 operated by UK charter carrier Astraeus.

The aircraft, flying between Mahon in Menorca to Leeds-Bradford with 144 passengers and six crew, carried out an emergency descent from 36,000ft in response to automated warnings of a technical problem with the pressurisation system. Both pilots were on oxygen and masks deployed automatically in the passenger cabin.

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