SALT LAKE CITY – Federal investigators have recovered a cockpit voice recorder from the Missoula-based air tanker that crashed in Utah and killed two pilots who were fighting a wildfire.
National Transportation Safety Board supervisor Debra Eckrote tells the Associated Press on Friday that the voice recorder survived the crash intact and was sent for analysis to a Washington, D.C., lab.
An NTSB investigator also recovered a black box that monitors engine performance and other mechanical systems. But Eckrote says that box was damaged and may not yield useful data.
Eckrote says the tanker was reduced by Sunday’s crash on a mountain slope to fragments that revealed few clues about the cause of the accident.
U.S. Forest Service contractor Neptune Aviation Services has said the voice recorder could have captured conversation with the pilot of a smaller aircraft that was guiding the Lockheed P2V tanker on drop runs.