NTSB Starts Examining Data from El Faro’s VDR

The examination of data that may be contained on the El Faro’s recently recovered voyage data recorder started on August 15, a week after the device was brought to surface from the ocean floor, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said.

NTSB said that the examination is scheduled to be undertaken in two rounds. The initial round will investigate the raw audio without any clean up or filtering, thus helping to determine the future scope of work.

From the first audition, the NTSB Research and Engineering team will produce a general characterization of the data that details the number of hours, quality of data, quality of audio, presence of GPS, radar, and any other data captured.

NTSB will then convene a VDR investigative group, which will work together to create a transcript of any audio recovered from the recorder. The data would be used to inform the future activities related to the El Faro investigation.

The device, which was designed to record navigational data and communications between crewmembers on the ship’s bridge, is expected to reveal information about the final hours of El Faro’s voyage and the circumstances leading up to the sinking.

The recovery of the capsule caps a 10-month-long, multi-agency effort to retrieve the recorder.