PARIS — The cockpit voice recorder from the Air Algerie flight that crashed last month in northern Mali, killing all 116 passengers and crew, is unintelligible, investigators said on Thursday. Experts in Paris examining the two "black boxes" retrieved from the wreckage of the plane have been unable to extract information from one, Remi Jouty, president of France's BEA air accident investigator, told a news conference.
The voice recorder on the 18-year-old aircraft used magnetic audio tape, a system replaced in more recent aircraft by digital technology. The tape was broken or crumpled in places and had to be repaired but the pilots' conversations still could not be understood, with Jouty saying that first indications were that it was a "simple technical problem".
French officials have said they believe bad weather was the likely cause of the crash of flight AH5017, but have not ruled out other explanations. The strong concentration of debris in one spot on the ground leads experts to believe that the plane crashed upon impact rather than disintegrating in the air, Jouty said.