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Black Box of Campos Flight Didn’t Record Brazil Crash Audio

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Crash Site
The site of the crash of the Cessna 560XL aircraft carrying Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos in Santos, Sao Paulo state on Aug. 14, 2014. Photographer: Nelson Almeida/AFP via Getty Images

Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) -- The black box recovered from the plane that crashed this week, killing seven including Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos, doesn’t contain audio from the flight, air force investigators said.

The two hours of audio on the cockpit voice recorder don’t correspond to the flight undertaken on Aug. 13, when the Cessna 560XL carrying Campos slammed into a residential neighborhood in Santos, Sao Paulo state, the air force said in an e-mailed statement. The aircraft wasn’t equipped with a black box to record data from the flight.

In his last contact with controllers, the pilot said he would abort his landing and make another approach, according to a recording heard by Rodrigo Spader, a pilot and director of Brazil’s pilots union. The recording of the radio communication with controllers was published on the Internet.

“The voice of the pilot was totally normal,” Spader said in an interview by telephone from Sao Paulo. “In principle everything played out normally. It’s what happened after his initial approach that we still don’t know.”

Campos, who was 49, is survived by his wife and five children.

Because the accident involves a U.S. manufactured aircraft, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board sent an investigator accompanied by technical advisors from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Cessna Aircraft Company to assist in the probe, according to an NTSB statement.

Audio isn’t the only source of information used to investigate the cause of crashes, the air force said.

Low-wing Jet

The airplane crashed around 10 a.m. local time, killing Campos, the two pilots and four members of his campaign team. Initial results from DNA analysis of victims’ remains will be ready tomorrow, Sao Paulo’s public security secretariat said in an e-mailed statement.

The Cessna 560XL that crashed is a low-wing jet that is flown by a crew of two and can seat up to 12 passengers, although nine is standard, according to a sales brochure for the model.

The aircraft is owned by Cessna Finance Export Corp. and leased to AF Andrade Empreendimentos e Participacoes, according to the civil aviation agency website. The status of the registry is for operational lease, the website shows.

L-3 Communications Holdings Inc., based in New York, manufactures the cockpit voice recorder, according to a description of the jet’s specifications posted on the website of Textron Inc., which owns Cessna.

A remote microphone in the instrument panel glareshield continually records pilot and copilot audio communications as well as other sounds, storing the last 120 minutes of data prior to a system shutdown, according Textron’s website.

Nicole Alexander, a Textron spokeswoman, wouldn’t comment on the cockpit voice recorder or the aircraft’s maintenance history because the planemaker is assisting the crash investigation. A spokesman for L-3 couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on the failure to record the flight’s audio.

To contact the reporters on this story: Raymond Colitt in Brasilia Newsroom at rcolitt@bloomberg.net; Anna Edgerton in Brasilia at aedgerton@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andre Soliani at asoliani@bloomberg.net Randall Woods

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