The Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigation is progressing.

The aircraft's Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) arrived in Canberra late on Wednesday evening. Downloading and preliminary analysis overnight has revealed good data from both recorders. Data from the FDR has been provided to Qantas, the French Bureau d'Enqu'tes et d'Analyses (BEA) and Airbus as parties to the investigation.

While the full interpretation and analysis of the recorded data will take some time, preliminary review of the data indicates that after the aircraft climbed about 200 feet from its cruising level of 37,000 feet, the aircraft then pitched nose-down and descended about 650 feet in about 20 seconds, before returning to the cruising level. This was closely followed by a further nose-down pitch where the aircraft descended about 400 feet in about 16 seconds before returning once again to the cruising level. Detailed review and analysis of FDR data is ongoing to assist in identifying the reasons for the events.

In addition, the on-site investigation activity is continuing and includes:

  • recording and photographing cabin damage
  • removing panels to examine wiring for damage prior to restoring power to the aircraft
  • preparation for downloading data from the aircraft's on-board computerised systems
  • arranging interviews with the pilots and cabin crew.

The ATSB plans to distribute a survey to all passengers and will conduct interviews with injured passengers to understand what occurred in the aircraft cabin. Passengers with information about the accident are encouraged to contact the ATSB at

The ATSB will provide further media releases when significant new factual information comes to light, ahead of a Preliminary Factual Report in 30 days time.

Media contact: 1800 020 616
Last update 29 January 2014