While air travel is one of the safest and fastest forms of transport, recent disasters including the China Eastern MU5735, AirAsia QZ8501, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, remind us that there will always be a need for black box data recovery.

What Is a Black Box from a Flight/Plane

A black box, also called a flight recorder, is of the size of a shoebox, fits inside the aircraft to record in-flight information. The data can be used in the event of an incident or accident. Australia was the first country to make black boxes mandatory in its airplanes. 

recover black box data

There are two types of flight recording devices: the flight data recorder (FDR) and the cockpit voice recorder (CVR).

  • FDR preserves the recent history of the flight through the recording of dozens of parameters collected several times per second. 
  • CVR preserves the recent history of the sounds in the cockpit, including the conversation of the pilots. 

The two devices may be combined into a single unit. Together, the FDR and CVR objectively document the aircraft's flight history, which may assist in any later investigation. Investigators use the black box recordings to understand as much as possible about a plane's activity before a crash. When the power is lost on a plane the black box is disconnected and the internal power supply is initiated to start "pinger". The pinger emits a periodic signal and this can be picked up by investigators searching for lost aircraft.

Part 1. How to Recover Black Box Recordings

Usually, the black box could be damaged after a crash. Then, how to recover black box recordings after you have found the black box? You need to ask EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for help if your black box can be recognized with a computer. Among all these data recovery tools, EaseUS data recovery software is my suggestion. This disk data recovery software can restore CCTV recordings, black box recordings, lost videos, screen recordings, and more. Besides, it has many highlights.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

  • Recover files from SD card, memory card, HDD, SSD, USB, external hard drive, etc.
  • Recover data after a system crash, an accidental deletion, or a mistaken format.
  • Restore almost all kinds of files like pictures, videos, music, documents, and more.
 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

Download and install this video recovery software and follow the steps below to get back black box recordings.

Step 1. Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and select the location or device where you lost/deleted videos. Click "Scan" to find the missing videos.

select a location and click scan

Step 2. After the scan, choose "Videos" in the left panel. Go to "Lost" or "All" to find the wanted videos. Select the found videos and click "Preview".

scan for deleted videos and click Preview

Step 3. Select the video files that you want to restore. Click "Recover" to save them to another secure location on your PC or external storage device.

Restore lost or deleted videos

Part 2. How to Repair Corrupted Black Box Recordings

What if the recovered recordings are corrupted? Or, you didn't lose the recordings but just can't open the videos. Then, you need to repair videos on your own. They can be easy if you repair corrupted black box recordings with professional video repair software. EaseUS Fixo Video Repair can repair corrupted or unplayable videos easily. It supports most video file formats, such as MP4, MKV, MOV, M2TS, MTS, 3GP, etc.

 Free Download

Trustpilot Rating 4.7

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Video repair software is not hard to operate, and you can follow the steps below to learn how to repair corrupted videos with EaseUS Fixo Video Repair:

Step 1. Open Fixo on your local PC. Click "Video Repair" and add the corrupted MP4/MOV/AVI/MKV/3GP/FLV/MKV/WMV video files by clicking "Add Videos".

add videos to repair videos with Fixo

Step 2. Move the pointer to a video and click the "Repair" button to start the single video repairing process. If you want to repair all the videos, click "Repair All".

select videos to repair

Step 3. Wait a few minutes, and the corrupted videos will be repaired. Click the play icon to preview the videos. You can save a single video by clicking the "Save" button next to the play icon. If you want to save all the repaired videos, choose "Save All".

save repaired videos in Fixo

Step 4. If the quick repair fails, you should utilize the advanced repair mode. Click "Advanced Repair" and add a sample video. Choose "Confirm" to ensure.

add sample videos to perform advanced repair

Step 5. A list of detailed information on corrupted and sample videos will show up. Click "Repair Now" to start the advanced video repair process. When the repair is complete, you can view the videos and click the "Save" button to save the repaired video files to an appropriate destination.

click repair now to start advanced repair

Part 3. Damaged Black Box, Contact Our Experts

What if the black box is damaged? You need to ask data recovery experts for help. A manual data recovery service can do you a great favor.

Consult with EaseUS Data Recovery Experts for one-on-one manual recovery service. We could offer the following services after FREE diagnosis:

  • Repair corrupted RAID structure, unbootable Windows OS and corrupted virtual disk file (.vmdk, .vhd, .vhdx, etc.)
  • Recover/repair lost partition and re-partitioned drive
  • Unformat hard drive and repair raw drive (BitLocker encrypted drive)
  • Fix disks that become GPT protected partitions


Findings will be used by both the prosecution and the defense in cases or investigations so should be held securely and prove beyond doubt that data is accurate. Thus, it's advised to get data recovery experts' help from a specialized company (like EaseUS).

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

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Updated by Dany

Dany is an editor of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. She focuses on writing articles about data recovery on Mac devices and PCs. She is devoted to improving her writing skills and enriching her professional knowledge. Dany also enjoys reading detective novels in her spare time.

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Approved by Evan Galasso

Evan Galasso is a digital forensics and data recovery engineer with over 10 years of experience in the field. He presents opinions on the current state of storage media, reverse engineering of storage systems and firmware, and electro-mechanical systems of SSDs and HDDs.

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