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Has there been a time either during an aviation accident or during normal flight where the flight data recorder or the cockpit voice recorder devices failed or the data was significantly corrupted?

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    $\begingroup$ There are a number of incidents recorded where the FDR was destroyed or unreadable, most being due to post-accident fires. Wiki have the following list; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unrecovered_flight_recorders $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 12:47
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    $\begingroup$ @SteveMatthews-- The above comment should be made an answer. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 14:30
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    $\begingroup$ I seem to recall a case where a flight recorder was actually stuck prior to an accident, recording nothing until a midair collision jarred it loose. So it was able to record the aftermath. I'll have to see if I can find that. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 18:34
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    $\begingroup$ It was the Zagreb midair. I can't find anything in that article about it, but a book I have says, "The cockpit voice recorder on the Yugoslav aircraft had not been working properly but the impact jolted it into action." (Air Disasters, Stanley Stewart, p. 142) $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 18:55

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As mentioned in the comment above, there is lot of aviation accidents with unrecovered flight recorders. List from wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unrecovered_flight_recorders

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    $\begingroup$ Unrecovered is not the same thing as failed. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 26, 2020 at 1:05
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    $\begingroup$ How do you know the recorder failed if it wasn't recovered? 🤔 $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 28, 2020 at 6:09

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