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A Close Glimpse on Airplane’s Black Box

Airplane’s black box is referred to two recording devices used in aircrafts: the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder. In fact, if these two devices appear in news, it means tragedy has already happened. However, the black box’s mission is to help people investigate accidents via the data recorded and prevent similar events from happening.

Flight MH370 Black Box

Malaysia airlines flight #MH370 , a Boeing 777-200ER flight, carries a Honeywell ED-55 flight data recording system. *Image source: engtechmag.

This system gained extensive public attention last year, since the Asiana Airlines’ AA214 crashed in San Francisco International Airport on July 6, 2013, resulting in 3 deaths. The flight was also a Boeing 777-200ER, but it had a different model of engine compared with MH370. After analyzing the data from AA214’s black box, investigators finally determined that the accident was resulted from the pilots’ negligence.

AA214’s black box

AA214’s black box found by the crash investigators. *Image source: Reuters.

Air France Flight 447 crashed into thousands-meter deep Atlantic Ocean on June 1, 2009, and its black box was not found until May, 2011, when investigators employed remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) to salvage it and eventually closed the case.

BEA

*Image source: BEA.

 

It has been half a century since the invention of “black box”, and the MH370 flight incident may provoke new air flight safety standard. In the future, satellite-based, real-time flight safety monitoring device might become a practical option for civil aviation.

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