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Current Affairs

Black boxes

Date: 25 March 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Chinese aviation authority has recovered the black box from the crash site of China Eastern MU5735.

 

Background

The airlines had crashed on the mountain-side, resulting in the death of all the passengers and crew.

 

Details

  • The black box is extremely important for understanding what caused the country’s worst airline disaster in years.

  • China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 plane experienced a vertical fall, from the height of 29,100 feet to 7,850 feet in less than a minute.

  • They were invented in 1950s after investigators were unable to identify the cause of accidents.

 

Black box

  • Flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorder together make up black boxes. They are metallic containers that have to be installed on all aircrafts.

  • One of the black boxes is kept at the front and the other at the rear. They record information about the flight and helps in reconstructing events that led to accident.

 

Working

  • The cockpit voice recorder records radio transmissions and other sounds in the cockpit, including conversations between the pilots, and engine noises.

  • The flight data recorder captures more than 80 different types of information such as altitude, airspeed, vertical acceleration, flight heading, pitch, roll, autopilot status, etc.

 

Function

Their function is to identify the causes of a mishap and, help to prevent such incidents in the future.

 

Features

  • Unlike the name, black boxes are blazing, high-visibility orange in colour. This increases their chances of retrieval.

  • They are made of strong substances such as steel or titanium, and are insulated from extreme heat, cold or wetness.

  • They are equipped with beacon that sends ultrasound signals for 30 days in order to locate it under water.

 

Data retrieval

To retrieve data from black boxes, 15-20 days are needed. They need specialised labs to handle the data with utmost care.