Set up in aviation in 1960, a black box is the device that records information related to the flight of an aircraft. It is thanks to her that after an accident, the competent authorities with the ICAO in mind determine the causes of minor or major incident that could be at the origin of a crash. Strangely, the color “black” in its name does not refer to its own color at all, but probably because it is very useful only after a crash, a sinister situation, the sinister returning to black. The “Black Box” is rather orange or red with reflective white bands, which facilitates its location knowing that when the plane is destroyed the debris are black in color due to the explosion.
There are two types of black boxes: the CVR (Cockpit Voice Recorder) or voice recorder, designed to record conversations in the cockpit and the FDR (Flight Data Recorder) or recorder settings, which records the flight data. They are placed at the rear of the plane for two main reasons
- Best preserved part after an accident
- To limit the damage of the impact either with the ground or with the sea.
The CVR and the FDR are designed not to be destroyed in a crash. Black box data is protected by three layers of material to ensure disaster resistance.
Here are some characteristics of this unique equipment:
- Its fire resistance 1100 ° C: During one hour
- Its resistance to water pressure: 7000 meters deep
- Static crush strength: 22.25 KN (2267.96 kg)
- Its battery life: 6 years
- Its duration of emission of the underwater beacon: 30 days.
- Its range of emission of the beacon: 2 Km
The recorded data make it possible to reconstitute the flight in its terminal phase and can be introduced into a flight simulator for reconstitution of the flight. Black boxes explain almost 90% of accidents.
A recent example of the use of black boxes: the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 disaster on March 10, 2019; the black boxes found, and after analysis by the BEA in France have indicated that the failure came from the stabilization system of the device. With this information, the company Boeing can make a correction on this model and review at the same time the system of all its aircraft. As noted by the company’s communications department, all aircraft in this model will be overhauled in order to make necessary modifications and updates. Certainly it is for this reason that the Ethiopian company has reaffirmed its confidence to the American manufacturer.
After the plane crash we observe the mobilization of a collective of competent organizations to examine and eradicate the problem of keeping the plane number one of the least risky transports. We therefore agree that without the “black box” aviation institutions, aircraft manufacturing companies can only say if an accident occurs.
Article from AFRIC Editorial
Credit image : google image