Flight data recorders should help in the search for answers

December 29, 2014

The grim mission of finding AirAsia flight QZ8501 continues off the Indonesian coast today as the officials now fear that the plane is at the bottom of the Java Sea. The crew lost contact early Sunday morning and exactly what happened remains a mystery, but Indonesian Transport Minister Ignasius Jonan believes that the plane may be in the waters off Sumatra, which at 50 to 100 meters  (165 to 330 feet) deep would allow for ships to search around the clock for the 162 mostly Indonesians aboard and presumed dead. 

As this Reuters graphic shows, the boats and planes looking for the Airbus A320-200 will initially be hoping to field a signal from the Emergency Locator Transmitter, which sits near the tail of the aircraft. When the plane is found, experts will pore over data that was collected from the engines, wings and a host of sensors and continually saved to the Crash Survivable Memory Unit—popularly known as the “black box”— in the Flight Data Recorder. This information, in tandem with the crew conversations and ambient noises saved to the plane’s Cockpit Voice Recorder, should help authorities piece together the last moments of a the third flight to go missing in what has been a sad and scary year for Malaysia-affiliated air travel.

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3 comments

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The question here is why they were denied to increase altitude to avoid the storm. Seems like the pilot made the request for safety. Was the denial also for safety?

Posted by Prox | Report as abusive

The term “black boxes” should be banned from usage by any professional journalist or news media. It does not take much longer to say data recorders. Commercial aviation has used these recorders for 50 years. It should not be that hard for the news media to catch up and use the correct technical terms.

It should not be that difficult to find the data recorders as the water is fairly shallow in depth.

Posted by davidhoffman5 | Report as abusive

HAVE SOME GREAT INSIGHTFUL REVELATION ABOUT THE HUGE NUMBER OF RECENT AIR CRASHES, ACTUALLY HAD IT SOMETIME BEFORE THE DATA RECORDER OF THE AIR INDONESIA WAS FOUND.
EVERYBODY IS WONDERING ABOUT UFO HIJACKING TO UNKNOWN MISSILES AND WHAT NOT. WHAT I THINK IS WHAT ABOUT A SUDDEN EXPLOSIVE ATMOSPHERIC PHENOMENON YET UNOBSERVED ,AN ATTENDANT CONSEQUENCE OF WORLD WIDE CLIMATE CHANGE,SAY LIKE A GIANT AIR POCKET [HENCE FORTH KNOWN AS “BINPOCKETS!..pat pend ha!].
SERIOUSLY A SUDDEN DEPRESSION OF ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE OR A GIGANTIC UPDRAFT OR DOWN DRAFT. I WAS JUST GOOGLING THIS BEFORE POSTING AND CAME ACROSS THIS YOUR SITE.
WHAT I STATE AND PROPOSE IS THIS “UNBELIEVABLY” STEEP CLIMB” WHICH NO SANE PILOT WOULD DO AND WHICH WAS,I QUOTE
“So far, the numbers taken by the radar are unbelievably high. This rate of climb is very high, too high. It appears to be beyond the performance envelope of the aircraft,” he said.”
MUST NOT HAVE BEEN DONE UNDER ENGINE POWER BUT AS THE RESULT OF AN CATACLYSMIC [ causing sudden and violent upheaval.] ATMOSPHERIC PHENOMENON.
I WOULD SUGGEST AVIATION EXPERTS CONSIDER THIS POSSIBILITY.

Posted by BinuIsaac | Report as abusive