Aviation News, Headlines & Alerts
Category: <span>Flight Data Recorder</span>

Pinging for Egyptair MS 804 as the Clock Runs Out

When a plane goes down in the ocean, the black boxes aboard have enough juice to ping for thirty days. The pingers on flight data recorders AKA “black boxes” last a minimum of 30 days. After 30 days, the devices are still active, but the sound on which searchers hone is expected to die out. The pinger is located by a “pinger locater,” a device that listens for the sound of the black box. It is towed within the search area but it’s listening radius is usually around 2 miles. The pinger’s sound is not very powerful, and the pinger is towed at 3 knots.

After AirFrance 447, legislation was underway to increase the battery life to 90 days. The technology exists, but because implementation of that transition has been slow, EgyptAir MS 804’s pinger battery is expected to expire at around 30 days.

Comoros: Putting together the Black Box puzzle

Yemenia Flight 626 from Paris to Moroni sank into the ocean on June 30, killing 152 people, with one survivor. The black boxes were found Friday.

Just because the black boxes were found does not mean the route to discovery is on track. Apparently there was so much damage to the black boxes, there is going to be trouble recovering the data. That’s not new. In fact, usually when there is trouble reading the black boxes, investigators call in the company that made the boxes, and they are usually able to mine the data in spite of damage.

The BEA, the French aviation authority is handling the investigation. Many of those aboard were French and/or French Comoran.

Did they–are they–sending the boxes to the US? They’d have a better chance of recovery if they do.

Spanair Cause Inconclusive

So far there have been no groundbreaking discoveries regarding the cause of the Aug. 20 Spanair crash beyond what was known originally: a problem with the plane’s wing flaps and the failure of a cockpit alarm, evidence of which is backed up by the plane’s black boxes. The plane’s history indicates that this was not the first time the wing slats were an issue. Two days before the accident, they were repaired.

Before the crash, on the plane’s first pass, a warning sounded from a “heat sensor in the engine inlet” which prompted the pilots to return to the gate and get it inspected. The system was “isolated, ” i.e. unplugged.

The technician discusses the disconnected probe.

Flight Data Recorders found

Thirty six searchers, officials and forensics staff members have been attempting recovery of the remains of the 46 fatalities of the Santa Barbara ATR crash. Vina announced that the two flight data recorders were found. The “black boxes” hold “information on the aircraft’s electronic equipment and the ‘voice data recorder’ that records the conversations the pilots had within the craft and with others.”

Currently the weather is impeding investigations.

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