Importance of the orange-coloured `black box`
Black box or flight data recorder, mounted in the tail of an aircraft, is one of the most important gadgets that is used to reconstruct the events leading to a plane crash.
New Delhi: Black box or flight data
recorder, mounted in the tail of an aircraft, is one of the
most important gadgets that is used to reconstruct the events
leading to a plane crash.
The term "Black Box", however, is a misnomer as its
colour is orange. This is done for easier location after a
crash. It is found in the rear part of a plane, considered the
most crash-survivable portion.
Flight data recorder (FDR) is enclosed in steel and
surrounded by multiple layers of insulation so that it remains
protected against crash, fire, and extreme climatic
It records actual flight conditions, including
altitude, airspeed, heading, vertical acceleration and
Another device cockpit voice recorder (CVR) records
radio transmissions and sounds in the cockpit, such as the
pilots’ voices and engine noises.
David Warren of Aeronautical Research Laboratories in
Melbourne is credited with the invention of the Black Box in
1953. The purpose was to help identify the reasons for a plane
crash, by recording any clues in the flight crew`s
conversation. They were painted bright red or orange to make
them easier to find after a crash.
In 1960, Australia became the first country to make
flight recorders mandatory in aircraft.
According to Directorate General of Civil Aviation
(DGCA) rules, from January 1, 2005, it is required of all
aircraft including helicopter in India to carry a CVR and FDR
for recording digital communications with Air Traffic Service
CVR is installed in the aircraft for recording aural
environment on the flight deck during flight time for the
purpose of accident/incident prevention and investigation.
If recorded on the flight data recorder, the digital
communication shall be readily correlatable to the cockpit
voice recorder recording.