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Time to leave `black box` for advanced technology

Last Updated: Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 20:37

New York: At a time when a massive search is on to find the flight data recorder, or `black box,` to know what happened to the missing Malaysia Airlines, experts believe it is right time to move over the good old `black box` and adopt latest technology.

An advanced technology already exists that would allow the missing flight’s condition, engine performance, cockpit conversations and other data to be streamed real-time back to the airline’s headquarters or manufacturer.

Some aviation experts feel it is the right time to put this technology into place.
“Such a solution is long overdue, considering the state of technology today and the overriding importance of providing timely data to investigators,” Alan Diehl, a former accident investigator, was quoted as saying in a Wall Street Journal report.

This technology would help pinpoint what went wrong more quickly than a months-long search for the black box.

Others note that modern aircraft produce terabytes of data that would overwhelm satellite transmission and digital storage devices back home.
“It is technically feasible but the question is whether it is worth the cost,” said John Hansman, director of the International Centre for Air Transportation at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

After the 2009 Air France crash, European aviation regulators supported the goal of planes being able to beam down safety data.

Some aircraft already transmit their position through satellite links rather than relying on ground-based radar scans, the report added.

First Published: Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 20:37

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