Ejectable black boxes coming to Airbus jets

2015-01-12 21:28

(File) (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - The Airbus A350 and A380 passengers jets will soon come equipped with ejectable black boxes that can float, making them easier to find in an air crash at sea, aviation sources said on Monday.

"At the end of last year Airbus got the green light from EASA [European Air Security Agency] to work on the necessary modifications to its planes in order to install these new black boxes in the rear of the planes," one of the sources told AFP.

An EASA spokesperson confirmed that the agency was working on changing the necessary certification to allow Airbus to equip its planes with the new flight data and cockpit voice recorders.

"The change is generally quick," the spokesperson added.

The technology, which has already been approved for military aircraft, has not been used in civil aviation because up until a few years ago air accidents have mainly happened during take-off or landing. Black boxes are generally found easily on land.

But in recent years passenger jets have crashed into the ocean raising the need for new technology to help find the black boxes. These recorders are critical in air crash investigations as they provide information on how the planes were operating and the conversations of the pilots.

In 2009 an Air France jet travelling from Rio to Paris went down in the Atlantic and the search for the black boxes at the bottom of the ocean took nearly two years.

In March last year a Malaysia Airlines disappeared over the Indian Ocean and its black boxes have still not be found.

Then last month an AirAsia plane crashed into the Java Sea and so far divers have found the flight data recorder but not yet the cockpit recorder.

"The idea is to modify the black boxes so that each one records the flight details and [cockpit] conversations. One would be ejectable, the other not," a source close to Airbus explained to AFP.

An ejectable black box would be equipped with an airbag system so it could float on the surface of the water in the event of a crash at sea. It would also help to indicate the exact point of impact at the time of the crash and to find the wreckage.

The Toulouse-based aircraft maker plans to install the ejectable black boxes first on its A350 and A380 jets since they are used in transatlantic flights.

Read more on:    airbus  |  airasia  |  airasia qz8501

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.