Airbus to Install Floatable Black Boxes on Its Long-Haul Passenger Planes

© Sputnik / Mikhail Voskresensky / Go to the mediabankAirbus will equip its long-haul A350 and A380 passenger aircraft with ejectable flight data recorders
Airbus will equip its long-haul A350 and A380 passenger aircraft with ejectable flight data recorders - Sputnik International
The aircraft maker plans to install ejectable black boxes first on its long-haul A350 and A380 planes because they are used in flights over oceans.

MOSCOW, January 13 (Sputnik) — Airbus will equip its long-haul A350 and A380 passenger aircraft with ejectable flight data recorders that can float, making them easier to find at a plane crash site at sea, AFP reported Monday citing aviation sources.

"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 spokesman confirmed that the agency was working on changing the certification to allow Airbus to equip its planes with the new black boxes.

“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.

The flight data recorder of AirAsia QZ8501 is transferred to another container at the airbase in Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan January 12, 2015. - Sputnik International
Second Black Box From Crashed AirAsia Plane Retrieved: Reports
The technology was initially approved for military aircraft, but has never been used in civil aviation because up until a few years ago most of air accidents have happened during take-off or landing. Traditional recorders can be easily found on the ground.

However, in recent years the number of plane crashes over the ocean has risen, so the need for a new technology for flight data recorders has emerged.

An ejectable black box would be equipped with an airbag system so it would be able to float on the surface of the water if a plane crashes into the ocean. It would also help to indicate the exact point of the impact at the time of the crash and to find the wreckage.

The aircraft maker plans to install the ejectable black boxes first on its long-haul A350 and A380 planes because they are used in flights over oceans.

Air crash investigations can be conducted without these recorders, because the devices provide information on how the planes were operating and the conversations of the pilots. They help find causes of 90 percent of crashes, according to investigators.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is expected to vote next month on a recommendation of one its working group to equip commercial aircraft with the ejectable flight data recorders.

"We will certainly be supportive of its efforts to improve the ability of its aircraft to be located in distress situations» as long as the new systems meet or exceed its standards," ICAO spokesman Anthony Philbin said as quoted by AFP.

© SputnikPrinciple of Flight Data Recorder's Operation
Principle of Flight Data Recorder's Operation  - Sputnik International
Principle of Flight Data Recorder's Operation
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