The unusual circumstances surrounding the MH 380 and QZ 8501 incidents have stimulated a lot of debate about tracking aircraft over oceanic airspace(although the AirAsia plane was eventually found). Airbus (see below article) has found an elegant technical fix for the problem of finding a missing airliner. It has received the OK from EASA to include ejectable, floatable black boxes on it’s A-350 and A-380.
Their idea is merely to upgrade the existing FDR/CVR units 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 black box would be located so that it could eject and an airbag system to float the black box to the surface of a body of water.
Both ICAO and Boeing support the concept. This is an excellent example of the private sector developing a cost effective to a difficult safety issue.
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