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The irrelevant Black Box

Virtual flight data recorder
  (+4, -1)
(+4, -1)
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At huge risk to my self esteem, I'm starting off the new year with an un-researched product idea that I've casually pondered for many years, always believing technology was not quite up to speed. Doubtless, my respected Bakers will quickly put me back in my place. With that annoying disclaimer behind me, I will share the following:

Every time there's an aircraft mishap (read: crash) the world waits anxiously for the notorious "black box" to be recovered from the scene. Therein can be found all of the arcane facts and figures, readings and ciphers which explain the exact circumstances which alligned to contribute/cause the crash.

Why can't all of that information, (everything, and perhaps more) facts pertaining to the aircraft's systems, cockpit communications, geographic location, etc. be continuously broadcast realtime to satellites and archived at least until the safe completion of the flight? "Recovering" the black box would be as simple as a few keystrokes.

I'm on my back, my belly's exposed . . . .

Arcana, Jan 01 2008

Similar proposal included in this: Improve_20Black_20Boxes
Cover that belly, quick. [MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 01 2008]

Electronic Flight Bag http://www.boeing.c...2006/may/i_ca4.html
Boeing's 787 fleet will allow wireless access to maintenance documents; also allows software updates. If it's secure enough for that, you're covered. [lurch, Jan 01 2008]

Security concerns http://news.bbc.co....usiness/7179823.stm
"If it's secure enough", I said. "Big 'if'", says they. [lurch, Jan 10 2008]


       Alas, a little research would not have failed to go unamiss. A similar proposal has been made before [see link]. I think it's an eminently sensible idea, but I presume there's some reason why it hasn't been adopted. I suspect it all boils down to FAA regulations or somesuch, and a lack of trust in the aether for conveying vital information. Or maybe the pilots don't want to be logged doing loops when the passengers are asleep.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 01 2008

       It could be that cockpit conversation consisting of: "oops," "did you see that?," "what's that noise?," "don't use your hands Sheila" could be disconcerting to potential passengers.
Arcana, Jan 01 2008

       <Standard 'I was hoping for a ____' response> I was hoping for a black box to record the amount of hair on the co-pilot's head, the temperature of the navigator's coffee, and the reflectivity of the captain's wings that day.
RayfordSteele, Jan 03 2008

       This could really promote driving safety, yet another promising application, not of Big Brother, but, Yo Mamma. Sending off records of realtime infractions, like high speed bumper riders, etc., that hold up in court -dated, witnessed, GPS'd. Electronics and IT are there waiting to stretch our safety and security and prepare us for worse things to come. Idiots and jerks won't consider stupid acts if they're sure they'll be caught, hopefully their bad habits will melt away.   

       Active heightened Video surveillance is especially needed in low income zones where most crime is, to help single moms steer their kids clear of little crimes that evolve to worse. Remove the temptation.
M Carter, Jan 05 2008

       This is a classic example of that stage of development when the obvious technological follow on meets those natural human states, dark ages intransigence and medieval logic. The GPS analogy used above is another classic. Only the boffin brained extrapolated with GPS ideas until private truck companies began to use it to track their fleets. Law enforcement has yet to catch on to stop trucks speeding and killing. The black box itself would need to be retained in the event of a malfunction that cancelled out satelite transmission. When it hasnt, no need to hunt for it.
yikes!!!, Jan 05 2008

       What if the the accident was caused because of a problem in the electrical systems of the aeroplane which also stops the transmission of the flight data?
can1073, Jan 06 2008


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