Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Back-up battery for black boxes
Black box flight recorders are key to finding out the cause of an air crash, but they are sometimes blank. Now there is a fix. Flight recorders are powered by three circuits, each tripping to the next if one cuts out. But recording stops if all power is lost. The International Civil Aviation Organization recommended that flight recorders should have back-up batteries by 2004. But technical issues slowed the plan. It is finally going to happen. New US registered planes will have battery backed recorders by April 2010, with retrofits on old planes by 2012.