Black Box Found In China Boeing 737 Crash. Here’s What They Will Be Looking For.

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Searchers in the mountainous terrain near the city of Wuzhou, China, have located after days of searching one of the two so-called black boxes from Flight MU5735, which crashed earlier this week. All 132 aboard perished in the crash that followed a high-speed, nearly vertical descent.

In addition to a flight data recorder, the airplane was equipped with a cockpit voice recorder, which is the one that searchers located. For the record, both black boxes are orange. They are also heavily shielded, with a very strong and thick steel housing. The memory is housed in more than a foot of dense foam, too. They are not indestructible, but pretty darned close to it.

It is hoped that the other one is located soon, as well. It probably will be, though there are no guarantees.

If just one were found, which would be the more useful? At this point, it’s impossible to say. It depends on what happened. If the plane suffered a mechanical error, the flight data recorder, which captures and stores a record of every imaginable control movement and system function, would be the one to tell the tale, at least hopefully. But if the crash was a result of pilot action, the cockpit voice recorder might be the more useful one to investigators, as it would have presumably captured the words of the pilots leading up to the crash.

In that instance, however, the flight data recorder might be the more useful of the two recorders, as it captures a record of pilot input, so if one of the pilots was bent on taking his own life, along with those of 131 others, by flying into the ground, those inputs would be captured and tell the tale. Hopes are high that they will discover the flight data recorder soon.

Regardless of what investigators learn from the probe, it won’t bring anyone back, but it could help prevent future air disasters and answer questions about what exactly went wrong and why.

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Categories: How to Become a Pilot

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