What makes it so difficult to locate an airplane’s black box on the ocean floor?

by Gramfan on April 17, 2014

in airlines and aviation, Australia, Gramfan (team member), water transportation

The depth of the problem

After an Australian vessel, Ocean Shield, again detected deep-sea signals consistent with those from an airplane’s black box, the official leading a multination search expressed hope Wednesday that crews will begin to find wreckage of a missing Malaysian airliner “within a matter of days.”

“I believe we’re searching in the right area,” Retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said.

All commercial transport aircraft are fitted with underwater locator beacons to assist in the relocation of black box flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders. These beacons are free-running pingers that transmit signals at an acoustic frequency of 37.5 kilohertz and have an expected battery life of 30 days. The scale of the challenge in locating the black boxes is immense.

Continue reading – view the infographic here.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 John Newton April 17, 2014 at 10:21 pm

How can a plane that size crash into the ocean and not leave any debris or fuel slick etc.?
It was obviously a gentle well planned landing if the craft is intact. With no cell phone calls from passengers (like in 911), they probably didn’t know they were decending into water. It would be nice to discover that the plane landed somewhere and the passengers were being held as captives, unless of course it was in an Islamic country, where in which case the heads most likely have already been removed.

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