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AF 447 Flight Recorder Found In the Atlantic

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the famous-memory-part dept.

Transportation 218

romiz writes "The memory of the flight recorder for the Air France 447 flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, crashed on June 1st 2009, has been found on the seabed of the Atlantic Ocean, and brought back to the surface in good shape. This is the data recorder, which saves the flight parameters. The search is still continuing in hope of finding the voice recorder containing the sounds recorded in the plane's cockpit."

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first? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35992472)

yup, first post bitches.

Re:first? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35993198)

This gentleman actually was first before a coward tagged him with overrated.

Needle in a Hay Stack (1)

Ashenkase (2008188) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992508)

I wonder how far down it was?

Re:Needle in a Hay Stack (5, Funny)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992538)

All the way.

Re:Needle in a Hay Stack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35992566)

The pictures show it clearly sitting on the surface, more or less exposed.

Re:Needle in a Hay Stack (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992708)

Is that you, FZ?

Re:Needle in a Hay Stack (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992740)

On the very bottom, no less!

Re:Needle in a Hay Stack (1)

polymath69 (94161) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992832)

All the way.

How many is that in turtles?

Amazing (2, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992550)

The memory of the flight recorder for the Air France 447 flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, crashed on June 1st 2009, has been found on the seabed of the Atlantic Ocean...

When you look at the twisted mass of wreckage the flight recorder came from, finding the data unit is a miracle. Thousands of feet underwater, working remotely in a pile of twisted metal and they find a little memory unit. I have trouble finding my car keys some days.

Re:Amazing (1, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992560)

I have trouble finding my car keys some days.

I'm sure if you spent a couple dozen million dollars, you would find your car keys very quickly.

Meh. (1, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992682)

New car.

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35992688)

But if they were on the ocean floor, you probably wouldn't.

Re:Amazing (1, Troll)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992698)

I have trouble finding my car keys some days.

I'm sure if you spent a couple dozen million dollars, you would find your car keys very quickly.

Surely at that price it would be more cost effective to just buy a new car every day. $24M @ $30k per car would get you 800 days or over 2 years before you have to go searching for another day's car. If you drive a cheaper car and/or buy in bulk you could probably push that to 3 1/2 years. Or better yet buy or fit one out so that it's keyless. Of course your car won't be as cool as anything that can submerge a few thousand feet and still operate, but hey thems the breaks kid.

Re:Amazing (2)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992764)

1% interest rate on $24M would be enough to pay the annual salaries of chauffeurs 24/7 to sit in your driveway holding your keys, for life.

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35993030)

That would be pretty fucking awesome, too!

Re:Amazing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35992784)

No one has mentioned the obvious and cheapest solution - buy a Haitian kid for $20 and glue him to your keys. Then whenever you need them, just follow your nose. Remember the shaker attachment is extra.

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35993210)

For that amount you could hire me to hold your keys for you. Minimum wage + benefits.
You could even just take 6 or 8 million and pay me a wage from the interest...

If the car is nice enough, I may even drive it for you.

Sonny.

(captcha = grandpa)

Re:Amazing (2)

kangsterizer (1698322) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992936)

Of euros. I think it's worth mentioning that the French found it. Not that they've been fast tho , but credit where it's due ;-)

Euro is both singular and plural! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35993014)

I was in Dublin, Ireland, when the Euro currency came in.

Due to the different ways each European language handles plurals, it was decided not to have a different word for the plural. This was emphasised in the conversion literature.

So half of 7 Euro would be 3 Euro 50 cent.

Re:Euro is both singular and plural! (2, Insightful)

Richy_T (111409) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993214)

But this is the English language. Not only will we add an "s", we might even throw in an apostrophe or two for good measure.

Re:Euro is both singular and plural! (2)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993354)

Only if you're a grocer.

Re:Euro is both singular and plural! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35993248)

It was decided? Common usage is now euros, in English, so... eventually the literature will have to change.

In situations where "euros" would be translated in text, the rest would have to be translated too, so one word is negligible. In the symbolic case, there is no need to translate.

Re:Amazing (3, Interesting)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993222)

I think it's worth mentioning that the French found it.

With more than a little of help from the Americans at WHOI [whoi.edu] .

Re:Amazing (3, Interesting)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992872)

This is quite possibly one of the best examples of just how far underwater robotics have come. They literally found something that is harder to find then a needle in a haystack by several orders of magnitude.

Re:Amazing (4, Funny)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992892)

In fact, finding a needle in a haystack is trivial. Douse the whole stack in gas, torch it, and then run a strong electromagnet over the ash.

Re:Amazing (2)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993278)

What is the gas for?

Re:Amazing (1)

scrib (1277042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993356)

What is the gas for?

Fun.
Although, I'm not sure how the magnet will help you find a charred pine needle in a mess like that...
I always wondered why some other sort of needle would be mixed in with hay.

Re:Amazing (1)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993366)

If you're going to charge spectators for watching the conflaguration, you gotta make it spectacular.

Re:Amazing (1)

Tripp1000 (2097282) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992994)

The memory of the flight recorder for the Air France 447 flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, crashed on June 1st 2009, has been found on the seabed of the Atlantic Ocean...

When you look at the twisted mass of wreckage the flight recorder came from, finding the data unit is a miracle. Thousands of feet underwater, working remotely in a pile of twisted metal and they find a little memory unit. I have trouble finding my car keys some days.

Sometimes you have to go to extreme measures to get the answers you need. I am sure the 24 million is money well spent, especially if they find out that a previously unknown mechanical failure caused the issue. Finding a mechanic failure could prevent future deaths. If the cause was terrorism, then the hunt would begin for those responsible.

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35993056)

That's even less time than it took to find Obama's long form birth certificate.
(Remember that only a few months ago, the Governor of Hawaii could find it.)

Maybe it's a forgery. (The memory, not the birth certificate.) ;-)

Hightlights of recovery operations (-1, Troll)

slashser (2097052) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992602)

Here is nice video [bit.ly] covering the recovery operation

Re:Hightlights of recovery operations (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993230)

Warning: Very Graphic Gay Porn Troll Ahead!

maybe this is a stupid question.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35992626)

but couldn't this information be transmitted and stored remotely?

Re:maybe this is a stupid question.... (1)

vbraga (228124) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992664)

Airbus already records remotely some telemetry data but not voice data.

Re:maybe this is a stupid question.... (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992838)

I would say: the bandwidth you need grows proportionally with the amount of data you transfer. maybe thats the reason. i imagine you can send the most important telemetry data every 10sec using a rate of 300bps but to record pilot and copilot in high quality i think you will need 100 times more. if you have to use SW or satellite, you will be limited.

Re:maybe this is a stupid question.... (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992998)

Not to mention you'd need the bandwidth on the satellite system to deal with every commercial airliner in the air simultaneously.

Nice video of recovery operation (-1, Troll)

slashser1 (2097160) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992632)

CNBC has nice overview [bit.ly] of the recovery operation.

Re:Nice video of recovery operation (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992672)

Warning: Very Graphic Gay Porn Troll Ahead!!

Re:Nice video of recovery operation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35992676)

CNBC has nice overview [bit.ly] of the recovery operation.

Um, not quite. That is a link to some lame-ass porn, a dude's ass I think. Difficult to tell as the browser window bounced all over my screen as I tried to close it.

However, it could have been recorder rescue footage if the device was actually in the guy's ass... How it got there from the bottom of the ocean is perhaps worth further investigation.

Re:Nice video of recovery operation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35992882)

Yeeeeeeeee-hah!

Why have two separate boxes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35992646)

Since the recorders are now digital, why have one "data" and one "voice" recorder? Why not have both recorders record voice and data. This way you only need to find one box in case of a crash.

Re:Why have two separate boxes? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992912)

Or have two recorders that both do voice and data, to provide redundancy. But remember that the civil aviation regulation is still stuck perhaps not in the biplane era, but somewhere close.

BBC video of recovery operation (-1, Troll)

slashser2 (2097182) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992692)

Really amazing stuff [bit.ly]

DO NOT CLICK ON THIS LINK! (3, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992712)

Do not click on above link, it's a shock video.

No mod points or I'd mod it down.

Re:DO NOT CLICK ON THIS LINK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35992786)

The only shocking thing is that even in 2011 people are confusing their digestive system with their reproductive system. Really, they couldn't just check an anatomy textbook online to see what hole does what? And then the light goes off in their heads: "Wait a minute, this penis thing goes in a VAGINA! Ah ha!" Then they stop, get dressed, have a beer and a good laugh. "Boy, were WE confused!" And then go find two women.

Re:DO NOT CLICK ON THIS LINK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35993092)

Well you gotta be using the second woman on some hole while the first is on your shaft. So yeah I could see how that mistake could be commonly made, especially in the presence of two women :D

Re:DO NOT CLICK ON THIS LINK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35993448)

The only shocking thing is that even in 2011 people are confusing their digestive system with their reproductive system.

Not a fan of blow jobs, huh?

Re:BBC video of recovery operation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35992736)

recommend against clicking on this link. It did something funny to my browser

Re:BBC video of recovery operation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35993286)

You're lucky, I got a STD from watching it :(

Justice (-1, Troll)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992718)

Lets hope that the bastards at Airbus are made to pay for their crappy design.

Re:Justice (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35992742)

They'll get paid by Boeing for patent infringement when the 787 starts deep see exploration.

Re:Justice (1)

dirty_ghost (1673990) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992828)

and more if they do deep *sea* exploration

Re:Justice (1)

dammy (131759) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992804)

If it ain't a Boeing, I'm not going. Less I'm flying myself, then Piper or Cessna is fine.

Re:Justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35993066)

Yes because they never crash.

http://www.airsafe.com/events/models/boeing.htm
http://www.airsafe.com/events/models/b737.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWZQyRUkffk

Never mind cessna, lol.

Re:Justice (0)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992820)

Oh? One has information that no one else in the whole world has? Or is one just engaging in America first! RAH! RAH! BOEING! RAH! RAH! trolling?

Re:Justice (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992862)

The pitot tubes on that Airbus model are notoriously prone to icing. Many Air France flights have had documented hazards due to the inability of the plane to sense and maintain airspeed.

The French government has already opened a criminal case over the crash.

Perhaps it is YOU who should be more informed.

Re:Justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35992970)

Informed you say? as in real information??

Accidents involving scheduled passenger operations:
1945 through 2008:
Boeing: 21.9%
Airbus: 4.3%

Last 5 years:
Boeing 25.0%
Airbus 13.8%
DeHaviland 10.5%
McDonnell-Douglas 8.9%

Last 5 years, aircraft with 75 seats or more:
Boeing 45.2%
Airbus 25.0%
McDonnell-Douglas 16.1%
Tupolev 4.8%
Fokker 4.8%
Avro 3.0%
Ilyushin 0.6%
Embraer 0.6%

Aircraft insurance industry database, last updated 1/4/09

Re:Justice (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993134)

And of course these figures have to be normalized with regards to the number of flight-hours ecah company has. Perhaps there are more Boeing planes in the air than there are planes built by Tupolev?

Re:Justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35993166)

Looking at the percentages, it looks like the data isn't normalized to total travel distance etc. - i find it hard to belive that Tupolev and Ilyushin are *WAY* safer than Boeing and Airbus...

Re:Justice (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35993002)

They always open criminal cases on crashes, just in case they're not an accident.

CNBC has video highlights of the search operation (-1, Troll)

slashser3 (2097218) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992770)

Its interesting, especially the robots [bit.ly] they have used.

Re:CNBC has video highlights of the search operati (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35992806)

They say they run Linux and GNU/Linux.

Re:CNBC has video highlights of the search operati (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35992818)

It would be more interesting if I had a piece of pipe and your face,
in close proximity so I could smash your face beyond recognition,
you sorry piece of shit.

DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK ABOVE, IT IS MALICIOUS.

Thanks for the food, was yammy... (0)

slashser3 (2097218) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992858)

Your comment won the award of beeing included in my troll food comment list.
Here it is:

"Ugh. Goatse. NSFW. Asshole (poster and picture, both)."
"i WAS eating lunch you ass!"
"I hope you die in a fire before you are old enough to contaminate the gene pool."
"You're a fucking douchbag." - "That is the most accurate comment yet"
"Thanks, I'm reading slashdot in class like a good student and just got tubgirl'd."
"Can someone make a fucking goatse blocker firefox plugin please? This is pissing me off now."
"Seriously ... new account to post that ... what a douche!"
"Asshole... Ginormous asshole, in fact."
"Better than you, you arse bandit."
"you fucker" - "I had the same thought as you. What a fucking asshole. The link is nsfw."
"mod to -1, please. this guy is an 'asshole'.... (yes, you guessed it)"
"Ugh. Goatse. You asshole."
"Really? Are you not tired of this yet?"
"Posting your picture online again?"
"I did not even bother to look, but this same idiot has been doing this for weeks now. Fuck off asshole."
"fuck you."

"Doh! One has to also recognize data urls. *sigh*"
"Oh dear god my eyes. Haven't seen THAT awful image in a while."
"my eyes are burning... argh! Damn you!"
"MY EYES... dude i am at work here "S "

"Why the sudden coordinated campaign for Goatse? Is someone making money off this?"
"You're right, this is the most coordinated troll campaign in a long time. Multiple accounts, multiple pages."
"Urgh...dammit, am I the only one thinking the goatse trolls are getting worse lately than they have been in the past five
"Who found a way to monetize goatse at this late date? If we got half the effort of that campaign on real stuff we'd all have better software by now."
"Boy Goatsex is out in force today... - Every topic is littered with them..."

"I am sick and tired of that crap on /. "
"Could not someone at slashdot write a small script to blacklist url's that have been flagged troll? I'll do it if you pay me a slave wage..."
"Parent should be modded down. Link is NSFW and mentally scarring."
"Argh. Goatse alert..."
"Grow up"
"just post the damn url, i'm not going to click on a tinyurl link and get goatse'd or something.."
"Don't click the link! Goatse wannabe."
"Goatse URL - Haven't seen that guy in a while"
"Someone please mod this guy down... Don't click his link."
"I tried to post warnings about the goaste loving jerk yesterday but was modded into oblivion as a karma whore"
"can we start banning people who post that hiding it behind a url shortening link like goo.gl?"
"didn't click it, but the magic 8-ball says goatse."
"you are one dedicated troll."
"Well played, sir. Well played."
"A link that redirects to a page containing goatse? How clever of you!"
"Congrats. It's been a long time since I saw goatse."


"That's somewhat clever, but some of us do know what base-64 encoding is."

It's a wiki, for god's sake, couldn't you have deleted the image ref?
I didn't know it was a wiki for all the goatse i was getting around my family
Stop giving the troll lulz! It's like a catnip to them!


"You c*nt"
"You fucking piece of shit!"

"It would be more interesting if I had a piece of pipe and your face, in close proximity so I could smash your face beyond recognition,
you sorry piece of shit."
"You can't actually expect the Slashdot users to actually know enough not to respond to a goatse troll, right ?"

Re:CNBC has video highlights of the search operati (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35993008)

It's not malicious, you dumb motherfucker. It's gay, though.

I don't get this (1)

anomnomnomymous (1321267) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992826)

Does somebody know why it's so hard for them to find it? I would assume that it's properly secured against crashes, and has a GPS/transmitter on board? What causes this to be so hard?

Hmm, how about from now on they'll just box an iPhone; then at least you know for sure that the location is known ;-)

Re:I don't get this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35992842)

do gps transmitters work well on the ocean floor?

Re:I don't get this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35992874)

Does somebody know why it's so hard for them to find it? I would assume that it's properly secured against crashes, and has a GPS/transmitter on board? What causes this to be so hard?

Hmm, how about from now on they'll just box an iPhone; then at least you know for sure that the location is known ;-)

And how do you propose the transmitter transmitting through hundreds of meters of conductive sea water?

gps? on the ocean floor? (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992876)

turn in your nerd credentials for thinking that would work

additionally, flight data recorders do send out a ping for 30 days:

http://boingboing.net/2009/06/03/miles-obrien-bloggin.html [boingboing.net]

The submersible will be listening for the distinctive "pinging" noise that these boxes are designed to emit once they are submerged in water. They are supposed to "ping" for thirty days in water as deep as 20,000 feet. Sonar used by surface ships is only good to about a thousand feet of depth - so it is essential to send some "ears" deep beneath the sea in order to find the boxes. These sonar devices can be towed by ships or ply the deep on their own power.

Re:gps? on the ocean floor? (1)

zensonic (82242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993120)

What about making the container so that it is able to float? Should be a matter of making the container airtight and creating enough uplift.

Re:gps? on the ocean floor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35993156)

Why would you want it to float away from the wreckage?

Also, its really dense (as it needs to be strong to withstand the forces of crashing). It would require a huge amount of flotation material to get it to float.

Re:gps? on the ocean floor? (1)

dominious (1077089) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993258)

Why would you want it to float away from the wreckage?

So then it can use GPS?

It would require a huge amount of flotation material to get it to float.

How about a balloon that will eject from the inside and inflate automatically with compressed air?

Re:gps? on the ocean floor? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993334)

How about a balloon that will eject from the inside and inflate automatically with compressed air?

That would probably work, but you'd have to ensure that it separated from the wreckage, and then that you found it before the balloon deflated. If it goes to the seabed with the wreckage, then you can find it by finding the rest of the plane, which is relatively easy to spot because of its size. If the flight recorder floats at sea for a month and then sinks to the seabed you'll never find it because it's small and could be thousands of miles from the crash site.

Re:gps? on the ocean floor? (1)

Christian Smith (3497) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993246)

While also being securely attached to the airframe? Airframe sinks, that's a big flotation device required.

Re:gps? on the ocean floor? (1)

zensonic (82242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993280)

Trying to solve one problem at the time ;-)

This problem was a device burried at the oceanic floorbed that took 2+ years to recover. The 'i am here' distress signal consists of 30 days worth of 'pings' that in itself requires a probe far down to be able to hear the pings.

But you are right, if it is bolted to the airframe, then a big flotation device is required.

Re:gps? on the ocean floor? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993390)

Then it would drift, making it harder to find. Having it sink means less chance of ocean currents pulling it. The ideal would be to have the container capable of anchoring itself if totally detached from the airframe.

Re:gps? on the ocean floor? (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993416)

Yeah, about that

They didn't find the Underwater Locator Beacon attached to the memory unit.

So it may have been torn apart/damaged during impact

Besides, it's a poor system. I mean, they never got any signal from them, but they had several confusing signals.

Re:I don't get this (5, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992890)

Does somebody know why it's so hard for them to find it? I would assume that it's properly secured against crashes, and has a GPS/transmitter on board? What causes this to be so hard?

Inside the data recorder it's attached to a pinger which sends out a sound pulse on a regular basis for about a month after a crash; that makes it easy to find if the recorder stays intact and it's in relatively shallow water, but in this case it's so far down that the pinger was barely audible during the first search (it wasn't detected during the search and only found by post-search processing of the recorded audio data) and the various layers in the ocean reflect sound so it's hard to track. Obviously the batteries died long ago so the only way to find it now was to look for an orange cylinder on the seabed.

No radio/GPS under water (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992896)

Because it was 4km under water and radio transmission and reception don't work there? You can't get GPS signals and radio beacons don't work there. Even if you could, the batteries won't last the months it took them to get a ROV there to pick it up.

Re:I don't get this (3, Funny)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992972)

Got a GPS?
Good.
Now, go jump in a lake with it.

Where are you? What? No GPS lock? Oh, that's ok, it still transmits its last known coordinates and you shouldn't be too far from there; I'll just use that signal. Oh... wait, there's no signal. Hmm, that LARGE BODY OF WATER must be blocking it.

No bother, anyway, those coordinates would only be accurate enough to tell me you're at the crash site; something I already know.

Re:I don't get this (1)

e9th (652576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993288)

But the recorder is emitting an acoustic ping, which travels nicely through water.

Re:I don't get this (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993318)

Which isn't the point the post I was replying to was trying to make, thus why I didn't mention it.

Re:I don't get this (1)

e9th (652576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993358)

I read "GPS/transmitter" as "GPS or other transmitter", as opposed to the unambiguous "GPS transmitter". But I see your point.

Re:I don't get this (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993432)

Apparently, the audible ping wasn't so helpful, either. LED's are cheap, bright, and probably use a lot less power than the buzzer element that makes the ping, I'm left wondering why the damn thing doesn't just flash.

Flash... Memory... Get it?

Re:I don't get this (1)

xlsior (524145) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993070)

Does somebody know why it's so hard for them to find it? I would assume that it's properly secured against crashes, and has a GPS/transmitter on board? What causes this to be so hard?

Yes, supposedly it was broadcasting at first -- but you are talking about an incredibly weak signal under 2.5 miles of ocean... Let alone that it can get an accurate GPS lock under water, and you probably have a significant amount of drift during that 2.5 mile descent

Then the additional problem is that the emergency batteries would have run out after a few weeks, so after that time-frame passed it became even more difficult to locate.

Personally, I find it amazing they were able to locate it at all given the difficulties involved.

In my mind the best solution would be to have all data+voice streamed real-time from the airplane to an external source by satellite for the entire flight, so you don't have to depend on locating the black box at all to determine what happened... But from what I've read, the problem there is pilot unions objecting to being recorded and 'monitored' all day long.

Re:I don't get this (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993128)

In my mind the best solution would be to have all data+voice streamed real-time from the airplane to an external source by satellite for the entire flight, so you don't have to depend on locating the black box at all to determine what happened... But from what I've read, the problem there is pilot unions objecting to being recorded and 'monitored' all day long.

No, the problem is that you'd have to spend about $10,000,000,000 to set up such a system and hunting for a recorder on the bottom of the Atlantic every few years is much cheaper.

Perhaps it was stolen? (1)

Mr_Donnie (2097116) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992836)

Stolen by sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their frickin' heads!

Amazing technology (1)

InterBigs (780612) | more than 3 years ago | (#35992850)

The fact that they found this box on the bottom of the Atlantic long after it's beacon died out and the fact that it's in good shape is just amazing. Let's hope they can figure out what happened.

Can't they read? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35993050)

In the first photo, what does it say on the cylinder? It looks very much like "DO NOT OPEN". They should just put it back where they found it. Remember Pandora?

Now they're looking for the voice recorder? (1)

kabloom (755503) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993168)

Why don't they put the voice recorder in the same box, that way if you find one you find them both? For that matter, why don't they put two identical black boxes in the plane, that way searchers have a higher chance of finding at least one of them?

Re:Now they're looking for the voice recorder? (2)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993200)

The voice recorder may be completely destroyed. Keeping them separate decreases the possibility that a single force or impact will destroy both units.

Same reason enterprise IT departments (should) maintain multiple, separate backups of critical data.

Why not replicate the recorders to each other ? (2)

MarkTina (611072) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993202)

Why if you have 2 flight recorders do they not have the voice replicate to the data and the data to the voice ... that way it you find one you have the complete data set.

I know "crazy talk" but I'm a storage bod and it irks me when people lose VERY important data!

Re:Why not replicate the recorders to each other ? (3, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993402)

Development cycles in Aviation are very long. Technology used is generally very old but well proven. Both recorders are probably jam packed with data with no room to spare and no free space to double up. The newer systems being designed will transmit the data which would now be recorded so it won't have to be scraped off the bottom of the Atlantic.

Why is it news that it was found in the Atlantic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35993252)

That's where the plane went down.

Now, if it had been found in the Pacific or Indian Oceans, or if Jimmy Hoffa or D. B. Cooper were found along with it, that'd be news.

Not the right thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35993268)

This is a hoax.

As anyone can see, the supposed "boîte noire" is instead "rouge". Probably planted there by Air France and Airbus with convenient data to exonerate themselves of the crash.

Interesting (1)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993284)

Interesting that this was attached to the main unit with 4 bolts which sheared off..

Re:Interesting (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993438)

But its intact. You don't want to get four intact bolts and one wrecked recorder.

Flight Recorders are Sooo 20th Century (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993376)

Planes can transmit "in real time" much more information than what they record by using the same satellites used for those fancy global radio phones. That way, everything is captured at the moment it happens, including coordinates, which makes the plane easier to find.

Redundant Storage on Airliners (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 3 years ago | (#35993396)

Something tells me the world airline safety experts are already debating the update of recorders to offer redundant multiple storage of ALL data from a plane in case of a crash.

Given the nature of storage density these days, I really doubt it would cost much more or take up much more room to have redundant storage. It would seem to require primarily a couple extra cables and connectors.

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