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News Link • Transportation: Air Travel

Banish the Black Box: There’s a Better Way to Capture Plane Crash Data

•, By Jerry Adler
Additional ships will search the area in an attempt to home in on the signal. Should the signal indeed be from the downed plane’s black box or cockpit voice recorder, authorities will begin the arduous task of retrieving them from the sea floor. Then they can finally begin to piece together the mystery of Flight 370.

The fact that the black box and cockpit voice recorders must be physically retrieved and the data downloaded seems positively archaic in an era when we all have GPS in our pocket, OnStar in our cars and the NSA can track anyone, anywhere. Indeed, the technology exists to render black boxes obsolete, and the question of why we aren’t using it came to the fore after Air France Flight 447 crashed in the Atlantic Ocean in 2009. WIRED explored the question of why we still use black boxes and what alternatives there are in this piece from 2011, which remains relevant in light of MH370.

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