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7 facts about the ‘black box’ – a vital item to know what happened to a Boeing 737 plane that crashed in Indonesia

As reported, there was a terrible incident recently in Indonesia. Sriwijaya Air’s Boeing 737-500 lost signal after just 5 minutes of takeoff at 3.3km, then was confirmed to have crashed into the sea north of the capital Jarkata. Up to now, authorities have not found anyone out of 62 survivors on board.

It is known that this Boeing 737 first took off in May 1994 – as recorded from Flightradar. Heavy rain at Jarkata delayed take-off time by 90 minutes. Just a few minutes after takeoff, the plane was lowered at a tremendous speed from more than 3000m to 700m.

Fragment of the plane crashed

No one knows what really happened yet. Experts say this is not a design error, because the Boeing is a much older model than the Boeing 737 Max model – the model was suspended 20 months after two terrible crashes – including the Lion Air disaster that caused 189 deaths in 2018.

7 facts about the black box a vital item to know what happened to a Boeing 737 plane that crashed in Indonesia | Technology iced tea

To answer that question, the authorities are urgently looking for something extremely important. It’s the black box of the plane. What is this box for, let’s try to find out.

1. What does the black box contain?

The black box is a device that records flight data and voice recording in the cockpit, and they work independently of each other. In particular, the data recording device will retain the flight history of the aircraft, through dozens of parameters synthesized many times per second. And the tape recorder is simpler to operate: capture all the sounds that appear, including the conversation of the pilots.

2. Black box is not black

Despite its rather obscure name, the black box actually has a striking color (usually orange) for search purposes.

7 facts about the black box a vital item to know what happened to a Boeing 737 plane that crashed in Indonesia | Technology iced tea

3. Almost indestructible

As a rule, the black box on an airplane is usually coated with titanium or stainless steel, to withstand the most dire conditions. Theoretically, the black box is completely waterproof, can withstand 3,400 times more pressure than its mass, meaning it can survive even the plane is destroyed. In addition, during the tests, the jet black box was still invisible even though it was thrown into the fire at 1,100 degrees Celsius.

7 facts about the black box a vital item to know what happened to a Boeing 737 plane that crashed in Indonesia | Technology iced tea

4. The location of the black box

This depends on the design of the aircraft, but most of the black box is installed at the rear of the aircraft to minimize the impact force when an accident occurs.

7 facts about the black box a vital item to know what happened to a Boeing 737 plane that crashed in Indonesia | Technology iced tea

5. How to position the black box

The recording device inside the black box is equipped with an emergency siren system, which can emit a rather characteristic “ping ping” sound, lasting at least 30 days or more. The signal will begin to broadcast at the moment the black box is submerged in water, and the rescue team will need some specialized equipment to capture this signal.

7 facts about the black box a vital item to know what happened to a Boeing 737 plane that crashed in Indonesia | Technology iced tea

6. How long does it take to find the black box

This depends on the nature of the crash. There are cases that take months, even years or not be found. As of 2009, Air France Flight 447 carrying 228 people were missing in the Atlantic, and the rescue team took two years to find the black box.

7 facts about the black box a vital item to know what happened to a Boeing 737 plane that crashed in Indonesia | Technology iced tea

In the case of the plane in Indonesia, Marshal Bagus Puruhito said he had picked up two more likely emergency signals from the black box. It is expected that the box will be recalled in the near future if favorable.

7. What happens after the black box is obtained?

The investigation team will immediately analyze the recordings and the data inside – a process that takes about 2-3 days. However, only a few countries have the technology to do this, including the US, Canada, Australia, UK and France (according to Washington Post).

Source: Strait Times

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