A flight data recorder (FDR) is a device that records flight information information. Also known as a black box, it receives data through a system of sensors regarding the height, speed, and a variety of other information. It records and stores this information on each flight the aircraft takes. The FDR is built to survive a crash with its data intact and is usually located in the tail portion of the aircraft. In the event of an accident, this data is often very valuable and can help investigators find out what happened.
Also referred to as an accident data recorder or ADR, the aviation registrar is one of two entities that record departure information. The second unit is the voice recorder, which records all calls that occur in the aircraft cockpit between pilot and other personnel, and is capable of saving from 30 minutes to 2 hours of sound. The flight registrar receives and records information about the aircraft itself, and can store up to 25 hours of data. Together these two devices are often called the “black box” and can provide insight into the details of an airplane journey.
The flight data recorder receives information about the aircraft’s function from a network of sensors located throughout the aircraft. The data received is recorded; Depending on the age of the aircraft, it is stored on magnetic tape or electronically. A wealth of data has been compiled to provide complete information on whether the aircraft is functioning properly. This information includes aircraft speed, altitude, acceleration, position or direction, fuel flow and consumption, helm position, and control wheel position. It also records electronic signals between aircraft systems and operating data such as activation of various switches and controls.
The primary purpose of the flight data recorder is to provide a complete picture of flight conditions in case of an accident when combined with the voice recorder. The unit is built to survive the extreme forces that can occur in a collision, and is also capable of surviving fire and water exposure. It is usually located in the area of the aircraft that is most likely to survive a collision intact, ie the tail section. Once the flight data recorder is retrieved, investigators are able to use it to help recreate the events before a crash, and can also create flight data animations. Accident investigators are able to analyze information to find out the cause of the accident.
- Speech data recorders create an overview of conversations that occur in an aircraft’s cockpit.
- A flight data recorder can provide some insight into what went wrong during a plane crash.
- A battle data recorder logs every event that happened during a flight.