Old 3rd Jun 2016, 16:33
  #1003 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: BC
Age: 72
Posts: 2,449
mm_flynn, (http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/5...#post9397831);

In terms of tracking & locating technology, it has existed for some time - we have been using it to follow our aircraft locally and around the world; it works extremely well. It is real-time interrogation using web-based interfaces with user-selected 30" to 10' polling periods. I have no idea why tracking is such an issue; we've been doing it for at least six years now; we know where our aircraft are all the time.

And, for a price, it can do parameter/event monitoring say, for high-acceleration events for example, so that maintenance can meet the aircraft based upon data not crew reports, etc. It isn't an entire DFDR process but it could be sufficient for initial explanations and certainly LKPs.

In terms of retro-fitting for deployable recorders and/or streaming data, I would argue against an industry-wide, regulatory requirement. All recorders in recent over-water accidents have been recovered and read with one exception, the Asiana B744 freighter loss over the Korean Straits.

Acknowledging that, like all human activities, aviation works on risk probabilities (and the management of same!), the design and engineering manufacturer's groups of the industry work on the basis of what an acceptable failure rate of mission-critical elements/components is; the certification standard is, as some here will know already, 10^-9. We can reasonably consider that the loss of MH370 is such an event to which the same standard may be applied, and that the "normal" pattern is the historical one in which in all cases, above exception noted, the recorders have been recovered and accidents understood.

The argument for deployable recorders & datastreaming is essentially an economic one only, and that is a different arena than the case for flight safety. Such standards (for flight safety), are borne by the industry and ICAO member countries when/where accidents occur, and yes, it is expensive, but as you point out, also extremely rare.

I think the case for deployable recorders/data-streaming has not been demonsrated against this accepted standard.

You broach an interesting scenario in your post which needs examination and that is power sources for recorders.

If we are to invest significant funds and the ensuing subsequent certification/regulatory work at all in changing the way aircraft recordings are done, it would be reasonable to focus on power sources for both the data and voice recorders.

Public cries for instant sources of data do not demonstrate the flight safety case for such capability, they demonstrate a willingness to engage in media and political arugments. Ensuring that recorders have uninterruptible sources of power is a flight safety case, and as such is demonstrable, (SR111); they should include as a factor not only electrical system auto-responses to load-shedding and/or damage to wiring through fire or mechanical processes etc., but also losss of electrical power through the intentional use of emergency electrical configuration drills which are intended to remove all power from normal AC & DC busses during smoke of unknown origin emergency drills. (As you observe, we may see loss-of-data here for this very reason, but we don't know yet).

Last edited by PJ2; 3rd Jun 2016 at 16:58.
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