View Full Version : Another TV investigation into air safety

9th Apr 2001, 16:54
8 pm 9th April Channel 4

"A critical look at air travel safety, focusing on the black box flight recorder, which monitors a plane's key processes and operations. The programme also asks what further measures can be taken to maximise aircraft safety."

9th Apr 2001, 21:42
The programme is titled 'The Box' and I note that it is a repeat. I am wondering if it is the excellent original programme titled
'Black Box'? Guess we will find out at 2000 tonight...

9th Apr 2001, 22:48
According to my trusty copy of this weeks 'Radio Times' :), it IS a repeat of an Equinox program shown a while ago. Meeb, It probably is the program your thinking of.

I will be watching it with interest. Equinox programs are usually pretty well researched methinks, so it shouldn't be the usual journalistic pap :rolleyes:. But I'm withholding judgement till I've seen the program.


10th Apr 2001, 01:03
Yes it is a repeat, shown a while ago, but unfortunately not up to the standard of the black box series.

Just another "TV expose" to get ratings and scare the great unwashed ( the self loading cargo ).

Surprised they didn't try to bring in the concorde accident!

10th Apr 2001, 05:22
Au contraire kennedy. An interesting program, particularly as many other U.K. airlines (apart from BA who pioneered it), are using quick access recording to highlight areas which may have safety implications, whether hardware or human. They would certainly have proved one way or the other the 737's innocence (or otherwise). For a change, a reasonably sensible piece of aviation related, TV journalism.

10th Apr 2001, 13:46
Not sure I entirely agree - bits were interesting and bits were sensational clap-trap. The media does not like to report that it is simply impractical to retrofit modern technology. FDR's with 'only a handful of channels' were state of the art when fitted to some of the older fleets - should we limit the operationl life of all aircraft to only 2 or 3 years to make sure that everything can keep up ? Perhaps unpalatable, but there are compromises that have to be made to keep the whole industry viable....

village flyer
10th Apr 2001, 14:20
Saw the programme last night and had several thoughts on it, prehaps this should belong in the tech forum, but I have two questions:
1, Is the BA system of in data recording in real time or downloaded at end of each flight?
2,In addition to the BA recording system is there a "black box" similar to others on the A/C that can withstand misfortunate events. I ask this because of the very light nature of the easily accessible flight recorder depicted in the programme.
Thanks in advance


10th Apr 2001, 14:30
BA's Quick Access Recorder disc is changed every Ramp Check 1 ie every 24 hours.
Their aircraft also carry the "normal" flight data recorder which has it's data downloaded at specific intervals or after an incident.
The beauty of the QAR is it monitors trends and helps with preventative maintenance...fix it before it breaks!

village flyer
10th Apr 2001, 14:52
Thanks, are there many operators of this QAR?
Do BA own the system as it seems to have been their baby?

10th Apr 2001, 14:53
Strangely enough Channel 4 were nice to BA. Rightly so, I am pleased to be able to heartily endorse British Airways Safety Audit structure and it’s nice to talk about something BA have done right for a change. They have set an example for all to follow.

Why is Channel 4 suddenly being nice to BA for a change? Are they feeling guilty about stitching up our colleagues and defaming a body of conscientious professionals? Well they have a long way to go.

10th Apr 2001, 17:56
Not sure if BA are the only ones using QAR.
Incidently BA have 2 systems of QAR, one uses an optical disk, the older system uses a tape similar to a backup tape you'd use in a PC, only bigger.
The data is, as I said earlier used for condition monitoring.

Teenyweeny ATC Cdt Cpl
10th Apr 2001, 23:54
I know for one that Air France use QAR's - in the report on the Concorde Accident it says that BEA recovered info from the QAR's memory and not the FDR because the sequencing had gone potty or some such...and whereas the tape/disk itself was damaged they somehow managed to access the data in the memory buffer by using a duplicate or something...

11th Apr 2001, 00:07
The QADR is used on aircraft within the UK charter industry as well as BA.