Thursday, May 27, 2010

Airliner Black-Box

The "black box" is a generic term for two recording devices carried aboard commercial airliners. The Flight Data Recorder (FDR) records a variety of parameters related to the operation and flight characteristics of the plane. The Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) records the voices of the flight crew, engine noise, and any other sounds in the cockpit. All large commercial airliners and certain varieties of smaller commercial, corporate, and private aircraft are required by law to carry one or both of these boxes, which generally cost between $10,000 and $15,000 apiece. The data these devices provide is often invaluable to experts investigating the events leading up to an accident. The recovery of the boxes is one of the highest priorities in any mishap investigation, second only to locating survivors or recovering the remains of victims. FDR information is also often used to study other aviation safety issues, engine performance, and to identify potential maintenance issues.

Despite the nickname "black box," the FDR and CVR are actually painted a bright high-visibility orange with white reflecting strips to make them easier to spot at a crash scene. The meaning of the term black box itself is somewhat unclear. Some suggest it refers to the black charring that occurs in a post-crash fire while others believe the color black is a reference to the deaths often associated with an accident investigation. The design of modern black boxes is regulated by a group called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The ICAO determines what information the black boxes must record, over what length of time it is saved, and how survivable the boxes must be. The ICAO delegates much of this responsibility to the European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE) that maintains a document called the Minimum Operational Performance Specification for Crash Protected Airborne Recorder Systems.

Black boxes first began to appear in the 1950s and became mandatory during the 1960s. These early devices used magnetic tape for data storage, much like that used in a tape recorder. As the tape is pulled over an electromagnetic head, sound or numerical data is recorded on the medium. Analog black boxes using magnetic tape are still present aboard many planes, but these recording devices are no longer manufactured. Newer recorders instead use solid-state memory boards, called a Crash Survivable Memory Unit (CSMU), that record data in a digital format. Instead of the moving parts present in older recorders, solid-state devices use stacked arrays of memory chips similar to a USB memory stick. The lack of moving parts eases maintenance while reducing the chance of a critical component breaking in a crash. Solid-state recorders can also save considerably more data than older magnetic tape devices and are more resistant to shock, vibration, and moisture.

Whatever the medium used to record the data, the purpose of the black boxes is to collect information from various sensors aboard an aircraft. The Cockpit Voice Recorder, for example, saves sounds from microphones located on the flight deck. An area microphone is typically placed in the overhead instrument panel between the pilots, and an additional microphone is located in the headset of each member of the flight crew. These microphones pick up conversations between the flight crew, engine noises, audible warning alarms, landing gear sounds, clicks from moving switches, and any other noises like pops or thuds that might occur in the cockpit. The CVR also records communications with Air Traffic Control, automated radio weather briefings, and conversations between the pilots and ground or cabin crew. These sounds often allow investigators to determine the time of key events and system failures.

(Source: An E-mail)

I must confess at this moment that i was not much aware about the Black-Box thing per se except the name. But the mishap of an Air-India Express flight at Mangalore Air-port some days back made me to look for more knowledge regarding it.
It is just a part of that information regarding Airliner Black Box which was sent to me by my friend.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Some of my favourite lines..

"hai liye hathiyaar dushman taak mein baitha udhar
aur hum taiyyaar hain seena liye apna idhar

khoon se khelenge holi gar vatan muskhil mein hai
sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai

haath jin mein ho junoon katt te nahi talvaar se
sar jo uth jaate hain voh jhukte nahi lalkaar se
haath jin mein ho junoon katt te nahi talvaar se
sar jo uth jaate hain voh jhukte nahi lalkaar se

aur bhadkega jo shola-sa humaare dil mein hai
sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai

hum to ghar se nikle hi the baandhkar sar pe qafan
chaahatein liin bhar liye lo bhar chale hain ye qadam

zindagi to apni mehmaan maut ki mehfil mein hai
sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai

dil mein tuufaanon ki toli aur nason mein inquilaab
hosh dushman ke udaa denge humein roko na aaj

duur reh paaye jo humse dum kahaan manzil mein hai
sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai - 2"

Monday, May 10, 2010


He was selected in a state PSU only to hear at the end in a beautiful manner from the top-brass of the PSU that since he can't speak that state language "fluently" hence they can't take him.. WTF !!

Its just a way to say that: "Sir, since you belong to a particular state hence we can't take you in" !!

This is the third instance of his life whereby belonging to a particular part of the country stopped him from pursuing his dreams..

God knows how many battles he has to undertake in his life.. but he is sure that he will move forward against all odds.. but for the time-being he is taking it as a bitter learning experience only..

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Miss India - 2010

(L-R) Neha Hinge, Manasvi Mamgai with Nicole Faria

So.. after beating fifteen other girls, selected from all-over India for the "Ponds Femina Miss India - 2010" Manasvi, Neha and Nicole made it to one of the most sought after title by many girls in India.

Manasvi is a 22 year old model from Mumbai and Nicole is a 20 year old model from Bangalore whereas Neha is a 23 year old Software Engineer from Madhya Pradesh.

[Guys in the Modelling and Software fields are really lucky that they are surrounded by such beauties.. :) ]