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The main purpose of the Cockpit Voice Recorder is, unsurprisingly, to record what the crew say and monitor any sounds that occur within the cockpit. Of equal, if not more significance to the Cockpit Voice Recorder, is the Flight Data Recorder.
As technology continues to develop it is likely that Black Boxes, or flight data recorders, will become more and more sophisticated and more reliable, giving Air Crash Investigators more to go on when painstakingly trying to piece together what caused a plane crash. Cookies are very small text files that are stored on your computer when you visit some websites. About Air Crash Investigation Show - National Geographic Channel - Sub-Saharan AfricaWe use first and third party cookies to improve our service, personalize your advertising and remember your website preference. A loud vibration and the smell of smoke warn the pilots of British Midland Flight 92 that they have an engine fire on board.
Varig Flight 254 Boeing 737-200 series September 3rd, 1989 Investigators face a baffling mystery when Varig Flight 254 crash lands in a remote jungle nearly 700 miles off course.
Copa Airlines Flight 201 Boeing 737-200 June 6th, 1992 Copa Airlines Flight 201 takes off from Panama City for the one-hour flight to Cali, Colombia. A Concorde crashes moments after take off and three mysterious items are found on the runway. A Learjet 45 carrying Mexicos interior minister slams into Mexico Citys financial district killing all nine people on board, as well as seven people on the ground. Its a foggy day at Irelands Cork Airport and the pilots of Manx2 Flight 7100 are circling the airport waiting for the weather to clear. While investigators might be interested in any witty banter between pilots that went on just before an explosion or plane malfunction, trained investigators are keen to pick up on sounds such as engine noise, stall warnings or emergency pings and pops.
This piece of equipment is essential to the work of Air Crash Investigators as it records the many different operating functions of a plane all at once, such as the time, altitude, airspeed and direction the plane is heading. Potentially, the humble MP3 player – adored by music fans the world over - could become part of the flight data recording software. You can remove any cookies already stored on your computer, but these may prevent you from using parts of our website.

And living to tell the tale.The thirteen part series, Air Crash Investigation returns for its eleventh season to examine some of the worst air crashes in history using dramatic re-enactments, gripping archival news footage, survivor and rescuer testimony and state-of-the-art computer generated images (CGI) to reveal how each of the crashes and the investigations have actually improved flight safety over the years. The crew shuts down the engine and tries to land at a nearby airport, but their second engine fails before they can get safely on the ground. And he soon discovers a shocking design flaw that could affect passenger planes around the globe.
But with a major storm on the horizon, the pilots revise their flight path to avoid the heavy weather. After controllers clear the turboprop commuter plane for landing, the pilots reduce their speed and descend, but the aircraft suddenly goes into a severe roll and crashes into the runway.
Often, for example when a plane crashes into the sea, as happened with the 1985 bombing of Air India flight 182 by Sikh terrorists over the Atlantic Ocean just west of Ireland, investigators have very little to go on – on this specific occasion the plane crashed before the pilot could even issue a mayday signal and much of the debris sank into the sea, leaving few clues. While Warren was working at the Aeronautical Research Laboratory in Melbourne in the mid-1950s he was involved in the accident investigation surrounding the mysterious crash of the world’s first jet-powered commercial aircraft, the Comet. Investigators are so skilled that they are then able to work out crucial flight information such as the speed the plane was travelling and engine rpm and can sometimes pinpoint the cause of a crash from the very sounds the plane was making before it crashed.
But these are just the primary functions of the recorder, in fact, modern Flight Data Recorders are able to monitor countless other actions undertaken by the plane, such as the movement of individual flaps on the wings, auto-pilot and fuel gauge. In 2007, US light aircraft manufacturer LoPresti Speed Merchants announced that it planned to fully integrate the device as flight data recorder on all of its Fury piston aircraft. Each episode of Air Crash Investigationpainstakinglyrecreates each plane crash with rigorous historical accuracy and then breaks down each important discovery of the consequent investigation to reveal the cause of the crash and how it ultimately has made air travel safer than ever. Just meters from the runway, the 737-400 slams into an embankment beside Britains busy M1 motorway. After 12 minutes in the air, the captain radios controllers to tell them theyve reached their cruising altitude of 25,000 feet.
But the investigation takes a startling new turn after investigators listen to the cockpit voice recorder.
Its the deadliest crash in Ireland in decades, and its up to the Irish Air Accident Investigation Unit to figure out what went wrong.

Today, the Black Box is still just as vitally important in helping piece together the causes of a plane crash, as seen by the discovery of the Black Box in the Mexico plane crash that killed fourteen, including the interior minister of Mexico on 4th November, 2008.
Realising that it would have been useful for investigators if there had been a recording of what had happened on the plane just before the crash, he got to work on a basic flight data recorder. The Cockpit Voice Recorder is also extremely important for determining the timing of events as it contains information such as communication between the crew and ground control and other aircraft. Information stored in the Flight Data Recorder of a plane that has crashed is invaluable for investigators in their search for determining what caused a specific crash. The company believes that if suitable software was used then MP3s would be capable of recording over 500 hours of flight time data. It seems like a rare case of dual engine failure, but investigators soon learn that a tragic misunderstanding may be the real cause of the crash.
But moments later, the plane disappears from radar over one of the remotest jungles on earth. They soon discover the fog is only part of the story, and the investigation reveals a startling gap in aviation safety that has put passengers lives at risk. Aviation experts determine what went wrong and work to stop such accidents happening again. To help locate the cockpit voice recorder and a flight data recorder in the aftermath of a plane crash that occurs at sea, each recorder has a device fitted to it known as an Underwater Locator Beacon (ULB). The first demonstration unit was produced in 1957, but it was not until 1960, after an unexplained plane crash in Queensland, that Australia became the first country in the world to make the Black Box mandatory for all commercial aircraft.
The data stored on the recorders helps Air Crash Investigators generate computer video reconstructions of a flight, so that they can visualise how a plane was handling shortly before a crash.
The device is activated as soon as the recorder comes into contact with water and it can transmit from a depth as deep as 14,000 feet.

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