What is a black box?

‘Black box’ is a common term used for a flight data recorder (FDR), which is an electronic unit located in the cockpit of an airplane or helicopter. The black box is a recording system, which is designed to record various actions, movements, and other details of the performance of the aircraft as it flies.

→ Read More

Holes in the Sky: Southwest Airlines Battles Metal Fatigue and the FAA

With the summer travel season in full swing, America’s top low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines has been the subject of some less-than-flattering exposure lately after a hole ripped open mid-flight in the fuselage of one of the airline’s Boeing 737s in April. Fortunately, in this instance, only one person (a flight attendant) suffered a minor injury after the plane descended 17,000 feet in under a minute. Incidents in the air like this one, however, can be extremely dangerous, and airline safety questions are being raised after Southwest subsequently grounded 79 of its Boeing 737s for inspection.

→ Read More