How an airplane's flight recorder works

Black boxes provide valuable clues in the event of a tragedy

CBC News Last Updated: December 29, 2014

The mysterious disappearance of AirAsia Flight 8501, which is thought to have crashed in the Java Sea on Dec. 28, is renewing focus on black boxes.

As the graphic below shows, flight recorders collect a wealth of information — including instrument data, engine status and cockpit audio — that provides crucial clues in the event of a tragedy.


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