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A Black Box Is Actually Orange

Interesting Facts in Easy English

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • aviation: related to aircraft
  • data: information
  • combine: put together
  • beacon: a light or device that sends out a warning or signal

A Black Box Is Actually Orange

¬†After an aviation accident, the search for the black box is one of the top priorities of . The black box typically refers to two separate items of equipment: the flight data recorder and the cockpit data recorder. These items are sometimes combined into one . An airplane’s recorder is about the size of a shoebox, and weighs approximately 10 kg. The word black box is a computing term. It means that the inner workings of a device are mysterious or unseen to the user. The colour of a plane’s black box is usually bright . This makes it easier for investigators to locate. The black box also has a beacon that pings underwater. The battery signal only lasts for a certain amount of time, which is why there is so much pressure the black box quickly after an accident. Information on the recorders gives investigators a better understanding of what happened the crash. Since 1960, all commercial airliners have been equipped with flight data and cockpit recorders.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Why is an airplane equipped with a black box?
  2. Why aren’t black boxes black?
  3. When did commercial aircraft start using flight data recorders?

Discussion Questions: How safe do you feel travelling by airplane?

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