Lawmaker Calls for 'Black Boxes' that Eject from Planes
A House lawmaker wants to make sure that planes carry flight recorders that eject before crashes so they are easier to find.
Rep. David Price, D-N.C., said the importance of his proposal is demonstrated in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which has been missing since last Friday, says USA Today. But he said the 9/11 Commission recommended after the terrorist hijackings in 2001 that planes carry ejectable "black boxes" to make them easier to find. Navy planes have carried them for years, and Transportation Security Administration was given $3.5 million in 2008 to study and test the proposal, says USA Today.
"The need for this has once again been demonstrated," Price told Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx at an Appropriations subcommittee on transportation hearing. "I really urge you to move this ahead."
Foxx said the Federal Aviation Administration is evaluating the technology and developing a plan to determine the benefit of deploying the technology versus the costs involved, says USA Today. "It's unclear at this time, obviously, how that might have impacted the situation with the aircraft in Malaysia," Foxx said. "It's a technology we are aware of, and we are working very hard."
Price argued that it wouldn't take many "costly, agonizing, expensive searches" like the one now to make the technology worthwhile, says USA Today. "Nearly every major commercial air accident that has occurred over water or in remote areas has resulted in a costly and time-consuming recovery," Price said.