Airplane taking off at sunsetThe world has seen some deadly aviation disasters in history. The Tenerife Air Disaster (known as the deadliest air crash in history), the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH37, and the mid-air explosion of TWA Flight 800, which occurred immediately after takeoff are a few of the unforgettable aviation accidents.

Despite the baffling circumstances initially surrounding these aviation mysteries, many of them were eventually solved and led to the development of new regulations that now make air travel safer.

One particular component contributes substantially to the solving of plane crash mysteries: the in-flight data recorder or ‘black box.’ This nearly indestructible part of an aircraft is a result of extremely stringent product testing. With rosters of experts and equipment, such as an environmental testing chamber, creating a contraption can survive almost anything. Such a quality proves handy in a situation where almost everything is destroyed and rendered useless.

The Mysteries of The Black Box

Perhaps the only strange thing with a black box is its name. It’s bright orange, not black. But its wonders don’t begin and end with its color. The black box is often the first thing authorities look for in an aircraft accident. It is specifically designed to withstand a plane crash since it survives jet fuel fires, extreme water pressure, and constant physical trauma. Additionally, the black box has a battery that lasts about a month on its own.

The job of a black box is to record everything that happens in the cockpit. All inputs, conversations, instrument readings, and other relevant data are stored in the black box. These pieces of information will prove invaluable in determining what causes a crash.  Black boxes are subject to a series of grueling tests to survive such a situation, including crash impact, static crush (where 5,000 pounds of pressure is applied on the component), Pierce test, fire test, and water pressure test.

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A black box’s durability is nothing miraculous. It’s a result of regular stress tests and innovative solutions. Without industrial-grade product testing processes, an in-flight data recorder would not be as efficient and effective as it is today. The lack of a black box would’ve halted the progress of aviation safety standards. With it at the core of crash investigations, what seemed like an oblivious connection at the start proves to be a very logical one in the end.