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    Fascinating Facts About The Mysterious Black Box.


    All aircraft carry a ‘black box’. You’ve heard of it, right? After a crash, the authorities always look for the black box since it may contain data that helps determine the cause of the accident. But what is a black box exactly? And why isn’t it black? Before I started working at KLM headquarters, I used to be a flight safety trainer and all safety aspects still fascinate me. Therefore I will give you 5 facts that may surprise you too, about the black box.


    1. Officially it’s NOT called a black box.

     The proper name of what we know as the ‘black box’ is Flight Data Recorder (FDR). And that is exactly what is does; it records flight data such as engine exhaust, temperature, fuel flow, aircraft velocity, altitude and rate of descent electronically in order to facilitate investigations after an accident. And to be honest, calling it a recorder is more realistic than calling it a box. Historically it used to be a box but nowadays it is a cylinder! Below is the Boeing 737 FDR.


    2. It’s often not one but two boxes.

     Next to the Flight Data Recorder, there is also a Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR). The Cockpit Voice Recorder is a flight recorder used to record the audio environment in the cockpit. This way, for example communications with air traffic control are available for investigations after an accident. Sometimes, the two cylinders (FDR and CVR) are combined, making it one box after all. The CVR records up to two hours, overwriting the previous moments. I heard a romantic story once, of a pilot who said ‘I love my wife’, every two hours, just to make sure she would know in case anything happened!


    3. It’s not black but bright orange.

     The black box is made of fire resistant material which is bright orange. It is not 100% clear why it is called ‘black box’ and not ‘orange box’, but there are some theories. It may be because it is often charred black after a crash, it may be because the very first boxes were painted black to prevent reflection or because ‘black box’ is a general name in science for devices with in- and output of data with complex internal workings. I used to think it was because a Mr. Black invented it, but that is not true. David Warren, an Australian scientist, invented the black box in 1957.


    4. It’s not placed in the cockpit.

     Whereas the data and voices are recorded from the cockpit, the recorders are not placed inside the cockpit. Usually they are placed in the tail-end of the aircraft, where the structure of the aircraft protects them best in case of a crash.


    5. It can be hard to find after a crash.

     The black box has a locator beacon which is activated in contact with water. It will start sending a pulse for thirty days. On land, search parties only have the orange color as a visual beacon, which often makes detecting it much harder. Some black boxes are never found. If you ever happen to accidentally find a black box, please notify the authorities! (By Alice Fokkelman).



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  • Beware about the appearances...

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    Glen Campbell was a practicing Messianic Jew for over two decades.


    Glen Campbell at the Shangri-La Hotel Sydney in Sydney, Australia, Jan. 30, 2008. (Gaye Gerard/Getty Images).

     (JTA) — Glen Campbell, the country music star who died at 81 on Tuesday 8th of August from Alzheimer’s, grew up in rural Arkansas. The man who sang hits such as “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “By the Time I Get To Phoenix” was raised a Baptist in a family of 12.

     But as the Jewish Journal pointed out, Reuters reported in 2008 that Campbell had been a Messianic Jew for the last two decades of his life. He and his wife Kim attended services at a synagogue near their home in Malibu, and they celebrated major Jewish holidays, such as Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Hanukkah.

     “Kim cooks a mean brisket but is still working on her matzo balls,” Dean Goodman wrote. “And grape juice subs for Manischewitz in the alcohol-free household.”

     Goodman even observed a menorah and a Hebrew book in Campbell’s home.

     Messianic Judaism combines Jewish traditions with the idea that Jesus Christ is the coming Messiah. “It’s Jews who believe that Christ is the risen savior,” as Campbell explained to Reuters. Some Messianic Jews want the movement to be accepted as a sect of Judaism, but mainstream Jewish movements believe the ideology is a contradiction.


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