BEA France Recommends Changes to Underwater Locator Beacon (ULB) in Flight Recorders

by OldSailor on December 25, 2009


BEA The BEA (Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité de l’aviation civile), the French agency investigating the accident of Air France (AF) Flight 447 on June 01 over the Atlantic Ocean, has released the second Interim Report on December 17.

The search for locating the Flight Recorders and the aircraft wreckage in the Atlantic Ocean was carried out in two phases from June 10 to July 10 (phase 1) and from July 27 to August 17 (phase 2). The Flight Recorders could not be located from the ocean.

Now the BEA has recommended near-term, medium-term, long-term solutions to European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) on aircrafts on public transport flights.

The recommendations are:

  • near-term solution to implement as early as possible:
    • to extend the regulatory transmission time for Underwater Locator Beacon (ULB) installed on flight recorders of aircrafts on public transport flights over maritime areas to 90 days from the existing 30 days.
    • to make it mandatory for aircrafts on public transport flights over maritime areas, be equipped with an additional ULB capable of transmitting on a frequency (for example between 8.5 kHz and 9.5 kHz) and for a duration adapted to the pre-localisation of wreckage.
  • medium-term solution: to study the possibility of making it mandatory for aircrafts on public transport flights to regularly transmit basic flight data like position, altitude, speed, heading to Air Traffic Control.
  • long-term solution: ICAO to ask the FLIRECP(19) group to establish proposals on the conditions for implementing deployable recorders of the Eurocae ED-112 type for airplanes performing public transport flights.

Also it is being planned to commence the third phase of search operations, to locate the Flight Recorders from February 2010 onwards for sixty days.

Read the full report from BEA as pdf.

For more details, log on to BEA.

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