World's 2 largest commercial aircraft makers at odds over deployable black boxes

Industries Associated Press

The world's two largest commercial aircraft manufacturers are at odds over equipping planes with deployable black boxes that would be easier to find in the event of an ocean crash.

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Airbus' chief product security officer, Pascal Andrei, told a government safety panel Tuesday that the French manufacturer is nearly ready to equip airliners with data and cockpit voice recorders that eject in the event of a crash and float to the ocean's surface.

The boxes are equipped with an emergency locator transmitter and would be easier to detect floating on the water's surface than being trapped inside wreckage on the ocean floor.

But Boeing accident investigator Mark Smith warns that such recorders are prone to ejecting accidentally and creating a safety risk.