FARNBOROUGH, England, July 21 (UPI) -- The still-unexplained crash of an Air France airliner in the Atlantic has raised calls for real-time transmission of black box data, aviation experts say.
The failure to locate the wreckage of Air France Flight 447 -- which disappeared in June 2009 en route to Paris from Rio de Janeiro with 228 on board -- has prompted accelerated efforts to devise and implement such systems, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
"The momentum for a real-time solution is significant and ramping up," said Dale Sparks, chief technology officer of Star Navigation, a start-up based in Toronto that has patented a system it says could detect the earliest signs of potential problems on an aircraft in flight and automatically transmit an alert to maintenance personnel on the ground by e-mail or test message.
Other companies are at work on similar systems.
The Air France crash "has clearly increased awareness of the vulnerability" of aircraft that fly over oceans or remote areas including polar ice caps, Matt Bradley of AeroMechanical Services of Calgary, Alberta, said.
"The thought that an aircraft could go missing for six hours without air traffic control on either side of the Atlantic noticing -- the public was clearly shocked by that," Bradley said.
AMS has joined with L-3 Communications, the largest manufacturer of flight recorders, to promote its system which uses the global Iridium satellite network to send in-flight data to ground stations, the Times said.