Ask Joe: Black box in Fallon crash

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Updated: 3/18 12:13 pm
Question:
From the Ask Joe file a question about the recent crash of a Navy fighter jet out in Fallon.
Al McEntee wrote in to ask in regards to that crash, do U.S. military aircraft have black boxes to help determine the cause of the accident?

Answer:
I checked with Zip Upham out at NAS Fallon.
He says the newer fighter jets do have flight data recorders that provide information about engine performance and other details.
The FA-18C is an older model. They do have recorders but they are not built to withstand a crash.
So depending on the severity of the crash..the recorder may not come through intact.
Back to the newer planes. The Super Hornet F-18's do have an upgraded system that tracks the last 30 minutes of data and it is designed to eject from the airplane if the pilots ejects. Upham says the information on those recorders can be used to answer questions about what caused a crash and also to help prevent similar crashes in the future.
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