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The 'better black box' that wasn't on MH370

Saturday 22 Mar 2014 5:51 p.m.

Solving the mystery of what happened to flight MH370 would be so much easier if just a single piece of the jet was found.

There is something else, a gadget, that might instantly solve the riddle if it were found, but the missing Malaysia Airlines plane did not have one on board.

Ironically, the P3 Orions searching for MH370 have what the passenger jet didn't – an Auto Deployable Flight Recorder, or ADFR. It's a pod that ejects itself in a crash, taking cockpit and flight data recordings with it.

And crucially, it floats on the surface instead of sinking like black boxes of the type found on MH370 would.

The ADFR was designed in the '60s for the military, and US carrier jets are equipped with it. It doesn't replace the old black box but works with it in tandem.

But each one costs $100,000, and most airlines have not bought into it. Instead, some have live streaming data transmitted to a ground recorder for analysis if needed.

Watch the video for the full story.

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