Using technology that streams data from planes via satellites, the FAA is now monitoring every Boeing 737 MAX flight worldwide to check on the performance of the MAX fleet as the jet returns to service.
(TNS) — Using a technology that streams data from an airplane via satellites, the
The system "will flag deviations from certain parameters during all phases of flight and alert the FAA's aviation safety division," the federal agency said. "Safety engineers and inspectors will use the early notification to further analyze the incident."
Following the two MAX crashes that killed 346 people and grounded the commercial fleet worldwide for 20 months, even routine problems in flight as the planes return to the skies are likely to gain outsize attention and cause concern for air travelers.
The FAA is using the data to keep a close eye on the performance of the MAXs and to try to detect any issues early. The agency has never before conducted such real-time scrutiny of a single model of airplane.
It has contracted with
ADS-B is a more precise tracking system than radar and also transmits more data. And unlike radar, which cannot track aircraft far out over the oceans, the Earth's poles or inaccessible mountain or jungle terrain,
Every new Airbus or
For the MAX tracking contract with the FAA, the scope of which the agency has extended after an initial 10-week trial,
For each individual MAX jet, it will report how many times it took off, the duration of the flights and any anomalies detected.
Its work with those authorities has already allowed air traffic controllers to shrink the spacing between aircraft flying across the North Atlantic. And the Canadian and British air traffic controllers are starting a trial to scrap the current system of organized tracks across that ocean in favor of more efficient individual airplane routings.
ADS-B can also be used to track the precise location of a plane if it goes down. When a
The FAA has not yet committed fully to the
The MAX tracking, an off-shoot of that partnership, will provide copious data on routine operations and flag anything out of the ordinary.
(c)2021 The Seattle Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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