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Beyond the Black Box

The Forensics of Airplane Crashes

George Bibel

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The black box is orange—and there are actually two of them. They house the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder, instruments vital to airplane crash analyses.

But accident investigators cannot rely on the black boxes alone. Beginning with the 1931 Fokker F-10A crash that killed legendary football coach Knute Rockne, this fascinating book provides a behind-the-scenes look at plane wreck investigations. Professor George Bibel shows how forensic experts, scientists, and engineers analyze factors like impact, debris, loading, fire patterns, metallurgy, fracture, crash testing, and…

The black box is orange—and there are actually two of them. They house the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder, instruments vital to airplane crash analyses.

But accident investigators cannot rely on the black boxes alone. Beginning with the 1931 Fokker F-10A crash that killed legendary football coach Knute Rockne, this fascinating book provides a behind-the-scenes look at plane wreck investigations. Professor George Bibel shows how forensic experts, scientists, and engineers analyze factors like impact, debris, loading, fire patterns, metallurgy, fracture, crash testing, and human tolerances to determine why planes fall from the sky—and how the information gleaned from accident reconstruction is incorporated into aircraft design and operation to keep commercial aviation as safe as possible.

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Beyond the Black Box

George Bibel

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Reviews

Reviews

The author does a first-rate job... The easy-to-read and engaging manner of the writing makes this an interesting historical as well as scientific text.

Bibel takes the reader, chattily and with skill, through his analysis of a series of fatal accidents.

Offering insights into how aviation accident investigations are conducted, Bibel addresses the causes of such accidents, from in-flight breakup to metal fatigue and combustion, and the lessons learned. Enriched with many drawings, graphs, and equations... Highly recommended.

A fascinating book.

The author succeeds in both science and storytelling.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
408
ISBN
9780801886317
Illustration Description
38 halftones, 183 line drawings
Subject
Table of Contents

Preface
1. The Crash Investigation Process
2. How Planes (Often) Crash
3. In-Flight Breakup
4. Pressure, Explosive Decompression, and Burst Balloons
5. Jet Propulsion, Burst Engines, and Reliability
6

Preface
1. The Crash Investigation Process
2. How Planes (Often) Crash
3. In-Flight Breakup
4. Pressure, Explosive Decompression, and Burst Balloons
5. Jet Propulsion, Burst Engines, and Reliability
6. Metal Fatigue: Bending 777s and Paper Clips
7. Combustion: Fire and Explosion
8. Crash Testing
9. Human Tolerances to G Loads and Crash Forces
Notes
References
Index

Author Bio
George Bibel
Featured Contributor

George Bibel, Ph.D.

George Bibel, a former NASA summer faculty fellow, is a professor of mechanical engineering at the School of Engineering and Mines, University of North Dakota. He recently completed the Air Line Pilots Association Advanced Accident Investigation Course. He is the author of Plane Crash: The Forensics of Aviation Disasters and Train Wreck: The Forensics of Rail Disasters.