Thank you to all for your kind posts to yesterday's journal. I needed it tonight!
Well today we finished up the discussion of the communication equipment. We covered the VHF and HF radios, SELCAL, ACARS, Voice and data recorders, and the Condition monitoring system.
The voice and Data recorders are really going to be something. They are digital units using non-volitile memory instead of tapes. The voice unit can store the last 2 hours of cockpit noise, while the FDR (Flight Data Recorder) can store the last 25 hours of flight ops. Additionally, the Digital Flight Data Aquisition Unit (DFDAU) interfaces with the Aircraft Condition Monitoring System to build reports of data which can be used for trend analysis. The instructor told us that Air New Zealand uses this system to fix its aircraft before they break, by trending intermittent and unseen faults, and they have been having HUGE suscess with it. It uses a system called a 'floptical' disk, which is kind of a cross between a CD-ROM and a floppy. It looks like a 3.5" floppy, only slightly thicker. One side of the disk is magnetic medium, like a floppy, but the other is like a CD. The instructor explains that using the tracking ability of the cd allows for greater compacting of the magnetic data, so that each disk is 230 MB! Depending on how much data the airline wants to track, the disk can record from 81 to 163 to 327 hours before it gets maxed out.
I know this is old hat to some of you, but I just got electricity at my house last year. (Now my wife wants indoor plumbing and one of them telephone things too! ;-)).
After being blown away by all this, we took the test.
At least I have the consolation of knowing my boss didn't pass it either! I only missed one more than allowed, so I can make it up on the next test (I HOPE).
Either way, its MILLER TIME!
And to whomever asked, I have been called a thorn before, but not a THORNE. Please see my profile. Its the truth, I promise.