Our black box obsession: air accident investigation in popular culture

Presentation


Heap, Natasha. 2023. "Our black box obsession: air accident investigation in popular culture." Aviation Cultures Mk VII: Flying High. Aviation in Popular Culture. 21 - 22 Jul 2023
Paper/Presentation Title

Our black box obsession: air accident investigation in popular culture

Presentation TypePresentation
AuthorsHeap, Natasha
Number of Pages1
Year2023
Web Address (URL) of Conference Proceedingshttps://aviationcultures.org/
Conference/EventAviation Cultures Mk VII: Flying High. Aviation in Popular Culture
Event Details
Aviation Cultures Mk VII: Flying High. Aviation in Popular Culture
Delivery
Online
Event Date
21 to end of 22 Jul 2023
Event Description

The romance of aviation has been celebrated in popular culture for millennia. Greek myths tell us of Daedalus and Icarus who attempted to escape Crete with wings made from feathers and wax. Leonardo da Vinci sketched helicopters and parachutes. Jules Verne imagined trips to the moon. Leslie Nielsen asked Robert Hays not to call him Shirley. And For All Mankind explores an alternate history of the space race.

This symposium aims to explore the impact of all things aviation in popular culture. If it flies (or fails to fly), whether it be from human endeavour or the natural world, mythology or storytelling, this is the forum to present your work.

We welcome papers from researchers across the academic spectrum and encourage papers from postgraduate researchers and early career researchers. 

Abstract

The cockpit voice recorder, later the flight data recorder, both colloquially called the “black box” was invented by Australian David Warren in the mid-1950s. This technology records how an aircraft was being flown moments before a crash. This recording and analysis of this data spawned a new industry of air crash investigation with books, television series, podcasts and even feature films on air accidents. It has also led to the rise of the “celebrity” air crash investigator and constant media headlines after an accident shouting for the recovery of the “black box” to determine the accident’s cause. But is our obsession with the “black box” and the celebrity air crash investigator warranted? Can the “black box” tell us all we need to know about aviation accidents? This paper explores how the “black box” and air crash investigation has been misrepresented by some and misunderstood by the travelling public.

ANZSRC Field of Research 2020500204. History and philosophy of science
500405. Religion, society and culture
440199. Anthropology not elsewhere classified
Public Notes

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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Southern Queensland
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https://research.usq.edu.au/item/z0x18/our-black-box-obsession-air-accident-investigation-in-popular-culture

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