According to transcripts just released by the NTSB, cockpit voice recordings of the Circuit City Cessna Citation 560 (N500AT) that crashed in Pueblo, Colo., on Feb. 16, indicate that the two pilots tried to get rid of ice accumulation as they approached Pueblo Municipal Airport for a refueling stop.
Cockpit voice recorder
The FAA recently issued revised guidance for daily preflight checks of cockpit voice recorders to ensure that the system is functioning properly. The new guidelines stem from NTSB recommendations made more than two years ago.
The NTSB, which has long called for the FAA to require cockpit voice recorders on smaller turbine airplanes, is now calling for the installation of so-called “video image recorders.” Such recorders obtain not only audio information like that from CVRs and event data like that from FDRs, but also information about the environment outside the cockpit window.
“This is a recording” will have more meaning to accident investigators if the FAA enacts a proposal to beef up rules regarding cockpit voice recorders (CVRs) and flight data recorders (FDRs). The rules, proposed primarily in response to NTSB recommendations, would not mandate the installation of CVRs or FDRs in aircraft not already required to have them.
Chalk’s Ocean Airways has voluntarily grounded its remaining fleet of four Grumman Turbo Mallards after investigators found a serious fatigue crack in the wing spar of the Mallard that crashed off Miami Beach on Monday. Meanwhile, NTSB investigators spent yesterday poring over flight and repair records and scrutinizing Chalk’s maintenance program, developed for the salt-water environment and rough landings the amphibians encountered each day.
The NTSB recovered the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) from the Learjet 35A that crashed while on final approach to Truckee Tahoe Airport, Calif., on the afternoon of December 28, but there was no immediate word as to its condition or the presence of useful information. Pilots Jonathan Martin, 40, and Brett Karpy, 34, were killed in the accident.
A Massachusetts company that has developed a flight data recorder (FDR) for aircraft in the category of the Cirrus SR20 and SR22 piston singles says the technology could also be applied in Part 23 business jets and turboprops, at a fraction of the price of current-generation FDRs.
The final NTSB report on the Dec. 23, 2003 crash of a Learjet 24B near Helendale, Calif., released last week, concluded that the probable cause was loss of control for undetermined reasons. Twenty minutes after Pavair’s Learjet N600XJ left San Bernardino County Airport, Chino, Calif., bound for Hailey, Idaho, the crew requested a return without declaring an emergency.
It is hard to believe that despite the passage of more than nine years since that hot July night, the discussion continues about TWA Flight 800, which crashed off the coast of Long Island in July 1996.
In part because of two-high profile fatal crashes–one involving eight federal government employees and the other a U.S. senator–the National Transportation Safety Board held two days of hearings in late July on its recommendations that a cockpit image recorder (CIR) be installed in nearly all turbine-powered aircraft.