The FAA has grudgingly agreed to delay certain portions of an original April 2010 compliance date for installing cockpit voice recorders (CVR) and digital flight data recorders (FDR) in many U.S.-registered airplanes. But the agency issued a stern rebuke to aircraft manufacturers for their failure to address known technical issues sooner.
The FAA last month issued an STC applicable to the King Air series for Universal Avionics’ new cockpit voice recorder, which is part of a lineup of five model options ranging from a basic CVR to a combined CVR and flight-data recorder (CVFDR), available with or without internal recorder independent power supply (Rips). Universal said the CVFDR’s internal Rips option is unique in the data recorder market.
Airbus has launched a study for improving flight data recovery, including extended data transmission for commercial airliners, the company announced last week in an apparent acknowledgement of the deficiencies highlighted by the crash of Air France Flight 447 and subsequent efforts to recover its FDR and CVR.
Search teams have found the bodies of the captain and a flight attendant among the victims of the crash of Air France Flight 447, the company confirmed today. So far crews have recovered at least 50 bodies from the Atlantic Ocean out of the 228 aboard the Airbus A330-200 when it crashed in the early morning hours of June 1.
Brazilian search teams found more wreckage from Air France Flight 447 yesterday and today as evidence mounted that the Airbus A330 likely broke apart above the ocean while flying through a violent storm.
Concerned by mounting losses in emergency medical services (EMS) flights, the NTSB has added the safety of such flights to its 2009 Most Wanted List of Safety Improvements.
Universal Avionics last month introduced a cockpit voice and flight data recorder (CVFDR) with internal recorder independent power supply (Rips). The CVFDR records up to 25 hours of flight data and 120 minutes of datalink messages.
The NTSB has had longstanding concerns about the lack of cockpit voice recorder (CVR) information following reportable accidents or incidents. And although there are requirements about retaining CVR information–FAR 135.151(c) and 121.359(f)–the Safety Board wants the FAA to take stronger action by requiring deactivation of the CVR after an incident or accident and requiring a functional check of the device before each flight of the day.
Part 135 operators of turbine airplanes configured with 10 to 30 passenger seats and manufactured after August 19 must have upgraded flight data recorders installed (FAR 135.152). Because the initial requirement was issued five years ago, the FAA has turned down most petitions for temporary exemptions or permanent exceptions, including requests by NetJets to exempt a new Gulfstream V from the requirement for the 88-parameter FDR.
The FAA is mandating updated aircraft cockpit voice and flight data recorders for airplanes with 10 or more seats and operating under Parts 121, 125 or 135. These improved devices–which are due by March 7, 2012, for in-service airplanes–will yield more data for accident and incident investigators. The rule also mandates these enhancements on all newly built aircraft and helicopters after March 7, 2010.