A notice of proposed amendment (NPA) from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) aims to improve the performance flight data recorders (FDR) and cockpit voice recorders (CVR) on large airplanes (CS-25) and large rotorcraft (CS-29) by addressing the following subjects: datalink recording; the serviceability of flight recorders; and the quality of recording of CVRs.
The proposed changes to CS-25 and CS-29 are expected to “increase safety by addressing previously issued recommendations, contributing to facilitating investigations of accidents and incidents, and to ease the certification process of recorders for EASA state authorities and design organizations, thereby bringing an economic benefit for these stakeholders.”
According to EASA, one of the key factors leading to the NPA was the issue reported after some accidents on large airplanes in which the end of the recording was missing from the FDR due to the loss of normal electrical power. Consequently, the proposal mandates an alternate power source as a solution. Other objectives of the proposal include providing certification specifications to support compliance with the operational rules requiring the recording of datalink communications and improve the audio quality of CVR recordings.
There are no specific compliance dates mentioned in the NPR other than a reminder that the proposed CVR datalink mandate would apply to the minimum 25 hour-recording time that will be required for airplanes with an mtow starting at 60,000 pounds manufactured on or after Jan 1. 2021, and two hours for all other airplanes. Comments on the NPA are due on Feb. 13, 2020.