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Mandatory cockpit voice recorders for GA - EASA

here – the top item

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

‘Simpler, lighter and better rules for general aviation’. That is the promise coming from the European Aviation Safety Agency, which is agreeing openly for the first time that its approach to regulating GA has been inappropriate. Under its new Executive Director Patrick Ky, EASA says it is fully committed to changing its relationship with the GA industry.

and then:

“While we are told that no new regulatory proposals are being planned, we learn that EASA is discussing a possible requirement for a cockpit voice recorder for light aircraft."

Seriously, WTF? How is that part of ‘lighter and better rules for general aviation’. They keep saying ‘lighter and better rules’ then we get stuff like the regulations that basically makes freelance flight instruction impossible (and has finished off the last flight training establishment where I live due to the increased costs and pointless regulatory burden). Is there any evidence that EASA are actually implementing “simpler, lighter and better rules for general aviation”? Is someone with influence able to call them out on this?

Andreas IOM

Would a CVR really add anything useful in terms of light GA accident investigation?

Well, they would have to begin with imposing the carriage of an intercom. Actually, not even a COM radio is mandatory equipment for a good deal of (non-professional) flying.

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

Would a CVR really add anything useful in terms of light GA accident investigation?

Certainly, just like it does with the larger aeroplanes that already have one. For example one of our instructor colleagues died in an accident some years ago (on a private flight with his own aircraft) that could never be solved. They were two on board, so probably a voice recorder would have helped the investigation a lot.

Well, they would have to begin with imposing the carriage of an intercom.

Not necessairily. A simple cockpit microphone somewhere on the roof or in the glareshield would already get the largest part of the cockpit sounds. Often, it is not so much what the pilots were saying, but the other sounds in the cockpit that help resolve accident mysteries. Like switches being operated, the engine sound, flutter and vibration, shouts from the passengers and so on. Every CVR has this cockpit microphone in addition to the intercom/radio link.

EDDS - Stuttgart

Why ALWAYS bash EASA?

There is a proposal to have a requirement for the installation a FDR or CVR in multi turbine aircraft which are commercially operated and carry more than 9 passengers (mini airliners). The FAA has similair requirements for these kinds of flights.

No TB, C172, SR22 whatever.

I do agree with EDDS that this might be usefull for crash investigation. For GA i have seen more and more reports where they actually got more information from the glass cockpit, GPS or FADEC. Although these are not designed to do so, they can give usefull additional information.

Last Edited by Jesse at 01 May 16:47
JP-Avionics
EHMZ

That, however, is more FDR than CVR data. Flying solo, there won’t be much useful CVR data. There will be annunciations (not many from GA avionics) and if the pilot is talking to himself.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

there won’t be much useful CVR data.

Again: You will be able to hear unsuccessful attempts to communicate, blind transmissions, changes in engine note, flap and gear operation, warning sounds, vibrations and so on. That is a lot better than nothing at all.
The best would of course be a small wide-angle camera somewhere in the back, just like the car cameras that become more and more popular. They cost less than 100 Euros. Of course they must be officially sealed and only opened by accident investigators and not used against you for punishing “litlle sins”. But the same already applies to the CVR and FDR tapes where they are installed.

EDDS - Stuttgart

I can see the point of a cockpit video recorder – though a little intrusive, and I think I would prefer to keep any final moments to myself. I wonder what the impact on family is, positive or negative, of having audio/video recordings of their final moments?

No reason such a thing should be expensive in a new build, but however cheap you could make it, the installation costs would be what would worry me, in anything certified. I wonder how much they would reduce crash investigation costs – probably substantially.

EGCW

Of course they must be officially sealed and only opened by accident investigators and not used against you for punishing “litlle sins”. But the same already applies to the CVR and FDR tapes where they are installed.

Not quite. Most airlines use the FDR and other recorder data to evaluate flights and pilot performance. Follow the discussion of Asiana 214 and you will hear from MANY people who work or have worked there that any kind of deviations of prescribed procedures or flight tracks are vigorously punished and for that reason, a massive safety deficit is the result of this kind of climate of fear the misuse of these devices generate.

In GA, I can see the simple legal pretext: If the devices are there, they WILL be used AGAINST you in EVERY case. The laws which say “only in case of accidents” are no longer respected by operators all over the world so they won’t be respected by regulators against GA either.

For me, this is just a proof how all the bla bla at Friedrichshafen e.t.c. about EASA opening up to GA is nothing but valium for the pilots and owners while on the other hand they seek out new ways to eradicate GA. I WILL not fly with such a device on board. If it is mandiated then it’s the end for me in Europe.

LSZH, Switzerland
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