Trends and Current Problems in Aviation: Cockpit Voice and Flight Dat

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Problem statement
One of the most scrutinized pieces of evidence gathered from an aircraft accident is the collection of information contained in the Cockpit Voice Recorder and Flight Data Recorder. CVRs and FDRs paint an often haunting, but frequently useful picture of what occurred during the last minutes of an accident flight. This is not to say, however, that the recorders are always conclusive, or even useful. There are a handful of cases where the CVR and FDR tapes have broken, failed to record, stopped recording early, or not captured enough information to be useful to the investigation. Advancements in these devices are not new to the industry; however, the pace is slow to incorporate new technology into current fleets.
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Impact tolerance ...................... 3400 Gs / 6.5ms
Fire resistance .......................... 1100 deg C /30 min
Water pressure resistance ........ submerged 20,000 ft
Underwater locator beacon ...... 37.5 KHz
Battery: 6yr shelf life
30 day operation

Flight Data Recorder
Time recorded ........................... 25 hour continuous
Number of parameters .............. 5 - 300+
Impact tolerance ....................... 3400 Gs /6.5ms
Fire resistance ........................... 1100 deg. C/30 min
Water pressure resistance ......... submerged 20,000 ft
Underwater locator beacon ...... 37.5 KHz
Battery: 6 year shelf life
30 day operation

Previous accidents
The NTSB has submitted five recommendations to the FAA regarding the reliability of recorders in commercial and civil aviation aircraft. The recommendations are based on historical data stemming from a series of accidents where forces interfered with the recording, and inaccurate or incomplete data was recovered from the scene of an accident. A partial list of accidents will help in evaluating the need for improved recording devices, however these are only the most recent cases in a long history of accidents where the investigation was hindered by a loss of data (Safety Issue). ú May 11, 1996, ValuJet 592, a DC-9-32, crashed shortly after departing Miami, Florida. The recorders stopped recording about 40-50 seconds before impact. All 111 onboard

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