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NTSB Calls On FAA: Cockpit Video, Flight Data And Locator

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NTSB Calls On FAA: Cockpit Video, Flight Data And Locator

Unread post by bimjim » Fri Jan 23, 2015

http://aviationweek.com/business-aviati ... r-upgrades

NTSB Calls On FAA For Cockpit Video, Flight Data And Aircraft Locator Upgrades
John Croft | Aviation Daily
Jan 22, 2015

Based in large part on the 2014 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 and the two-year search for Air France Flight 447, the NTSB is asking the FAA to require new and existing aircraft that fly oceanic routes to carry certain devices and features that will help first responders to more quickly find a downed aircraft and its data recorders and give investigators an early look at what happened.

The recommendations—four new and four revisions of previously issued requests—come as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) prepares for a high-level safety conference in early February to address many of the same issues.

That meeting will likely set the stage for new global standards in tracking and triggered position transmissions from aircraft in distress, largely to determine the position of a crash site.

The NTSB recommendations in some cases are more narrowly defined than the ICAO proposals, applying only to aircraft engaged in extended overwater operations, but in others are more sweeping. The agency would like a minimum set of flight parameters to be transmitted by satellite before an accident occurs. “Our intent is to find aircraft that have been lost over water and retrieve data in a more timely fashion,” says Joseph Kolly, director of the NTSB’s office of research and engineering. Kolly says a deployable recorder could also satisfy the requirement for pre-crash data.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is readying similar new initiatives to be announced on the one-year anniversary of the MH370 disappearance in March, although the proposed rules have not been circulated. The FAA, by contrast, in not currently preparing new regulations on the topic, but plans to respond to the NTSB’s recommendations within 90 days, a spokesman says. The NTSB is asking the FAA to coordinate whatever actions it might take with other international regulatory authorities and ICAO.

The four new NTSB recommendations, all performance-based, call for all air carrier and charter operators to equip all existing and new aircraft already requiring flight data recorders (FDR) and cockpit voice recorders (CVR) with a “tamper-resistant” method to broadcast to a ground station “sufficient information” to establish the crash location of an aircraft to within 6 nm of the point of impact. Kolly says possible solutions include deployable recorders or triggered data streaming.

The NTSB is also asking the FAA to require all existing and new aircraft to carry in the strongest part of the fuselage a low-frequency underwater locating device with a 90-day battery, similar to the “pingers” used to locate FDRs and CVRs, but operating on a lower frequency for longer-range detection, a position ICAO is also taking in new standards.

Another recommendation calls for all newly manufactured aircraft to provide the means to gather approximately 88 performance parameters captured after a “triggering event” is detected, potentially sent to the ground over satellite connections before the crash or picked up in deployable recorders after the crash. “Data should be captured from a triggering event until the end of the flight and for as long a time period before the triggering event as possible,” the NTSB says.

The NTSB also reiterated and reformulated previously issued recommendations to prevent data recorders from being disabled during a flight and for adding cockpit video recorders, a request that applies to both the existing fleet and all new aircraft.

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