PPRuNe Forums

Go Back   PPRuNe Forums > Ground & Other Ops Forums > Questions
Forgotten your Username/Password?

Questions If you are a professional pilot or your work involves professional aviation please use this forum for questions. Enthusiasts, please use the 'Spectators Balcony' forum.


Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10th Dec 2012, 05:14   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Kabul, Afghanistan
Age: 31
Posts: 275
FDR and CVR Readings

Hi guys!

I hope there was an easier way of reading FDRs and CVRs. It's hard to pull out FDRs and CVRs from aircraft and have them sent for readings. Even the QAR I think some time needs to be read by special reader facilities.

Just out of curiousity aren't there any special procedures where you can at least listen to CVR in the cockpit?
AvEnthusiast is offline   Reply
Old 13th Dec 2012, 15:38   #2 (permalink)
PJ2
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: East of the sun, West of the moon
Age: 67
Posts: 2,177
AVEnthusiast;

This is a better question than you perhaps realize.

In your post you don't offer what the purpose is of finding an "easier way" to read DFDRs and CVRs but if I read between the lines this is a maintenance function for periodic testing and validation of the equipment.

First, there's a very good explanation of flight data recording here, and how flight data recording works, in detail, here.

There are significant benefits, and liabilities, associated with flight data recording. Both are very powerful technical, economic and legal aspects of any recording work.

There are two reasons I can think of that prevent the "easy" reading of flight data and cockpit voice recorders.

First, the equipment, which includes DFDAUs (of which there is an example here), the equipment and the software for reading recorders and the documentation supporting the design and installation of the recording equipment, are all proprietary, highly regulated and very expensive to develop.

Recording equipment and software are uniquely tailored to specific manufacturers of aircraft and to specific aircraft themselves. Both equipment and software are often tailored to the individual aircraft system and the FDR, CVR and QAR installations. The technology and more importantly the regulatory environment is relatively young, (perhaps two decades old) and older aircraft are much more difficult to equip than aircraft being manufactured today.

Regardless of type, such installations are subject to regulatory approval and certification requirements which vary among countries, again for different aircraft and different combinations of recording and reading equipment.

These requirements place very high premiums on the software and the equipment doing the recording and the reading of data. Manufacturers of aircraft and of recording equipment retain very tight control and broad rights to both the equipment and the software that runs it.

Corporations therefore very carefully guard the access to such software. As you're probably aware both the equipment and the software is extremely expensive. These are some reasons why.

Also, reading and interpreting flight data and interpreting CVR recordings is a complex process requiring training and experience. Flight data can only tell "what" but not "why". When interpreting the question "why?", flight safety work must remain as neutral as possible, ignoring legal, political and other pressures from elements which would benefit from one interpretation over another. It is not a straightforward process even though many believe that it is.

This leads us to the second reason which is unrelated to the first and is more complex.

Flight data was initially created (by an Australian and later the British), to find out what happened in an accident. Much later, such data is used as a preventative tool in programs such as "FOQA".

There are many interested parties in any accident investigation and each will have a preferred interpretation of both flight and voice recordings. As evidenced by what is probably the longest thread on one topic in PPRuNe's history, the AF447 recorders still could not settle a number of interpretations of how and why the accident occurred. Legal, social, economic, political and technical pressures in such interpretive activities are enormous and do weigh heavily on outcomes.

The use of flight data to prosecute flight crews is another reason why flight data is not available to just anyone.

This is a very quick, short response about why there is no software or reading equipment commercially available for the purposes of reading FDRs, CVRs and QARs in the same way that MS Office is available.

There is a lot of information available on the web regarding how data recording works. Some knowledge of how this is done and why would go a long way to understanding why "just listening to the CVR" cannot be done. I hope this helps a bit in understanding why.
PJ2 is offline   Reply
Old 13th Dec 2012, 16:34   #3 (permalink)
Per Ardua ad Astraeus
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 18,541
AvE - your profile gives no clue as to WHY you ask the question. Why do you need to? Why would anyone want to 'listen to the CVR in the cockpit'?
BOAC is offline   Reply
Old 13th Dec 2012, 21:26   #4 (permalink)
PJ2
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: East of the sun, West of the moon
Age: 67
Posts: 2,177
Hi BOAC;
Re, "Why would anyone want to 'listen to the CVR in the cockpit'? "

Well, precisely. It's probably me so perhaps the poster will forgive me but I take this stuff with deadly seriousness and the poster made it sound as though wanting to listen to the CVR were a recreational activity, or that pulling the recorders (for testing/validation?) was a pain and he wanted a quicker way to examine them, (and I know a few ways), so I'm curious as well and standing by.

AVEnthusiast, I'm not being unkind here but you've gotta be open and honest with people regarding intents and tell them exactly what you're looking for.

I hope I've answered your questions, but you aren't going to find any software or any hardware that is going to replay these recordings...not, at least, for less than a few hundred thousand US for the cheapest system, plus you must be a viable operation in which the licensed-not-owned-legally-protected software will be used - as I said, this stuff is proprietary and heavily guarded.

Are you an AME, a pilot, someone curious about the flight data and voice recording process and wanting to learn or...?

best,

PJ2

Last edited by PJ2; 13th Dec 2012 at 21:29.
PJ2 is offline   Reply
Old 16th Dec 2012, 11:03   #5 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Kabul, Afghanistan
Age: 31
Posts: 275
Sorry guys for not being clear enough. Yeah am a pilot. And actually I was considering it for the preventive programs as you have mentioned above. But anyway you have really made it clear PJ2. Thanks.
AvEnthusiast is offline   Reply
Old 16th Dec 2012, 16:36   #6 (permalink)
PJ2
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: East of the sun, West of the moon
Age: 67
Posts: 2,177
AvEnthusiast;

Glad to be of some help...

There are numerous elements "out there" who would dearly love to obtain what you asked your question about.

Thanks for clarifying your status.

PJ2
PJ2 is offline   Reply
Reply
 
 
 


Thread Tools


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT. The time now is 06:18.


vBulletin® v3.8.7, Copyright ©2000-2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
1996-2012 The Professional Pilots Rumour Network