View Full Version : Father of the CVR/FDR

Check Airman
19th Jul 2019, 15:21
Interesting BBC article on the guy who came up with this nifty little tool.


19th Jul 2019, 15:26
Very nice article, I enjoyed it! :ok:

19th Jul 2019, 22:00
I also just read it, great story and smiled at the irony of the plane losing an engine that was taking him to the UK, also smiled at the British stiff upper lip, quote

Dr Warren recalled: "I said, 'Chaps, we seem to have lost a donk - does anyone want to go back?' But we'd come from Tunisia and it was about 45 degrees overnight. We didn't want to go back to that hellhole."

They decided they could make it if they ploughed on.

compressor stall
19th Jul 2019, 23:30
Love the sticker on his casket. Good humour.

20th Jul 2019, 00:23
I have to give it to the Aussies, when its a good idea, they run with it.


After the procedure designs, I had a wind profiler measurement system and a wake turbulence measurement system....

took it to the FAA, they said great idea, lets study it..

took it to the Aussies, they said great idea, can you install one at YMML....gave me a land grant and costs to install...

then the change in govt....damn.

Old Dogs
20th Jul 2019, 01:51
Interesting BBC article on the guy who came up with this nifty little tool.


Wow, what a story!!

Thank you.

20th Jul 2019, 13:59
From the article:

The pilots' union responded with fury, branding the recorder a snooping device, and insisted "no plane would take off in Australia with Big Brother listening". That was one of his better reviews. Australia's civilian aviation authorities declared it had "no immediate significance", and the air force feared it would "yield more expletives than explanations"

I guess the fear of Big Brother is why even modern CVRs are only capable of preserving a few hours of audio. Which could be insufficient in some accidents.

Fast forward 60 years, to the 2019 final report from the Air Niugini crash, where an iPhone recording from the cockpit jump seat helped the investigation greatly:

The PNG Accident Investigation Commission recommends that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of PNG should draft Civil Aviation Rule(s) to require the fitment of image recorders in the cockpit [...]

The response of the authorities to that recommendation, in part:

[...]this is not an ICAO Standard and therefore cannot be justified for rule making[...]

The NTSB has a different opinion:


In other cases, even with better techniques, better tools, multiple onboard computers, and data and voice recorders, some questions remain unanswered because we lack the first-hand knowledge that can only be gleaned from image recordings. Although image recorder technology is relatively low cost, its use remains voluntary throughout the transportation system. Further, the use of recorded information for operational and safety oversight purposes provides an opportunity to identify and address safety issues before accidents occur. While some operators have implemented or are in the process of implementing such programs, regulatory requirements to do so are nonexistent, and most operators across the transportation industry are not proactive in this area.

What can be done . . .
Most of the difficult work has already been accomplished by the industry. Low-cost, compact image recorders capable of storing several hours of information are readily available. We simply need the regulations to require their use, where the expectations for promoting safety are higher and therefore outweigh some privacy concerns.