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NTSB Recommends Airlines Routinely Monitor CVR's

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NTSB Recommends Airlines Routinely Monitor CVR's

Old 24th Feb 2010, 20:24
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NTSB Recommends Airlines Routinely Monitor CVR's

AFP reports:

US watchdog wants to eavesdrop on cockpit chit-chat

WASHINGTON (AFP) US air safety officials want to monitor "black box" voice recorders in a bid to eliminate the kind of cockpit banter blamed for an airliner crash last year in New York that killed 50 people. "It is essential to understand what is going on in the cockpit if we are to achieve further reductions" in the number of accidents involving commercial aircraft, Debbie Hersman, chair of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said in a statement sent to AFP Wednesday.
"The benefits attained from the cockpit voice recorder should not be limited to posthumous investigations," she said.
The NTSB recommendation that cockpit black boxes be routinely monitored came in the agency's report, released this month, into the crash in which 49 passengers and crew and one person on the ground died when a Continental Airlines commuter plane slammed into a house outside Buffalo, New York.
The black box on that flight showed that the pilot and co-pilot "began a conversation that was unrelated to their flying duties" when the aircraft was below 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) as it approached Buffalo International airport.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and airline policy rules prohibit non-essential discussions when flying below 10,000 feet.
In another case of pilot distraction, two Northwest Airlines pilots overshot their destination by 100 miles (160 kilometers) because they were chatting and using their laptops, which is also in violation of aviation safety rules.
If the NTSB recommendation is put in place, airlines would themselves monitor cockpit voice recorders from their own aircraft, and they would do so "for safety reasons, not punitive reasons," Ted Lopatkiewicz, director of public affairs for the NTSB, told AFP.
The NTSB is also asking the FAA "to seek legislation, if necessary, to ensure the protection of those recordings from public disclosure," Lopatkiewicz said.
Only cockpit conversations on US airlines would be monitored, he said.
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Old 24th Feb 2010, 20:52
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Nothing new...when I was at SQ some years ago, CVR transcripts were played...regularly, at management cocktail parties.
Notes taken...pilots not renewed with their contracts.
An old story.
Nothing new.

Loose lips...sink ships.
IE...keep your opinions to yourself.
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Old 24th Feb 2010, 22:24
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has a point.

I would be proud of what is on the CVR from my flights. I try to run a good cockpit

I have found that those who run a bad cockpit are the first to say NO to cvr monitoring.

funny how that works , isn't it?

but what is SQ?
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Old 24th Feb 2010, 22:33
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SQ is Singapore.

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Old 24th Feb 2010, 22:52
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I'd like to hear this CVR...
Incident: Air Canada A321 at Toronto on Feb 22nd 2010, landed without clearance

AC485/22 Feb lands at YYZ w/o talking to the tower.
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Old 25th Feb 2010, 01:59
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Don't kid yourself - those things are listened to more than you think.
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Old 25th Feb 2010, 02:40
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Don't kid yourself - those things are listened to more than you think.
Absolutely! There's no law preventing management to listen to the CVRs.
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Old 25th Feb 2010, 02:56
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CVR monitoring

You are talking BS.
Downloading and deciphering CVRs takes man-hours and job-orders.
In any decent a/l these job-orders (MAINT entries on the TLP) will be kept on file for a while.
I recently had a meet with my CP over a young "protected" but under-performing FO. The boss had ordered the tape to be removed as I stood accused of verbal abuse, but did not have it deciphered as he would have needed a valid excuse to do so... And, of course, he didn't have one.
Still I support the monitoring below 10000' as it will definitely help improve safety.
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Old 25th Feb 2010, 03:13
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I will gladly allow managers at my airline to listen to my CVR recordings as long as I am also allowed to listen to the recordings of all their meetings and telephone conversations while at work.

If they have nothing to hide or be ashamed of they shouldn't have any problem with it.
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Old 25th Feb 2010, 05:46
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Bad Idea. I'm sure there are some outfits that will use it as a safety tool but more than likely it will be used as a weapon against anyone who opposes management. I think the data that is randomly and anonymously collected from FDRs is more valuable. I could be talking about cars or strip clubs but as long as the aircraft gets from A to B in a safe and stable manner and I follow the SOPs then what does it matter? It is valuable in post crash investigation but only on occasion is failure to maintain a sterile cockpit below 10K a factor.

A mechanism that would only allow management to listen to those portions of the CVR that occur below 10K AAL might be a viable training tool, otherwise it's just spying.

For those who don't know, for a CVR to be pulled and checked in the US, there are specific legal requirements and paperwork. For management to listen to it, the pilots must be present and are entitled to legal representation.

One of he best parts of my previous contract was a clause that stated that no discliplinary action could be taken against a pilot based on recorded data. The point was to protect the pilots against a hostile management. On the flipside, we had one of the best safety records of any airline and a top FOQA program.

Several years ago I might have agreed that it is a harmless and potentially valuable tool, but after working with current management, they would simply use it to eavesdrop and fire any rabble-rousers. I'm sure they do listen to CVRs and would never state it as the reason for dismissal, but they would put a big target on you.
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Old 25th Feb 2010, 05:49
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Always made it a point....

Back in my working days....I always made it a point to erase the CVR tape at the end of the Parking Checklist. Maybe mamagement had the erase button disconnected....maybe that's why I never progressed any further in my career....

There are always a few exceptions....but, generally, I've found the management types to be a bunch of worthless XXXXsuckers.

While I never totally agreed with the goings-on of the union, I was always glad and proud to be a union member.

BTW, Sqwak7700 hit the nail on the head!!!!!

Fly safe,

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Old 25th Feb 2010, 05:56
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It was standard practice in my youth to scrub the CVR on blocks. On a more serious note, the more monitoring of this type that goes on, the less data will be around to analyse in the event of an accident.
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Old 25th Feb 2010, 08:11
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Getting behind the aircraft and unstable inadvertently is one thing, but how hard is it to obey the Sterile Cockpit rule? It's not as though you need to be an ace pilot to comply with that rule...
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Old 25th Feb 2010, 09:00
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What about Virgin in this Video:
There was a slightly longer version on there somewhere
YouTube - Virgin Atlantic B744 Landing at LAX, REAL!!
"Like a cat pi**in on a velvet cushion"
Not sure who was chatting though
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Old 25th Feb 2010, 09:34
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Don't you just love the gloves. Must have been an ex BOAC guy!
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Old 25th Feb 2010, 09:37
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US air safety officials want to monitor "black box" voice recorders
In the words of a great Lady: "NO! NO! NO!"
The CVR was introduced in order to assist accident investigation, a purpose which has been successfully achieved.
At that time it was agreed that CVR recordings would ONLY be used for accident investigation.

Time to get the unions involved and, in the interim, pull the CVR CB.

Must have been an ex BOAC guy!
Naah, they couldn't land like that; must have been ex BEA
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Old 25th Feb 2010, 09:45
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Most airlines, including my current bode of peace has a QAR, Quick Access Recorder, and it doesnt take more than a memory stick or a 3 1/2 inch diskette to download raw data and raw voice. And it cant be reset with the magic little green button, its on a loop for 7 days and is independant from the main boxes - voice audio is instant, data takes a little longer

Nothing new, nothing to be scared about, nowt to complain about. You are an employee of the airline, if they decide to monitor convos and decide your cockpit practices are not up to company standards, then you have no one to blame but yourself.
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Old 25th Feb 2010, 13:00
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With Security rummaging through your underwear, random drug and alcohol testing, full body scanners taking 3-D pictures of your 'wobbly-bits', somebody listening to your conversation while flying seems natural progression to me.
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Old 25th Feb 2010, 13:46
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QARs in my company record FDR data only- there is no voice element. QAR data is ALL downloaded and analysed, but by the safety department- management have no access.
If an exceedance or incident is highlighted (and not already reported by the crew) then the safety department will contact the pilots directly.
Incidentally, many of the pilots in my company know how to disable the QAR- in fact, in a previous job, the company issued a memo threatening immediate dismissal for anyone who did so- along with a description of how it is done!
I have never seen it done, or done it myself... but our engineers assure me it works.
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Old 25th Feb 2010, 13:59
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Just what I need. Some comments made outside of sterile about a member of management, a young lassie in the back or anything else management considered offensive is now in the public forum.

Don't think some well placed comments about the lineage in the CEO's family tree wouldn't have repercussions.

During a debate last Summer over video camera's (this absolutely opens the door for them) in the cockpit one former member of the NTSB roundly criticized the others in the interview. No way, no how he promised would video tape ever make it outside of a privileged few with an absolute need to see it for accident investigation purposes. The story that led up to it, piccies and video from the Michael Jackson autopsy, another supposedly sacrosanct event.
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