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Geofa

Examination of the voice recorder after a crash

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Having watched several "National Geographic" TV documentaries entitled "Crash Investigation" I'm struck by the number of times investigators are uncertain about what the pilots are referring to in their voice recordings.The following example illustrates my point. The Captain pointed to a specific instrument that he thought was behaving strangely and drew it to his co-pilot's attention WITHOUT SPECIFICALLY MENTIONING WHICH INSTRUMENT HE WAS REFERRING TO.After the crash no Black box could be retrieved. Accordingly there could be no certainty as to what the instrument may have been.Would it not be safer for training to include the need for pilot discussion being phrased in such a way that investigators have more specific information when investigating a crash?Cliff

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I always speak directly into cockpit area microphone at some point on each flight "Look, those #### mechanics...they screwed up again." Just in case.

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What has surprised me is that the aviation industry has not made wider use of the technology that automobile/trucking industry has gone to when it comes to being able to "read" what a particular vehicle is doing and what the condition of it's systems are in real time. I know that most aircraft have many more systems and are exposed to a greater variety of conditions than cars and trucks, but the technology is there.General Motor's "Onstar", for example, can not only find the location of a particular vehicle but can also monitor and record information of certain crucial onboard systems. In the trucking industry (in the US anyway), this technology has been used in the investigation of truck accidents for quite a number of years now. I have a brother that drove for a major U.S hauler and he told me that they monitored his and every other truck in the company's fleet 24/7. They could monitor everything......speed of the truck, braking distance, amount of brake pressure applied, G-forces encountered during impact and (kind of what the OP here is refering to) what the driver's instruments are/were showing.Maybe this technology will someday become common place in our industry. It would seem like it would at the very least help in an aircraft accident investigation. Especially when there are no "black boxes" to recover.John

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Like everything else it comes down to money. The Airlines/Manufacturers won't do anything until it's mandated by the FAA or another body. But you've made a great point, a system like that would be a great asset in diagnosing a problem in the air.Dave FisherCYYZP4 Prescott 3.2e 478p 800mhz 1mg CPUP4P800SE Asus Motherboard2.5 gig PC3200 DDR RAM 400MHZGeForce 7600GT/512 OC'dMaxtor 80 Gig ATA 133 HD x2WDC WD800 80 Gig HDAntec 500watt true powerSharp 19 inch LCD MonitorSaitek AV8R-01 Joystickhttp://www.jdtllc.com/images/rcv4bannersupporter.jpg

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The more I think about it Dave the more find it difficult to understand why the FAA have taken no action. Cost is certainly a factor. But surely the cost of creating a short training course isn't sufficiently substantial to stop them plugging this hole?Regards,Cliff

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Have to say-if I was having an emergency (of which I have had many)-the last thing on my mind would be clarity of what the black box might pick up and saving the day might be the most important.....Of course-I am still around-and I don't have a black box being a Ga driver-so easy for me to say! :-)http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpgForum Moderatorhttp://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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Geofa, I well understand the point you make.As I only fly light aircraft I don't have your experience, skills or knowledge and would therefore appreciate your comments on the accuracy of the following:1.In an emergency the priority is to ensure the safety of the aircraft.2. Pilots presumably have an interest/concern/reponsibility for methods or systems that promote safety.3.I have noticed several reconstructions of "Aircraft Investigation" crashes in which investigators would have been able to solve the cause of the crash more easily if the voice recorder had given them more specific information.That may well have resulted in changes designed to eliminate the same problem in the future.If the above statements are correct would it not be sensible for training to include the need for more specific pilot comments SHOULD THAT BE POSSIBLE?Regards,Cliff

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I only fly Ga aircraft but I think #1 would overide everything else. In a lengthy emergency-possibly-but in one that happens fast or needs full attention your concern is saving yourself and the aircraft- not recording the events correctly for later investigators.As an example-my first flight in imc after I got my ifr rating I lost my vacuum system-leading me to a partial panel no gyro approach to kjxn(talk about Murphy's law)!I was so busy controlling the aircraft when I called atc I could not for the life of me remember the name of the artificial horizon to tell them it had failed-I told them I had instrument failure but I was concentrating so hard I just couldn't think of the name at the time(they figured it out):-).I made it down fine in some difficult conditions-but perhaps if I had expended some extra time and mental energy to think of the instrument name I might not have... it would have made it easier for them to figure out what happened after the fact had I not made it-but I prefer the fact that I made it! :-)I think the tracker chip would be a better idea-but with the safety statistics in the US, at least it would be a hard sell.http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpgForum Moderatorhttp://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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Thanks for that reply Geofa and I, of course, understand completely.But.........."tracker chip"? What does that do?

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