Flight recorder


Flight recorder

A flight recorder is a recorder placed in an aircraft for the purpose of facilitating the investigation of an aircraft accident or incident. For this reason, they are required to be capable of surviving the conditions likely to be encountered in a severe aircraft accident. They are typically specified to withstand an impact of 3600 "g" and temperatures of over 1,000 °C (as required by EUROCAE ED-112). There are two types of protected Flight Recorder, Flight data recorder (FDR) and Cockpit voice recorder (CVR). In some cases, the two recorders may be combined in a single FDR/CVR unit.

EUROCAE ED-112 (Minimum Operational Performance Specification for Crash Protected Airborne Recorder Systems) defines the minimum specification to be met for all aircraft requiring flight recorders for recording of flight data, cockpit audio, images and CNS/ATM digital messages and used for investigations of accidents or incidents. [http://www.vzlu.cz/aplikace/eurocae1.htm] When issued in March 2003 ED-112 superseded previous ED-55 and ED-56A that were separate specifications for FDR and CVR. FAA TSOs for FDR and CVR reference ED-112 for characteristics common to both types.

In order to facilitate recovery of the recorder from an aircraft accident site they are required to be coloured bright yellow or orange with reflective surfaces. All are lettered "FLIGHT RECORDER DO NOT OPEN" on one side in English and the same in French on the other side. To assist recovery from submerged sites they must be equipped with an underwater locator beacon which is automatically activated in the event of an accident.

Early attempts at making flight recorders were made by François Hussenot in July 1941 at the Marignane flight test center, France; they were essentially photograph-based flight recorders. In 1947, Hussenot founded the Société Française des Instruments de Mesure (today part of the Safran group) with an associate, so as to market his invention, which came to be known as the hussenograph. [http://www.yadubiz.com/suetone/personne/personne_accueil.asp (in French) and http://www.supaero.fr/en/the-school/famous-alumni.html] In 1953, Australian engineer Dr. David Warren conceived a device that would record the voices and instruments reading, when working with the Australian Research Laboratories. [ [http://apc-online.com/austrade/blackbox.htm Australian Research Laboratories] ]

Since the 1970s most large civil jet transports have been additionally equipped with a "Quick Access Recorder" (QAR). This records data on a removable storage medium. Access to the FDR and CVR is necessarily difficult because of the requirement that they survive an accident. They also require specialist equipment to read the recording. The QAR recording medium is readily removable and is designed to be read by equipment attached to a standard desktop computer. In many airlines the quick access recordings are scanned for 'events', an event being a significant deviation from normal operational parameters. This allows operational problems to be detected and eliminated before an accident or incident results.

Many modern aircraft systems are digital or digitally controlled. Very often the digital system will include Built-In Test Equipment which records information about the operation of the system. This information may also be accessed to assist with the investigation of an accident or incident.

Cockpit image recorder recommendation

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has asked for the installation of cockpit image recorders in large transport aircraft to provide information that would supplement existing CVR and FDR data in accident investigations. They also recommended image recorders be placed into smaller aircraft that are not required to have a CVR or FDR. [http://www.ntsb.gov/recs/mostwanted/aviation_recorders.htm NTSB - Most Wanted ] ] The rationale is that what is seen on an instrument by the pilots of an aircraft is not necessarily the same as the data sent to the display device. This is particularly true of aircraft equipped with electronic displays (CRT or LCD). A mechanical instrument is likely to preserve its last indication but this is not the case with an electronic display.

Such systems, estimated to cost less than $8,000 installed, typically consist of a camera and microphone located in the cockpit to continuously record cockpit instrumentation, the outside viewing area, engine sounds, radio communications, and ambient cockpit sounds. As with conventional CVRs and FDRs, data from such a system is stored in a crash-protected unit to ensure survivability. [http://www.ntsb.gov/recs/mostwanted/aviation_recorders.htm NTSB - Most Wanted ] ]

ee also

*Black Box (transportation)
*Charlie Victor Romeo
*Event recorder
*Voyage Data Recorder
*Distress radiobeacon

References

External links

* [http://www.l-3ar.com/ L3 Communications, a maker of flight recorders]
* [http://www.mil-1553.com/Templates/showpage.asp?DBID=1&TMID=108&FID=285&PID=713&IID=705 Rugged PC/104 & PC/104 plus Systems (Excalibur Systems, Inc.)]
* [http://www.popularmechanics.com/blogs/science_news/4255108.html Popular Mechanics, March 19, 2008]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Flight-Recorder — Flight Re|cor|der, auch Flight|re|cor|der [ flaitrikɔ:də] der; s, <aus gleichbed. engl. flight recorder zu flight »Flug« u. recorder, vgl. ↑Rekorder> Flugschreiber, Flugdatenregistriergerät …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • flight recorder — /flait reˈcɔrder, ingl. ˈflaɪtrɪˌkɔːdə(r)/ [loc. ingl., comp. di flight «volo» e recorder «registratore»] loc. sost. m. inv. (aer.) registratore di volo, scatola nera …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • flight recorder — flight recorders N COUNT On an aeroplane, the flight recorder is the same as the black box …   English dictionary

  • flight recorder — ► NOUN ▪ an electronic device in an aircraft that records technical details during a flight, used in the event of an accident to discover its cause …   English terms dictionary

  • flight recorder — n. an electronic module, designed to survive a crash, fire, etc., that records flight data, as altitude, airspeed, and aircrew conversations …   English World dictionary

  • Flight-Recorder —   [ flaɪt rɪ kɔːdə, englisch] der, s/ , das Flugdatenregistriergerät …   Universal-Lexikon

  • flight recorder — (izg. flȃjt rekórder) m DEFINICIJA tehn. sprava u avionu koja bilježi tehničke pojedinosti za vrijeme leta i koja se ispituje kad se dogodi nesreća; crna kutija ETIMOLOGIJA engl …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • flight recorder — noun : a crashworthy instrument for recording flight data (as airspeed or altitude) compare black box 2 herein * * * noun, pl ⋯ ers [count] : a device on an aircraft that records information (such as airspeed and altitude) about a flight ◇ If an… …   Useful english dictionary

  • flight recorder — an electronic device aboard an aircraft that automatically records some aspects of the aircraft s performance in flight. [1945 50] * * * Instrument that records the performance and condition of an aircraft in flight. Regulatory agencies require… …   Universalium

  • flight recorder — A general term applied to any instrument or device that records information about the performance of an aircraft in flight or about conditions encountered in flight. Flight recorders may make records of air speed, altitude, direction, outside air …   Aviation dictionary


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