Commercial, Personal/Corporate, Training

FAA to Draft Standards for Low-Cost Recorders

By James T. McKenna | February 4, 2008

The U.S. FAA is proceeding with plans to draft basic standards for low-cost flight recorders for helicopters. The effort is aimed at correcting a shortcoming identified by the International Helicopter Safety Team: the paucity of information on what was happening in the final moments before most helicopter crashes. More comprehensive information is considered essential to meeting that team's goal of slashing the helicopter accident rate 80 percent by 2016. Both Bell Helicopter and Eurocopter are developing low-cost, lightweight recorders to capture pilot actions and instrument readings in flight. Key to their low cost and light weight is the fact that these recorders are not intended to have the crashworthiness of "black box" flight data and cockpit voice recorders now required by federal regulation for larger helicopters. Those units are designed to survive extreme heat and impact forces. Air Logistics and Appareo Systems already are fielding a low-cost recorder for Bell 206s. For related news


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