"Black Box" For Cirrus Approved

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The FAA has granted Supplementary Type Certification for the Alakai Technologies engine trend monitoring system for Cirrus SR20 and SR22 aircraft, which when combined with the Alakai digital flight data recorder performs the same basic functions as the so-called “black box” recorder required on airliners. Such recorders are not required on aircraft with fewer than 10 seats, but a growing number of Cirrus airplanes are being used in air-taxi operations and pilots were required to record engine data manually while flying the aircraft. "This new system will allow Cirrus owners and operators, especially Part 135 operators, to focus on flying rather than manually documenting engine performance while in the air," said Cirrus co-founder and Vice Chairman Dale Klapmeier. The system also allows operators to accurately track engine data and spot potential problems before they become full-blown emergencies. Additionally, the information can help operators reduce costs by improving efficiency and reducing downtime due to costly repairs. Alakai says the installation might also prompt reduced insurance rates because the recorder will be able to provide accurate data on aircraft performance immediately before an accident.