Charter Group Calls For CVRs On All Aircraft


The Air Charter Safety Foundation is urging all aircraft manufacturers to install cockpit voice recorders on all new aircraft and is calling for an affordable alternative for legacy aircraft and those not covered by current and future regulations. In a news release, the ACSF said it would like to see manufacturers come up with a standardized CVR system so economies of scale would bring the price down. Meanwhile, for those aircraft that won’t be captured by a mandate, it’s saying off-the-shelf systems like the Appareo Vision 1000 can provide a lot of data without the huge cost of certifying a system.

Certification requirements for crash survivability and underwater operation of the homing beacon make the certified systems costly, and that will deter those with older aircraft from retrofitting them. “A cost-effective solution is necessary for greater usage across many fleet types,” the organization said. “Although this solution may not be certified, many systems have demonstrated some level of existing crash survivability with options for hardened recorder options.” The NTSB has been calling for mandatory equipage of all commercial aircraft with recorders to provide speedy and comprehensive access to data in crash investigations.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


  1. How many crashes were stopped because of voice recorders?
    How many robberies were stopped by cameras in 7/11?

    • It’s not for stopping crashes, it’s for allowing better analysis of crashes to determine what happened.

      • Better analysis… for why C172’s crash?
        Hell the NTSB almost summarily dismisses most crashes of small planes where there is no loss of life and no property damage on the ground. Sorry, but we already know why small planes crash and cockpit recorders in every new 172 is nuts.

  2. Cockpit voice recorders in all aircraft……….i think the air charter safety foundation has lost their marbles. Fun to play with other people’s money and aircraft. I’m sure a CVR in my Pietenpol or my 1947 Seabee is just as practical and just as important for aviation safety as the one in a G5 that’s used for charter.

    • The phrase “all aircraft” is misleading. If you read the actual proposal, it’s for 91.609, which only applies to aircraft operating as an air carrier or multi-engine turbine-powered with 10 seats or more. Single-engine GA aircraft would not be included.

  3. Single engine aircraft costs have already increased dramatically. I don’t think adding a CVR makes any sense from cost/benefit standpoint.

  4. A classic example of the parable of the blind men describing an elephant, except that this blind man tugged on what he though was a heavy rope until his head entered a foul-smelling room.

    I guess the ACSF hasn’t figured out how to draw attention to itself without looking like idiots.

    • Sorry, pushed the wrong button.
      Yes, most new cars do have satellite reporting already. Even if you don’t pay for it the car is sending information from your GPS all the time while the car’s running.

  5. They cite the Kobe helicopter crash as justification. I suspected within minutes of reading about the conditions and how it crashed that it was spatial disorientation from VFR into IMC, and I think that most pilots and NTSB people did also. What good would a voice recorder do outside of recording “Oh, &#!@“ ? Seems like a needless expense, useful to lawyers maybe. I guess it could be useful if someone claimed you did or said something on a flight and you needed to defend yourself. Geez, such a niche though.

  6. And, of course, the Air Charter Safety Foundation has volunteered to pony up the costs of equipping and installing said CVRs

  7. What next? Will us GA pilots who spend most of their time below 10,000′ have to abide by the sterile cockpit rule when below 10K?