VOLUME 4 AIRCRAFT EQUIPMENT AND OPERATIONAL AUTHORIZATIONS
CHAPTER 14 GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES—MAINTENANCE ISSUES
Section 9 Monitor Cockpit Voice Recorders
PROGRAM TRACKING AND REPORTING SUBSYSTEM (PTRS) ACTIVITY CODES.
Ramp Inspection: 3627
Spot Inspection: 3628
Cockpit En route Inspection: 3629
Ramp Inspection: 5627
Spot Inspection: 5628
Cockpit En route Inspection: 5629
OBJECTIVE. This section provides guidance in monitoring cockpit
voice recorders (CVR) during spot, ramp, and cockpit en route inspections.
GENERAL. The federal aviation regulations require that certain
aircraft be equipped with a CVR that meets approved design and installation
criteria. The regulations also stipulate that the data obtained from the CVR
cannot be used in any civil penalty or certificate action.
NOTE: This does not negate the aviation safety inspector’s (ASI)
authority and responsibility to monitor the CVR during the performance of airworthiness
Requirements of CVR Maintenance Procedures. The Avionics ASI
is responsible for determining that the maintenance procedures ensure that tests
are conducted according to procedures provided by the CVR manufacturer and shall
include, at a minimum, listening to the recorded signals on each channel to
verify that the audio is being recorded properly, is intelligible, and is free
from electrical noise or other interference.
Monitoring the CVR. There are no restrictions in the regulations
that prevent periodic monitoring of the CVR as a method of surveillance.
ASIs are cautioned against monitoring CVR tapes for any purpose other
than determining the quality of the recording.
Monitoring should be done only to the extent necessary to determine that
the quality of reproduction and maintenance of the CVR is adequate.
Acoustic Underwater Locator Beacon Maintenance.
To ensure the timely activation of underwater acoustic beacons associated
with CVRs, Avionics ASIs should evaluate their certificate holder’s maintenance
and inspection programs to ensure that procedures for testing beacons, conducted
concurrently with battery replacement, provide for functionally testing the
beacons before replacing the old battery.
Operators’ maintenance or inspection programs should also be evaluated
to ensure that operational testing is being accomplished, consistent with the
recorder or beacon manufacturer’s recommended procedures, at specified intervals
and, when possible, in conjunction with a numbered or phase inspection (e.g.,
“A,” “B,” or “C” check).
These requirements must be reflected on work cards or other inspection
cards to ensure systemwide compliance.
PREREQUISITES AND COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS.
Prerequisites. Experience with the equipment being inspected
Coordination. This task requires coordination with the operator.
REFERENCES, FORMS, AND JOB AIDS.
Section 4, Ramp Inspections for
Part 91 Subpart K Operators and
Part 121 and
135 Air Carriers;
Section 6, Conduct Spot Inspection of Operator’s Aircraft; and
Section 9, Cockpit En route Inspections.
Forms. FAA Form 8430‑13, Request for Access to Aircraft
Job Aids. JTAs: 2.2.4, 2.3.1, 2.3.4
Initiate the Inspection. Reference
vol. 6, ch. 2, sec. 4,
9, as applicable.
Monitor the CVR.
If this task is being done as part of an en route inspection, obtain
permission from the pilot‑in‑command before plugging into the CVR system.
NOTE: Be aware that not all phone jacks on CVR cockpit monitors
are wired for operation.
If this task is being done as part of a spot or ramp inspection, accomplish
Coordinate with the maintenance supervisor before conducting the inspection.
Monitor the in‑progress maintenance to ensure that the CVR is being evaluated
for performance of its intended function. Check all channels to ensure that
the audio is being recorded properly, is intelligible, and is free from electrical
noise or other interference.
Monitor the Cockpit Area Microphone (CAM) to ensure that it satisfactorily
picks up all cockpit audio.
NOTE: Be aware that the quality of reproduction of some CVRs
can be affected by ground operation of auxiliary power units and ground power
Review the certificate holder’s maintenance procedures for acoustic underwater
locator beacons to ensure that the manufacturer’s recommendations are closely
followed, including the procedures for the battery check.
Analyze Results. Refer to
vol. 6, ch. 2, sec. 4,
9, as applicable.
File PTRS Data Sheet.
FUTURE ACTIVITIES. Followup activities, as required.
RESERVED. Paragraphs 4‑1559 through 4‑1575.