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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-78-022
Details
Synopsis: DURING ITS INVESTIGATION OF THE CRASH OF A UNITED AIRLINES CARGO LINER NEAR KAYSVILLE, UTAH, ON DECEMBER 18, 1977, THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD FOUND THAT THE COCKPIT VOICE RECORDER (CVR) HAD BEEN INOPERATIVE DURING THE ENTIRE FLIGHT. AS A RESULT, VALUABLE ACCIDENT-RELATED INFORMATION WAS LOST. FURTHER INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT THE CVR UNIT, A SUNDSTRAND DATA CONTROL,INC., MODEL V-557, HAD BEEN INOPERATIVE FOR SEVERAL DAYS BEFORE THE ACCIDENT. FLIGHTCREWS ARE REQUIRED TO PERFORM A PREFLIGHT FUNCTIONAL CHECK; HOWEVER, WE BELIEVE THAT CURRENT PREFLIGHT TESTING PROCEDURES DO NOT INSURE SATISFACTORY OPERATION OF THE CVR UNIT.
Recommendation: REVIEW THE RELIABILITY OF COCKPIT VOICE RECORDER UNITS TO ASSURE THAT THE MEAN TIME BETWEEN FAILURE IS NOT EXCESSIVE.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: Kaysville, UT, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA78AA005
Accident Reports: United Airlines, Inc., Douglas DC-8-54, N8047U
Report #: AAR-78-08
Accident Date: 12/18/1977
Issue Date: 4/13/1978
Date Closed: 10/12/1978
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 8/3/1978
Response: Closed--acceptable action.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/27/1978
Response: Ack. Receipt of faa ltr dtd 6/19/78. Faa's action taken in response to these recs. (a-78-21 and 22) have been evaluated as acceptable.A determination of final status will be made by the safety board & the faa will be notified of the closeout action.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 6/19/1978
Response: FAA LTR: ANALYSIS OF CVR PERFORMANCE OF 64 OPERATORS REVEALED THAT MEAN TIME BETWEEN FAILURE WAS 1956 HOURS. WE CONSIDER THIS ACCEPTABLE, HOWEVER, FAA PRINCIPAL INSPECTORS WERE DIRECTED TO REQUEST OPERATORS TO CONSIDER REINFORCING CVR CHECKS WITH COCKPIT LISTENING DURING PREFLIGHT CHECKS OR FREQUENT SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE INSPECTIONS OF THE CVR. INSPECTORS WERE ALSO DIRECTED TO STRESS THE NEED FOR OPERATORS TO FOLLOW THE CVR MANUFACTURERS PROCEDURES AND MAINTENANCE SCHEDULES AND TO INSURE THAT OPERATORS ARE AWARE THAT CVR MAINTENANCE IS PRESCRIBED IN OPERATING HOURS.