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‘It’s a cover-up from the FAA at the highest level’: Cockpit Voice Recording Can’t Be Used in Investigation, Source Says

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A Horizon Air plane, owned by Alaska Airlines, landed on a taxiway last month in Pullman, Washington and sparked a Federal Aviation Administration controversy. A top Federal Aviation Administration official has forbidden inspectors who are trying to determine why a Horizon Air commercial jet mistakenly landed on a Pullman, Washington, airport taxiway from reviewing “critical” evidence: recorded cockpit conversations between that flight’s pilots, a federal official familiar with the… ( Mais...

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Cody B 4
Pathetic excuse for news. FlightAware is going to lose readers by including this type of clickbait in the newsletter.
Leon Artac 2
FBI...FAA, seems to be a connection?
joel wiley 3
Only thru the chemtrails, and Kenneth has the frequency.
joel wiley 5
" ... the NTSB declined to investigate the incident."
'“It’s a cover-up from the FAA at the highest level,” the source said. '
How much effort did the reporter put into trying to corroborate the source's information?
Did the reporter attempt to find out why the NTSB declined to investigate?
Paul Wisgerhof 26
The NTSB declined to investigate because this incident did not involve significant damage to the aircraft or injury/loss of life to the passengers/crew. Thus the landing is treated as an operational error, subject to FAA investigation/action.
bbabis 2
CVRs are great when there is no one left to talk to. Here, everyone involved can be talked to and decisions made on how best to prevent reoccurrence. Going after the CVR in this instance would be a very good way to kill the golden goose.
David Barnes 2
They are great in that situation, however the CVRs are still routinely used in other investigations. Both the cockpit crew walked out of US1549, but still the CVRs were reviewed.

People lie. People recall things incorrectly. Things go unnoticed. The CVR is the unbiased, always listening ear with perfect recall. Why not make use of all the tools available to us?
bbabis 2
Outside of giving info for a Hollywood drama, the CVR added nothing to the 1549 investigation. A driving rain storm and no runway lights was all the FAA needed to know about this one. Talk to the pilots and case closed. The CVR will no longer be a tool for real cases if it starts being used for every minor transgression.
Supercool Marmol 0
Not knowing the specifics, did the 1549 investigation line up with all accounts (ATC, Pilot, Co-Pilot, ground, etc?) If so, then yes, having CVR might be redundant.

But if Tower, ATC, Pilot, co-pilot all have conflicting stories of the event, wouldn't the CVR just be another piece of evidence used? Like video recordings of the landing, pictures, etc?

How does a CVR compare to the influx of dash cams now? Before if you got a ticket, if you tried to fight, it's your word vs the cop. Maybe if you had a witness maybe. But with the dash cam, it would show if you stopped at the stop sign, or light.
bbabis 2
Your last statement with the analogy to dash cams sums my thoughts up. They can be great for helping to sort out fault in an accident but can you imagine if they could be used to issue citations and fines for actions that did not lead to an accident?
Supercool Marmol 0
Well, police have been using red light cams and the such to issue citations when no officer is present.

I can see citations being handed out after the fact if additional footage is presented via cam. I've seen/heard (via youtube) where the dash cam has allowed officers to issue more charges.
jetserf 1
That’s not how the NTSB works...that’s not how any of this works.

dmanuel 0
I assumed the NTSB would be doing the investigation. If so, would not they be independent from FAA control of what resources they could utilize.
If not correct, why not provide a name (not a vague position title) because, I believe, such a directive would have to written and signed.
May be I do not have the full picture, but this story seems a bit sketchy.
aknorris 1
According to the story: "The directive came straight from John Duncan, FAA’s head of flight standards..."
I find this puzzling..the circumsatnces,thank the lord,could have proved more serious with loss of life, but did not..even though supposedly the ntsb declined investigation,would this not be considered a serious "safety" issue? are the faa and the ntsb not supposed to work together with regard to flight safety,landings and takeoffs, pushbacks and arrivals?so called "operational errors" have caused many near misses and many accidents,and have also improved the atc system,the training of controllers and pilot training as well..i do agree the reporter on this piece might have "delved" a little more into the reasons the faa and ntsb did not coordinate...
Paul Wisgerhof 6
The NTSB has no responsibility for operational errors which do not involve major damage to aircraft and/or death or injury to crew/passengers. However, a pilot may decide to appeal an adverse FAA infraction ruling to the NTSB if s/he believes the FAA was in error.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Dan Grelinger -2
Manufacturer news. Click bait.
Dan Grelinger -2
Sorry, "Manufactured" news.
Jim Welch -2
ANY incidents that involve an aircraft landing on a taxiway or incorrect runway should be immediately investigated a a review of the CVR should be Step One.
Dan Grelinger 1
Blah, Blah Blah, Blah, Blah.....
Lars Honan -3
The CVR was put in the cockpit to aid the investigation in accidents where the crew died. and that is the only time it should be used. only if your from california would think otherwise.
Darrell Collins 2
Actually, California is one of only ~11 states with Two-Party consent rules on recording conversations.

Click-bait as an article or not, I can see solid points on both sides of the debate about the appropriateness of using the recording here. Perception vs Truth. Accountability vs Chilling effect on discussion/debate. Witch-hunts vs Learning/Training. Expectation of privacy in the workplace, especially when dealing with matters related to public safety vs Slippery slope to wider use (like Bill Babis states below).

But I think the policy part boils down to how you value the discussion of potential mistakes and internal self-correcting (Which is part of the value of two people there, right?) and then the impact/influence of policy on that.

The best advice I got on (non-aviation) investigations was: The fundamental question for the investigator is: Is the objective in this situation to find out what happened to reduce future events, or to inform a decision about accountability / taking action?

Clearly, the discussion of NTSB vs FAA authorities seems to slide this over to the accountability/action side vice the understanding/prevention side. The decision to exclude seems to further this (even if it was meant to guard against "making an example").

The other slippery slope aspects relating to non-mistake related privacy (locker-room talk, "looking for a new job", or "that boss is a ...") are secondary considerations in my view and more related to the corporate/command climate anyway.
Darrell Collins 1
Why does this self-vote for itself?


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