Cockpit voice recorders.
(a) Each cockpit voice recorder required by the operating rules of this chapter must be approved and must be installed so that it will record the following:
(1) Voice communications transmitted from or received in the airplane by radio.
(2) Voice communications of flight crewmembers on the flight deck.
(3) Voice communications of flight crewmembers on the flight deck, using the airplane's interphone system.
(4) Voice or audio signals identifying navigation or approach aids introduced into a headset or speaker.
(5) Voice communications of flight crewmembers using the passenger loudspeaker system, if there is such a system and if the fourth channel is available in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (c)(4)(ii) of this section.
(6) If datalink communication equipment is installed, all datalink communications, using an approved data message set. Datalink messages must be recorded as the output signal from the communications unit that translates the signal into usable data.
(b) The recording requirements of paragraph (a)(2) of this section must be met by installing a cockpit-mounted area microphone, located in the best position for recording voice communications originating at the first and second pilot stations and voice communications of other crewmembers on the flight deck when directed to those stations. The microphone must be so located and, if necessary, the preamplifiers and filters of the recorder must be so adjusted or supplemented, that the intelligibility of the recorded communications is as high as practicable when recorded under flight cockpit noise conditions and played back. Repeated aural or visual playback of the record may be used in evaluating intelligibility.
(c) Each cockpit voice recorder must be installed so that the part of the communication or audio signals specified in paragraph (a) of this section obtained from each of the following sources is recorded on a separate channel:
(1) For the first channel, from each boom, mask, or hand-held microphone, headset, or speaker used at the first pilot station.
(2) For the second channel from each boom, mask, or hand-held microphone, headset, or speaker used at the second pilot station.
(3) For the third channel—from the cockpit-mounted area microphone.
(4) For the fourth channel, from—
(i) Each boom, mask, or hand-held microphone, headset, or speaker used at the station for the third and fourth crew members; or
(ii) If the stations specified in paragraph (c)(4)(i) of this section are not required or if the signal at such a station is picked up by another channel, each microphone on the flight deck that is used with the passenger loudspeaker system, if its signals are not picked up by another channel.
(5) As far as is practicable all sounds received by the microphone listed in paragraphs (c)(1), (2), and (4) of this section must be recorded without interruption irrespective of the position of the interphone-transmitter key switch. The design shall ensure that sidetone for the flight crew is produced only when the interphone, public address system, or radio transmitters are in use.
(d) Each cockpit voice recorder must be installed so that—
(1) (i) It receives its electrical power from the bus that provides the maximum reliability for operation of the cockpit voice recorder without jeopardizing service to essential or emergency loads.
(ii) It remains powered for as long as possible without jeopardizing emergency operation of the airplane.
(2) There is an automatic means to simultaneously stop the recorder and prevent each erasure feature from functioning, within 10 minutes after crash impact;
(3) There is an aural or visual means for preflight checking of the recorder for proper operation;
(4) Any single electrical failure external to the recorder does not disable both the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder;
(5) It has an independent power source—
(i) That provides 10 ±1 minutes of electrical power to operate both the cockpit voice recorder and cockpit-mounted area microphone;
(ii) That is located as close as practicable to the cockpit voice recorder; and
(iii) To which the cockpit voice recorder and cockpit-mounted area microphone are switched automatically in the event that all other power to the cockpit voice recorder is interrupted either by normal shutdown or by any other loss of power to the electrical power bus; and
(6) It is in a separate container from the flight data recorder when both are required. If used to comply with only the cockpit voice recorder requirements, a combination unit may be installed.
(e) The recorder container must be located and mounted to minimize the probability of rupture of the container as a result of crash impact and consequent heat damage to the recorder from fire.
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (e)(2) of this section, the recorder container must be located as far aft as practicable, but need not be outside of the pressurized compartment, and may not be located where aft-mounted engines may crush the container during impact.
(2) If two separate combination digital flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder units are installed instead of one cockpit voice recorder and one digital flight data recorder, the combination unit that is installed to comply with the cockpit voice recorder requirements may be located near the cockpit.
(f) If the cockpit voice recorder has a bulk erasure device, the installation must be designed to minimize the probability of inadvertent operation and actuation of the device during crash impact.
(g) Each recorder container must—
(1) Be either bright orange or bright yellow;
(2) Have reflective tape affixed to its external surface to facilitate its location under water; and
(3) Have an underwater locating device, when required by the operating rules of this chapter, on or adjacent to the container which is secured in such manner that they are not likely to be separated during crash impact.
[Doc. No. 5066, 29 FR 18291, Dec. 24, 1964, as amended by Amdt. 25-2, 30 FR 3932, Mar. 26, 1965; Amdt. 25-16, 32 FR 13914, Oct. 6, 1967; Amdt. 25-41, 42 FR 36971, July 18, 1977; Amdt. 25-65, 53 FR 26143, July 11, 1988; Amdt. 25-124, 73 FR 12563, Mar. 7, 2008; 74 FR 32800, July 9, 2009]