• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Airlines distort flight recorder to avoid investigation after air incidents

Tech trends shaping air travel in Nigeria

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has disclosed that some domestic airlines are in the habit of overwriting the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) after serious incidents and accidents, which makes it difficult to investigate air accidents and incidents.

The NCAA said that the airlines indulge in the unprofessional act in order to circumvent investigation by the Nigeria Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB).

The regulator has also warned domestic airlines against overwriting the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) after serious incidents and accidents.

A Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) is a device used to record the audio environment in the flight deck for accidents and incident investigation purposes.

The CVR records and stores the audio signals of the microphones and earphones of the pilots’ headsets and of an area microphone installed in the cockpit.

The NCAA issued a warning to the operators to desist from the act and issued them 30 days ultimatum to comply with the amendments or face sanction.

In an All Operators Letter (AOL) with the reference number: NCAA/DGCA/AOL/11/16/365, signed by Musa Nuhu, the Director-General Civil Aviation (DGCA), dated July 24, 2023, addressed to Accountable Executive, Directors of Operations, Chief Pilots and Safety Managers and obtained BusinessDay, stated that some of the airlines have consistently indulged in this unwholesome practice, which could impact safety.

The letter reads, “The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has noticed that some airlines operators’ flight crew members were in the practice of continuously overwriting the CVR information after an occurrence.

“This practice makes it practically impossible for Nigeria Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) to retrieve actual data to aid in it’s investigation as required by Paragraph 25 and 26 of the civil aviation (investigation of air accidents and incidents). Regulation 2019.

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“This action has also impeded and posed undesirable difficulty in ensuring the NSIB successfully discharge it’s statutory mandate of investigating accidents and serious incidents.

“Unfortunately, the unwholesome practice has recently been dictated in the industry,” the letter reads.

The NCAA therefore recommended that operators of aircraft with CVR installed are required to return the accompanying transmittal indicating reciept of the AOL by each flight crew member, conduct in-house awareness training for their flight crews on the requirements of Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (CARs) and develop and emphasize appropriate procedures of the requirements of Nigeria CARs.

NCAA also requested that operators ensure continuous compliance with the requirements of Nigeria (CARs) on the preservation of flight recorder records

“This AOL serves as a final caution against this practice. The authority will henceforth apply its enforcement processes, where non-compliance to the requirements of the aforementioned Nigeria (CARs) or non-conformance to the operator’s approved procedures have been noticed,” the NCAA added.