Colgan Air letter to ALPA re use of CVR in FOQA

This below is the text of a letter sent from Colgan Air VP flight operations Harry Mitchel to the chairman of ALPA’s master executive council at Colgan, Capt Mark Segaloff.


DearCaptain Segaloff,

Perour phone discussion several weeks ago we discussed adding another dimension toFOQA.  I brought up the fact that we havea valuable source of data that is dormant. This data is only obtained after an accident has occurred.  To add another powerful tool to SafetyManagement Systems (SMS), I proposed CVR data be added into the FOQA Program.

Enhancingflight safety through controlled analysis of recorded flight data informationhas proven invaluable.  In 1989 when FOQAwas entering the picture, there was major skepticism from the pilot groups andAirlines.  Accessing the FDR to obtainvaluable data was very unpopular.  Movingforward 20 years, FOQA has been accepted with open arms and has proving to be avaluable resource for the enhancement of safety.

Ourvision is to enhance the three critical elements of SMS – ASAP, LOSA, and FOQA,very powerful set of data collection tools with the introduction of CVRrecordings.  Today’s FOQA data deals onlywith the FDR.  This is excellent datathat provides powerful safety enhancements – but has certain limitations, onlya visual representation.  If one couldoverlay the recording from the CVR to provide sound, not only for flight deckcommunications, but also for the numerous other sounds generated within the flightdeck, SMS would immediately move to much higher Level of Safety.  The power of data cannot be overemphasized.  The impact tostandardization would be tremendous.

Asyou may know, the FAA in 2001 codified enforcement protection for any operatorwho operates aircraft under a FOQA program approved by FAA. The regulationsprovide protection against disclosure of certain safety information andsecurity information submitted to the FAA on a voluntary basis.  There are many policies and procedures thatprotect the pilot in the use of FDR Data. Adding CVR data the same protections would apply.

Werequest you and you leadership review the feasibility of using CVR recordingsas part of our enhanced FOQA program.

I look forwardto our continued discussions on this very important topic.

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One Response to Colgan Air letter to ALPA re use of CVR in FOQA

  1. Mutuelle santé September 29, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    Very nice for you to publish this letter so that we are able to get to knw the other side of the company as well.

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