US DEFENCE SECRETARY William Perry, has ordered that all US military transports dedicated to passenger flights, be equipped with cockpit-voice recorders (CVRs), flight data recorders (FDRs) and global-positioning-system (GPS) hardware.

In a letter to armed forces chiefs, Perry says: "Military flight crews must have the most capable and reliable navigation and positioning equipment available. Our goal should be to install GPS as soon as possible on all aircraft that carry passengers." He says that CVRs and FDRs should be installed immediately. The US defence chief has also ordered a review of aircraft-manifesting procedures, and defence officials will look at installing other safety enhancements, including traffic-alert and collision-avoidance systems and windshear detectors

The directives follow the 3 April crash of a US Air Force Boeing T-43A on approach to Dubrovnik Airport in Croatia. All 35 passengers and crew, including US commerce secretary Ron Brown, were killed. The aircraft, a militarised 737-200, was not equipped with a CVR, an FDR, or GPS equipment. The T-43A crashed on a non-directional beacon approach.

The USAF says, that the safety devices were not required and have not been installed, on VIP military aircraft, because of a funding shortfall.

Source: Flight International