Silk Air and SR 111

Date:         05 Oct 98 00:27:14 
From:         James Matthew Weber <m.weber@duc.com.kw>
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While I will concede that a 737-300 and and MD-11 don't have a lot in
common other than being jet aircraft, I am compelled to notice that both
the Swiss Air Aircraft and the Silk Air aircraft crashed, and in both
cases, the FDR and CVR ceased operation well before impact. The lack of
the CVR and FDR data will no doubt impair the investigation.

I have not heard any good explanations about why the Silkair units
stopped functioning, and at this stage, there aren't any good reasons
(but some plausible theories) about why they ceased operating on SR111.

I had always been lead to believe that these devices were operated in a
fashion to allow them to operate under catastrophic failure conditions.
Apparently this isn't the case. Did the FDR and CVR cease operating in
the Air Canada 767 that made a dead stick landing at Gimli?

Perhaps it is time that some type of backup power system be mandated for
these devices so they can run for at least a few minutes after an
electrical failure. Given that almost all current jetliners are totally
dependent upon electricity for many functions, it seems to me that it
may not be such a good idea to design the FDR and CVR in such a way that
a catastrophic failure prevents you from discovering the nature of the
catastrophic failure. Discovering what went wrong is the main reason we
have CVR's and FDR's. It strikes me as somewhat stupid to allow them
become useless when you need them the most!

Comments?

My thoughts anyway.
James Matthew Weber

Diyar United Trading and Contracting Co.
P.O. Box 44240
Hawalli 32057
State of Kuwait
PH +965 434 0560 x 230  FAX +965 431 5107 Mobile +965 971 2069