Sec. 121.359 - Cockpit voice recorders.

(a) No certificate holder may operate a large turbine engine powered airplane or a large pressurized airplane with four reciprocating engines unless an approved cockpit voice recorder is installed in that airplane and is operated continuously from the start of the use of the checklist (before starting engines for the purpose of flight), to completion of the final checklist at the termination of the flight.

(b) [Reserved]

(c) The cockpit voice recorder required by paragraph (a) of this section must meet the following application standards:

(1) The requirements of part 25 of this chapter in affect on August 31, 1977.

(2) After September 1, 1980, each recorder container must --

(i) Be either bright orange or bright yellow;

(ii) Have reflective tape affixed to the external surface to facilitate its location under water; and

(iii) Have an approved underwater locating device on or adjacent to the container which is secured in such a manner that they are not likely to be separated during crash impact, unless the cockpit voice recorder, and the flight recorder required by 121.343, are installed adjacent to each other in such a manner that they are not likely to be separated during crash impact.

(d) No person may operate a multiengine, turbine-powered airplane having a passenger seat configuration of 10-19 seats unless it is equipped with an approved cockpit voice recorder that:

(1) Is installed in compliance with 23.1457(a) (1) and (2), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), and (g); 25.1457(a) (1) and (2), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), and (g) of this chapter, as applicable; and

(2) Is operated continuously from the use of the checklist before the flight to completion of the final checklist at the end of the flight.

(e) No person may operate a multiengine, turbine-powered airplane having a passenger seat configuration of 20 to 30 seats unless it is equipped with an approved cockpit voice recorder that --

(1) Is installed in compliance with 23.1457 or 25.1457 of this chapter, as applicable; and

(2) Is operated continuously from the use of the checklist before the flight to completion of the final checklist at the end of the flight.

(f) In complying with this section, an approved cockpit voice recorder having an erasure feature may be used, so that at any time during the operation of the recorder, information recorded more than 30 minutes earlier may be erased or otherwise obliterated.

(g) For those aircraft equipped to record the uninterrupted audio signals received by a boom or a mask microphone, the flight crewmembers are required to use the boom microphone below 18,000 feet mean sea level. No person may operate a large turbine engine powered airplane or a large pressurized airplane with four reciprocating engines manufactured after October 11, 1991, or on which a cockpit voice recorder has been installed after October 11, 1991, unless it is equipped to record the uninterrupted audio signal received by a boom or mask microphone in accordance with 25.1457(c)(5) of this chapter.

(h) In the event of an accident or occurrence requiring immediate notification of the National Transportation Safety Board under part 830 of its regulations, which results in the termination of the flight, the certificate holder shall keep the recorded information for at least 60 days or, if requested by the Administrator or the Board, for a longer period. Information obtained from the record is used to assist in determining the cause of accidents or occurrences in connection with investigations under part 830. The Administrator does not use the record in any civil penalty or certificate action.

[Doc. No. 6258, 29 FR 19205, Dec. 31, 1964, as amended by Amdt. 121-20, 31 FR 8912, June 28, 1966; Amdt. 121-23, 31 FR 15192, Dec. 3, 1966; Amdt. 121-32, 32 FR 13914, Oct. 6, 1967; Amdt. 121-130, 41 FR 47229, Oct. 28, 1976; Amdt. 121-135, 42 FR 36973, July 18, 1977; Amdt. 121-143, 43 FR 22642, May 25, 1978; Amdt. 121-197, 53 FR 26147, July 11, 1988; Amdt. 121-251, 60 FR 65933, Dec. 20, 1995]