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FAR/AIM: § 23.1459 Flight data recorders.

§ 23.1459 Flight data recorders.

(a) Each flight recorder required by the operating rules of this chapter must be installed so that—

(1) It is supplied with airspeed, altitude, and directional data obtained from sources that meet the aircraft level system requirements and the functionality specified in § 23.2500;

(2) The vertical acceleration sensor is rigidly attached, and located longitudinally either within the approved center of gravity limits of the airplane, or at a distance forward or aft of these limits that does not exceed 25 percent of the airplane's mean aerodynamic chord;


(i) It receives its electrical power from the bus that provides the maximum reliability for operation of the flight data recorder without jeopardizing service to essential or emergency loads;

(ii) It remains powered for as long as possible without jeopardizing emergency operation of the airplane;

(4) There is an aural or visual means for preflight checking of the recorder for proper recording of data in the storage medium;

(5) Except for recorders powered solely by the engine-driven electrical generator system, there is an automatic means to simultaneously stop a recorder that has a data erasure feature and prevent each erasure feature from functioning, within 10 minutes after crash impact;

(6) Any single electrical failure external to the recorder does not disable both the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder; and

(7) It is in a separate container from the cockpit voice recorder when both are required. If used to comply with only the flight data recorder requirements, a combination unit may be installed. If a combination unit is installed as a cockpit voice recorder to comply with § 23.1457(e)(2), a combination unit must be used to comply with this flight data recorder requirement.

(b) Each non-ejectable record container must be located and mounted so as to minimize the probability of container rupture resulting from crash impact and subsequent damage to the record from fire. In meeting this requirement, the record container must be located as far aft as practicable, but need not be aft of the pressurized compartment, and may not be where aft-mounted engines may crush the container upon impact.

(c) A correlation must be established between the flight recorder readings of airspeed, altitude, and heading and the corresponding readings (taking into account correction factors) of the first pilot's instruments. The correlation must cover the airspeed range over which the airplane is to be operated, the range of altitude to which the airplane is limited, and 360 degrees of heading. Correlation may be established on the ground as appropriate.

(d) Each recorder container must—

(1) Be either bright orange or bright yellow;

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

(3) Have an underwater locating device, when required by the operating rules of this chapter, on or adjacent to the container, which is secured in such a manner that they are not likely to be separated during crash impact.

(e) Any novel or unique design or operational characteristics of the aircraft shall be evaluated to determine if any dedicated parameters must be recorded on flight recorders in addition to or in place of existing requirements.