New ICAO publication (Doc 10101)

Doc 10101, Manual on Flight Crew-Machine Interface Recordings. First edition 2021.

Flight data recorders (FDRs) and cockpit voice recorders (CVRs) have been effectively used in accident and incident investigations for a number of years. Considering that many different sources of data are accessed besides flight recorders, it was revealed during many accident investigations that the data from FDRs and CVRs were not sufficient for investigators to fully understand all of the factors that contributed to an accident. It was realized that, while very useful, FDRs and CVRs do not capture all pilot actions and non-verbal communications, such as a crew member pointing to a gauge or screen that is out or fluctuating. In cases where flight crew-machine interface recordings (FCMIRs) have been available, accident investigators have found the information very useful in determining causes/contributing factors and ultimately identifying ways to improve aviation safety. Although there is limited experience with image recorder recordings, image recording systems in lightweight flight recorders have matured over time and now encompass video recordings of the cockpit, recording data link messages (such as controller-pilot data link communications (CPDLC)) and screen capture recordings. The ICAO Council adopted FCMIR provisions in Annex 6 — Operation of Aircraft, Part I — International Commercial Air Transport — Aeroplanes in 2018. These provisions already required recording data link messages, if the aircraft was so equipped, and now require the recording of information displayed to flight crew from electronic displays as well as the operation of switches and selectors by the flight crew. The use of image recorders in the cockpit was not required due to privacy concerns.

This manual was developed with contribution from subject matter experts and provides States with guidance material for the implementation of appropriate provisions for FCMIRs as required by Annex 6 Part I, Chapter 6, 6.3.4 and provides references to the protections needed for these recordings.