The NTSB Issues Stern Warning To NBC For Boardcasting Voice Recording Of A Fatal Airliner Accident


The NTSB Issues Stern Warning To NBC For Broadcasting Voice Recording  Of A Fatal Airliner Accident

January 19, 2000,  National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Jim Hall today issued the following statement following the broadcast yesterday on Dateline NBC of portions of the audio from the cockpit voice recorder of a fatal airliner accident that occurred near Cali, Colombia in 1995.

As everyone associated with the business of air safety knows, cockpit voice recorders are an invaluable tool in determining the causes of aircraft accidents and, therefore, invaluable in promoting air safety worldwide.  In an effort to keep those recordings from being used for any purposes other than the advancement of air safety, Congress has placed strictures on the use of CVRs, and prohibited the government from ever releasing the audio portions of the recordings.

"I was therefore dismayed to hear the recorded voices of the pilots of  American Airlines flight 965, which crashed near Cali, Colombia on December 20, 1995, broadcast on network television last night.  The use of such a recording--however it was obtained--for such a purpose is inappropriate.  It does nothing to advance the cause of aviation safety, and only serves to sensationalize a tragedy.  It is imperative that the privacy of these recordings be preserved as dictated by law". On December 20, 1995, at about 2138 E.s.t, American Airlines, Boeing B757, Flight 965, a regularly scheduled passenger flight from Miami, FL to Cali, Colombia, crashed 38 miles north of Cali into mountainous terrain during a descent under instrument flight rules.There were 156 passengers and 8 crewmembers aboard and four passengers survived the accident.
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