Keep Airline Passengers Safe From Terror and Tragedy

Target: Michael Whitaker, Administrator of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

Goal: Extend capabilities of cockpit voice recorders to store and retain key flight information.

An “explosive event” aboard a Boeing 737 aircraft led to moments of intense chaos and fear for passengers and crew, an emergency landing, a subsequent grounding of similar aircraft, and an ongoing investigation. A door-plug reportedly blew off the plane shortly after takeoff, leaving a hole behind. While some passengers were injured, all made it off the aircraft traumatized but safe.

Reports have emerged that pieces that are supposed to hold the blown-off component in place were found loose on other Boeing jets. Warning lights for the aircraft in question had also apparently signaled in the days leading up to the incident. Investigators hope to get insight from the missing piece, which was eventually found in a yard. They will, however, lack other crucial evidence because of an outdated rule.

Crew seemingly attempted to retrieve the craft’s cockpit voice recorder: an onboard device that catalogues important information such as engine noises and communications aboard a flight. This information was lost, though, because current regulations allow the recorder’s data to be wiped away every two hours. The recorder on this flight had apparently just passed the two-hour mark.

Efforts are under way to change this rule so that about a day’s worth of recordings remain intact, granting investigators far more data that could prove invaluable for future airline safety. Sign the petition below to demand leaders take up this call to action.


Dear Administrator Whitaker,

Investigators have stressed the “explosive decompression” that took place aboard an Alaska Airlines Boeing aircraft could have been much worse if not for sheer luck. Thankfully, no one lost their lives, but incidents such as this one highlight the crucial need for thorough information-gathering and enacting essential reforms as a result. Yet because at least one reform under your purview has not taken place, this process is hindered.

The crew of the aircraft immediately acted to secure the cockpit voice recorder for a reason. They realized the vital role this device could play during investigations. But since current recorders are only required to preserve two hours’ worth of data before being wiped clean, important intelligence about engine operations and onboard communications was gone. The National Transportation Safety Board has again called on you to rectify this oversight and extend recording times to 25 hours for all aircraft, new and old.

This gap could literally mean the difference between life and death. Please make pledges from the recent Safety Summit a reality and act with expedience to save lives and eliminate preventable tragedies.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Nick Dean

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200 Signatures

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  • Jacqueline Forte
  • Laura De la Garza
  • Theresa Salvas
  • Steve Green
  • Doug Phillips
  • Wanda Ray
  • Georgia Carver
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