AvTalk Episode 110: NTSB Investigator Sean Payne, Part 1


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On this episode of AvTalk, we welcome Sean Payne, an investigator with the US National Transportation Safety Board, for the first in a two-part interview. In part one this week, Payne walks us through how the NTSB collects, processes, and uses information from aircraft data recorders to help determine the cause of an accident.

First flight on Mars

NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter made its first flight this week, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. The first flight lasted 39.1 seconds and reached a height of 3 meters (10 feet).

Trans-Tasman bubble

Perhaps paving the way forward for other travel success stories, the Trans-Tasman bubble opened this week, allowing Australians and New Zealanders to fly between the two countries quarantine free.

737 MAX electrical issues

Boeing continues to look for a fix for the electrical grounding issues on some 737 MAX, while airlines keep those airplanes on the ground.

NTSB investigator Sean Payne

Sean Payne is a mechanical engineer by training and an NTSB investigator in the vehicle recorder division. He walks us through how investigators locate, download, and analyze data from the Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorders during accident investigations.

This is part 1 of our two part conversation with Payne. He’ll join us next week for part 2 to discuss the future of recording devices and what the NTSB is hoping authorities will mandate.

Additional reading on NTSB procedures for data recorders

Programming notes

Jason and Ian joined the PlaneTalkingUK podcast last week and had a great time. Watch the episode here.

And AvTalk is now on Amazon Music. So if you like to listen to your podcasts there, give us a follow so that each new episode is automatically placed in your library.

Let us know what you think (and let your friends know)

Thank you so much for listening! Like the podcast? Have suggestions for future shows? Let us know by leaving us a review on iTunes. Reviews on iTunes not only help us make a better show, they help more people find the podcast! Want to send us additional feedback, just email us.

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