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April 27, 2022
By Liann Zimmer

Fit to Fly: Canadian Aviation Mandates for CVR + RIPS

Future-Forward | Recorders

Kapture Canada 2022

Updated 3/2/2023

Quick flight health check – are you fit to fly?

For aircraft owners in Canada, this means ensuring you are in shape for Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) mandates coming into effect. Aircraft fitted with a cockpit voice recorder (CVR) without a Recorder Independent Power Supply (RIPS) will have to buff up their systems.

A CVR is needed for multi-engine turbine-powered aircraft capable of carrying six passengers or more operated by two pilots. It is estimated that nearly 1,000 aircraft will be impacted by the new RIPS requirement, which adds a layer of protection in the case of power interruption so you can rely on a backup source. The amendments apply to an expanded number of aircraft for 2 hours of CVR flight recording and a 10-minute RIPS, with fines as high as $15,000 if not installed.

The regulations come into effect on May 29, 2023, with extended dates through to May 2026 for certain operators. See the chart below for specific aircraft size, type, and date requirements.

Summary of Transport Canada CVR with RIPS Mandate requirements:

  • CVR installed onboard to continuously record and retain: 
    • voice communications transmitted or received
    • the aural environment of the flight deck 
    • datalink transmissions - for operators with CPDLC
    • main rotor speed - for helicopters not equipped with a flight data recorder
  • Increased duration of CVR recordings from 30 minutes to 2 hours for all aircraft to which the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) standards are applicable 
  • A dedicated Recorder Independent Power Supply (RIPS) to power a CVR and cockpit area microphone for 10 minutes in case regular power sources are interrupted

An exemption through 2026 applies to Canadian operators operating under Subparts 604, 702, 703, 704, and 705 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs). This is under the condition of continued compliance with the CARs and related Standards. We recommend upgrading sooner than later, as the exception can also be cancelled in writing by the Minister before May 29, 2026.

Size, Engine Type,
# Passengers
Cut-in DatePrevious RequirementNew Requirement
Turbine-powered airplanes over 27,000 kgType certificated after September 30, 1969, and before January 1, 198730-minute CVR2-hour CVR
10-minute RIPS
All airplanes over 5,700 kgManufactured after 1987, but before 200330-minute CVR2-hour CVR
10-minute RIPS
All airplanes over 5,700 kgManufactured after 20022-hour CVR
2-hour CVR (no change)
10-minute RIPS
Helicopters over 7,000 kgManufactured after 20022-hour CVR
2-hour CVR (no change)
10-minute RIPS

Modern options today, such as Universal Avionics Cockpit Voice and Flight Data Recorders (CVFDRs), match these mandates. But evaluating health systems is not about just meeting the minimum requirements – it is about preparing for the future. Here are four common health measurements you can use to take the fitness of your black box to the next level.

4 Fitness Measurements for Cockpit Voice and Flight Recorder upgrades

Health fitness is typically measured across 4 baselines: strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance. The fit of your Cockpit Voice and Flight Data Recorders can be optimized using similar evaluations.

Strength: Separate from the rigorous quality assurance testing flight recorders go through, strength lies in powerful data capture capabilities. Although 2 hours is the new base requirement, newer Universal KAPTURE™ models have recording times of over 25 hours. That is 12.5x more capture power, allowing you to meet new TSOs and EASA mandates with the TCCA requirements. This also includes the ability to record datalink transmissions from Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC).

Balance: Power is important, but not at the cost of speed or weight. RIPS as an add-on typically comes with extra weight that must be considered. Universal’s patented, all-inclusive RIPS is embedded directly into the CVR, offering a lighter solution than an External LRU or bolt-on RIPS unit. (KAPTURE with RIPS weighs just over 8lbs, CVR120R weighs 8.6lbs). Users can also enjoy faster download speeds to work smarter, not harder.

Flexibility: Accessing the data you own should not be a challenge. Some OEM products can incur annual CVR download costs up to $1,000 per aircraft on specialized ground equipment, data decryption, or extraction software subscriptions. Universal CVR data is not encrypted and can be extracted using a standard PC with no hidden license fees.

Endurance: The longevity of your cockpit voice and flight data recorders is just as important as the performance. Is it built to last? KAPTURE is recognized for its increased reliability, with a high MTBF (mean time between failures). There is also no requirement for periodic maintenance (excluding the ULB). When you do need it, you can depend on being backed by Universal’s industry-best technical and customer support.

With these measurements in mind, you can select the best choice to meet your requirements and ensure you have a powerful solution fit to fly for years to come. What options are available today to fit the mandates, and what are ideal timelines for healthy data system implementation?

Powerful KAPTURE. Universal Backup.

Universal Avionics offers two Cockpit Flight Recorder options with a Recorder Independent Power Supply: The 5th generation CVR-120R and the newest KAPTURE CVR-1561R. In addition to all the features and benefits of the earlier product line, KAPTURE features faster download speeds, reduced weight, and a Lithium-Free 90-Day Underwater Locator Beacon (ULB). 

If you currently fly with a UA CVR-120A (2-hour CVR), return the unit to your nearest UA factory repair station and upgrade to the CVR-120R, or the KAPTURE 25-Hour CVR with added RIPS. You can also buy a new KAPTURE CVR 1651R installation or CVR-120R installation from the UA authorized dealer network

We understand the importance of minimizing the maintenance downtime of your aircraft. CVR products are currently available in 6 weeks, with a typical installation turn time of 7-10 business days. This means you can be fitted to fly with RIPS in under 2 months.



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