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Cockpit voice activation equipment?

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Aircraft Systems, Commercial Pilot

I was watching and Air Canada 777 on Just Planes and noticed that on final when the computer voice says "Approaching minimums", the copilot said very clearly and loudly (like he was talking to a computer on a smartphone) "roger". Then a few seconds later when it said "minimums", the copilot said very clearly and loudly "Runway in sight, landing". Is there something in the cockpit that listens for a response from "approaching minimums" and "minimums" for some sort of safety thing? Here's the part of the video: http://youtu.be/dJ4keU4xcrM?t=9m3s Thanks

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3 Answers



  1. Wes Beard on Aug 14, 2013

    No. As we all know there is a cockpit voice recorder recording everything that us said in the cockpit. The company must have SOPs that require the copilot to say those things. It is also good for CRM. The pilot flying still knows the pilot monitoring is alert and attentive to what is happening around them.

    Typically, the pilot flying will state “landing” or “going around” once he here’s the minimum call either from the airplane or pilot monitoring.

    The plane does not analyze what was said… only records it.

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  2. Mark Kolber on Aug 14, 2013

    Yes to what Wes said. It’s pretty common to have call-outs and confirmations between the pilot flying and the pilot not flying in 2-pilot crews for both running checklists and critical safety of flight items like those described in basil’s post.

    Vocalization is also not a bad thing for single-pilot operations.

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  3. Sam Dawson on Aug 14, 2013

    As Wes and Mark pointed out these are standard responses to automation in the cockpit. The idea is to get the pilots in the habit of acknowledging the automation instead of ignoring it and came about as the result of several crashes. You will normally see this during a standard flight- such things as that you observed as “approaching minimums”, the cue for the non-flying pilot (NFP), to look out the window for the runway. Then the response to “minimums”, normally one of three responses (wording may vary by air carrier):
    1. Runway in sight.
    2. Approach lights in sight, continue.
    3. No runway, missed approach.
    You will also have “nonstandard” call outs, such as responses to terrain and traffic alerts and CAPS (crew alert systems). Again, the idea is to get pilots vocalizing a response instead of ignoring the warning/caution/advisory… not that we would ever ignore a female voice.

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