Is it possible that the CVR from a Cessna 560XL is just showing old records and nothing from the fatal accident when the plane crashed?

I´m talking about the airplane crash in Brazil, where a election candidate was killed. The investigation team said that the data in the CVR contained only old data and they could not pinpoint from when those recordings were.

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    $\begingroup$ Curious and Cris, I know having your answers (comments really) deleted might seem at first glance to be (another) example of elitest control over this site. It is not. Cris' answer was not a fully thought out and fleshed out answer to the question, which could stand alone by itself. It was a comment. If you will register yourself, and participate, you will soon enough gain the points to be able to comment successfully. Cris' comment should be made into a comment to ratchetfreak's answer. A question's author can always comment on his own question, so curious should have done so on his question $\endgroup$
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Aug 17, 2014 at 18:02

3 Answers 3


If the fuse was pulled between the previous flight and the crash then yes, the CVR can only record when it has power

Pulling the fuse or going behind the panel and cutting the wire will prevent it from recording.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the reply. Have you ever heard of anything like that happening accidentally? Fuse blowing and noone noticing that on the maintenance checks? $\endgroup$
    – user3213
    Commented Aug 16, 2014 at 10:58
  • $\begingroup$ But the pilots must do the check list prior to the flight and then confirm that everything is working. $\endgroup$
    – user3219
    Commented Aug 17, 2014 at 2:28
  • $\begingroup$ @curious For one example case where the recorders only had old data, see here. $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 22:22
  • $\begingroup$ Recorders having old data can also happen if the erase head of a magnetic-tape recorder fails, resulting in an unusable mishmash of data from many different flights; for an example, see here. $\endgroup$
    – Vikki
    Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 0:06

The FDR and CVR are not magical, they can fail. So can the components of the aircraft that feed them data.

E.g. if there were something wrong with the microphones in the cockpit, the CVR would not record anything being said there. At most it'd record static. Same if there were a fault in the data cable feeding the data to the recorder (I assume most of those circuits are at least dual redundant, but at some point it all comes together in a single plug).

If the CVR isn't properly connected to the aircraft, it won't record anything. This can happen, and it doesn't have to be some malignant act. A simple error in a maintenance procedure can do it.

It wouldn't be the first time a flight recorder holds no useful data.

There have been other instances where the events that eventually caused the crash themselves caused the data feed to the recorders to be interrupted some time before the crash for example.

  • $\begingroup$ "...doesn't have to be some malignant act." I think you meant "malevolent act", unless it was caused by a metastasising tumour. $\endgroup$
    – Vikki
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 0:18


Fight Data recorder(FDR) and CVR(Cockpit Voice Recorder) are both present on the Cessna 560XL; The statement made by the authorities could:

  1. Be true. But for that to have happened, the airplane would have to have both Circuit Breakers(CB) pulled out by someone. When pilots conduct their pre-flight checks lights would illuminate indicating the problem. Or.....

  2. It is indeed part of a cover up. Several witnesses said they saw one engine on fire before the plane went down. Having an engine fire during a go-around maneuver inside clouds is something extremely difficult and the flying pilot could have lost situation awareness and became disoriented.

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    $\begingroup$ Hello Antonio, welcome to Aviation.SE. Please see our help center on how to write good answers. Can you possibly provide sources and citation for some of your statements, such as the CB being pulled and the eye witness accounts? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 29, 2015 at 9:54
  • $\begingroup$ Having an engine fire "during a go-around maneuver inside clouds is something extremely difficult" ... that sentence seems to indicate you think an engine fire could be/was set on purpose, care to rephrase? $\endgroup$
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Apr 29, 2015 at 18:19
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    $\begingroup$ If you believe the eyewitnesses, every airplane that ever crashed had an engine on fire -- even gliders. $\endgroup$
    – Mark
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 0:35

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