Some pilots are unhappy about the speedy release of transcripts of cockpit conversations in airline mishaps.
Voice recorder tapes detail crew conversations on takeoff and landing. But ''the problem is that by itself the recording is an incomplete piece of evidence ,'' says a spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association. ''Anyone who reads it or hears it starts going over every comma and hesitation and trying to read tea leaves with it.''
Pilots would like the tapes released only as part of a full inquiry. Many bristled when the National Transportation Safety Board released the transcript covering the Washington Air Florida crash a few weeks before public hearings were begun on that crash.
The Aviation Safety Institute in Worthington, Ohio, says it has had anonymous calls from several pilots who say that some pilots are switching off the devices after completion of the pre-takeoff cockpit checklist and turning them back on only after landing. But ALPA, which represents the majority of commercial pilots , stresses that it in no way condones the practice as a form of protest and adds it has had no reports of any specific incidents.