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Cockpit Voice Recorders: ATC Tapes
This section features a selection of actual audio clips of conversations between Air Traffic Control facilities and crewmembers of airliners before an accident. Some individuals may consider these files to be of a graphic nature, and viewer discretion is advised.

The filesizes of each file, in kilobytes, are located next to the 'Download' link. Some files are quite large, and may require a long period of time for the download to complete, especially if you are using a dialup internet connection.

Files are encoded in MP3 audio compression format.


United Airlines Flight 93

United Airlines Flight 93 was hijacked on September 11, 2001 near Cleveland, Ohio. The aircraft crashed some time later in a field in south-western Pennsylvania. The hijackers can be heard twice mistakenly transmitting messages intended for the passengers over the Cleveland ARTCC frequency. Please note that this tape is not chronologically accurate; periods of dead air (silence) have been removed for brevity.

Download (925k) the aircraft's Air Traffic Control tape in MP3 format.


USAir Flight 1493

USAir Flight 1493 had been cleared to land on Runway 24L at Los Angeles International Airport when the 'Local' Air Traffic Controller cleared a Skywest Airlines commuter aircraft to 'taxi into position and hold' on the same runway, with the intention of clearing the Skywest turboprop for takeoff before the USAir jet landed. The controller failed to issue the clearance, however, and in the dark, the USAir jet landed and collided with the Skywest aircraft.

Download (82k) the aircraft's Air Traffic Control tape in MP3 format.


Korean Air Flight 801

The aircraft crashed while executing a non-precision localizer approach to runway 6R at Agana. The crew descended below the approach profile, and struck terrain approximately 3 miles short of the runway. The crew did not understand that the glideslope of the ILS system was out of service.

Download (114k) the aircraft's Air Traffic Control tape in MP3 format.


Southern Airways Flight 242

Southern Airways Flight 242 crashed onto a highway near Hope, Georgia after penetrating a severe thunderstorm, resulting in the loss of both engines.

Download (127k) the aircraft's Air Traffic Control tape in MP3 format.


Federal Express Flight 705

Shortly after takeoff from Memphis, a jumpseat passenger aboard Federal Express Flight 705 (DC-10), attempted to take over the aircraft. Although critically injured, the crew returned to Memphis for a successful landing. The would-be hijacker, a FedEx pilot who was to be terminated from the airline, was sentenced to life in prison in wake of the incident.

Download (320k) the aircraft's Air Traffic Control tape (part 1) in MP3 format.
Download (173k) the aircraft's Air Traffic Control tape (part 2) in MP3 format.


Aloha Airlines Flight 243

Aloha Airlines flight 243, a Boeing 737-200, suffered an explosive decompression while cruising at 19,000 feet over the Hawaiian Islands. Nearly one half of the aircraft's roof was lost due to stress cracks, and the aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing on runway 2 at Maui International Airport.

Download (222k) the aircraft's Air Traffic Control tape in MP3 format.


EgyptAir Flight 990

EgyptAir Flight 990 crashed approximately 50 nautical miles off the Nantucket, Mass. coast in October, 1999. The Boeing 767's Flight Data Recorder indicates that the aircraft entered a high-rate descent, recovered, and then broke apart at 13,000 feet. This ATC tape excerpt picks up just after Boston Center lost contact with the flight.

Download (129k) the aircraft's Air Traffic Control tape in MP3 format.


American Airlines Flight 191

American Airlines flight 191 crashed shortly after takeoff from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport in May, 1979, after the aircraft's no.1 engine separated during its takeoff roll. This recording reproduces the conversation between the Air Traffic Controllers in O'Hare Tower, as well as the on-duty controller's message to Flight 191 asking their intentions.

Download (88k) the aircraft's Air Traffic Control tape in MP3 format.


Alaska Airlines Flight 261

Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crashed into the Pacific Ocean near Pt. Magu, California after the crew reported a problem with the aircraft's vertical stabilizer. This ATC tape excerpt picks up as the crew reports the problem to Los Angeles Center, and ends shortly after several passing aircraft witness the Alaska Airlines jet plunge into the Pacific.

Download (930k) the aircraft's Air Traffic Control tape in MP3 format.


Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 182

PSA Flight 182, a Boeing 727-200, crashed while approaching the San Diego Lindbergh field after colliding with a Cessna 172 owned by Gibbs Flight Services. When the PSA jet reported the Cessna in sight, the tower instructed the crew to "maintain visual separation from that traffic." Flying due east into the morning sun, the crew lost the aircraft, and they collided minutes later. This is NOT the Cockpit Voice Recording from the 727, but rather the ATC tapes taken from SAN Tracon and Tower the day of the accident.  Only conversations between PSA 182 and the approach controller / tower are featured.

Download (193k) PSA 182's Air Traffic Control tapes in MP3 format.


ValuJet Flight 592

ValuJet Flight 592 (aka Critter 592), a DC-9-32, crashed minutes after takeoff from Miami International Airport after a fire in the cargo hold.  Improperly packaged oxygen canisters ignited causing all of the aircraft's controls to be rendered useless.  These are actual recordings from Miami Center of the ATC communications between the doomed aircraft and the controller.

Download (108k) "Critter 592 needs to come back to Miami... smoke in the cockpit, smoke in the cabin."
Download (70k) "Critter 592, we need, uh, the closest airport available."
Download (75k) Controller advises WINCO center controller of situation.
Download (121k) No response from Critter 592 - 1
Download (78k) No response from Critter 592 - 2


Trans World Airlines Flight 800

TWA Flight 800 crashed seven minutes after takeoff from New York's Kennedy airport. Climbing through 13000 feet, the aircraft's center fuel tank exploded, separating the aircraft into two pieces. The aircraft then fell into the Atlantic ocean. These are the actual recordings between Boston Center and pilots who had witnessed the accident.

Download (76k) Pilots report seeing explosion.
Download (127k) Pilots report seeing aircraft burning in water.



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