AAL77 FDR Decoder

This program decodes the raw Flight Data Recorder (FDR commonly called "black box") file for American Airlines Flight 77 (AAL77) included by the US National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) on CDROMs provided in response to FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests for information regarding the events of September 11th 2001.

The program allows you to
selectively decode parts of the FDR file and generate a Comma Separated Value (CSV) file containing the selected information. The first line of the CSV file contains the parameter names and it can be opened by various programs including Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access.

Although the NTSB provided CSV files generated from the FDR file which were also included on the CDROMs, I have created this program so that parameters can be selectively included in the CSV files resulting in files with fewer columns and also to decode some information not included in the NTSB CSV files.

I have only included some parameters in this program. However there are many more listed in the NTSB's American Airlines Flight 77 FDR Report and in the data frame layouts in the attachments. Let me know if there are any more which you would like to see included.

You can download output files generated by the program from here.

As I am providing this program free of charge, it is provided as is.

I take no responsibility for what the program does or doesn't do.

However, you can email feedback to me (Warren Stutt).

You can download and install the program using Microsoft Internet Explorer from here.

A Change Log detailing the changes in different versions is available here.

There is a help page on using the program. You can also press F1 when the program is running to bring up the same help page.

In the interests of transparency in showing that the program is really generating its output from the raw FDR file, you can download the C# source code. I used Microsoft Visual C# 2010 Express Edition to create it. You can look at the .cs source files using any text editor, and you can download the Microsoft Visual C# 2010 Express Edition from Microsoft to compile it. Alternatively, you may be able to get a DVD with the Visual Studio Express Editions from your local Microsoft sales office.

Alternatively I have also written an AAL77 FDR Decompressor program which is based on this program, but which is much shorter.

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