coondoggie writes "Earlier this week the FAA mandated upgrades and updates to aircraft voice and data recorders within the US. The goal of the updates: to assist future investigations with 'more and better data' from accidents and incidents. The 'mandate means manufacturers such as Honeywell and L-3 Communications as well as operators of airplanes and helicopters with 10 or more seats, must employ voice recorders, also known as black boxes, that capture the last two hours of cockpit audio instead of the current 15 to 30 minutes. The new rules also require an independent backup power source for the voice recorders to allow continued recording for nine to 11 minutes if all aircraft power sources are lost or interrupted. Voice recorders also must use solid state technology instead of magnetic tape, which is vulnerable to damage and loss of reliability.'"