Charlie Victor Romeo

Last updated
Charlie Victor Romeo
Charlie Victor Romeo.JPG
Date premieredFall 1999
Original languageEnglish
Subject Crew Resource Management
Genre Documentary theatre
SettingAirplane cockpits
Official site

Charlie Victor Romeo is a 1999 play, and later a 2013 movie based on the play, [1] whose script consists of almost-verbatim transcripts from six real aviation accidents and incidents. "Charlie Victor Romeo," or CVR, derived from the NATO phonetic alphabet, is aviation jargon for cockpit voice recorder. The play is a case study in crew resource management; [2] a PBS special described several parallels between the behavior seen in these disasters and in emergency room situations. [3]


The play opens with a flight attendant demonstrating the safety equipment and reminding the audience to fasten their seat belts and turn off cell phones. Before each scene, a display screen shows the name of the flight and reason for the disaster (e.g. "Icing" or "Multiple bird strikes"). Sound effects such as cockpit alarms, aircraft interior ambiances and mechanical sounds are included. At the end of each flight, the screen shows the number of casualties. A few of the transcripts were edited for time. At the end of the play, the cast and creators answer questions from the audience.


The play was created by Bob Berger, Patrick Daniels and Irving Gregory of Collective:Unconscious in 1999. [4] It was taped and used by the Pentagon for pilot training. [5] US Air Force Major General Walter E. Buchanan III awarded the group a letter of gratitude. [6] After February 2002 performances in Perth, Australia, [7] the play performed in dozens of venues across the United States, including Washington, DC's Studio Theatre. [8] In 2004, Time put Charlie Victor Romeo on their Best Plays of the Year list. The play has been performed in Japanese by the Rinkogun Theater Company under the direction of Yoji Sakate. [9] In 2012, Charlie Victor Romeo was made into a motion picture, [1] which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film festival.

Accidents and incidents

The FAA distinguishes between aviation accidents and incidents: an accident is an occurrence aboard an aircraft that injures or kills one or more passengers or crew members, while an incident is “an occurrence involving one or more aircraft in which a hazard or a potential hazard to safety is involved but not classified as an accident due to the degree of injury and/or extent of damage." [10] The accidents and incidents depicted are:

Original credits

Created by: Bob Berger, Patrick Daniels, Irving Gregory, of Collective:Unconscious.

Directed by: Bob Berger, Patrick Daniels, Irving Gregory.

Developed in collaboration with: Bob Berger, Michael Bruno, Audrey Crabtree, Patrick Daniels, Justin Dávila, Jim Grady, Irving Gregory, Dan Krumm, Peter O'Clair, Julia Randall, Stuart Rudin, Darby Thompson, Oliver Wyman.

Sound design: Jamie Mereness

Original set design and technical director: Patrick Daniels

Motion picture sound mixing: Joel Hamilton


Official Selection DocPoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival 2014 [12]

Official Selection American Film Institute AFI Fest 2013 [13]

Official Selection Copenhagen International Documentary Festival 2013 [14]

Official Selection Hamptons International Film Festival 2013 [15]

Official Selection New York Film Festival 2013 [16]

Official Selection Sundance Film Festival 2013 [17]

Drama Desk Awards 2000

5th Annual Backstage West Garland Awards 2002

United States Department of Defense Visual Information Production Award

New York International Fringe Festival 2000

Absolut Angel Arts and Technology Award 2000

Related Research Articles

Aviation accidents and incidents Aviation occurrence involving serious injury, death, or destruction of aircraft

An aviation accident is defined by the Convention on International Civil Aviation Annex 13 as an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft, which takes place from the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight until all such persons have disembarked, and in which a) a person is fatally or seriously injured, b) the aircraft sustains significant damage or structural failure, or c) the aircraft goes missing or becomes completely inaccessible. Annex 13 defines an aviation incident as an occurrence, other than an accident, associated with the operation of an aircraft that affects or could affect the safety of operation.

Delta Air Lines Flight 1141 aviation accident

Delta Air Lines Flight 1141 was a scheduled domestic passenger flight between Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah. On August 31, 1988, the flight, utilizing a Boeing 727-200 series aircraft, crashed during takeoff, killing 14 of the 108 people on board and injuring 76 others.

Air Algérie Flight 6289 2003 plane crash of an Air Algerie Boeing 737-200 on takeoff at Tamanrasset, Algeria

Air Algérie Flight 6289 (AH6289) was a domestic passenger flight which crashed at the Aguenar – Hadj Bey Akhamok Airport in Algeria on 6 March 2003, killing all but one of the 103 people on board.

Douglas DC-7 Four-engine propeller-driven airliner

The Douglas DC-7 is a transport aircraft built by the Douglas Aircraft Company from 1953 to 1958. It was the last major piston engine-powered transport made by Douglas, being developed shortly after the earliest jet airliner—the de Havilland Comet—entered service and only a few years before the jet-powered Douglas DC-8 first flew. Like other aircraft in Douglas's collection of propeller-driven aircraft, examples remain in service in the present day, albeit in significantly lower numbers than the far more successful DC-3 and DC-6.

Aviation safety A state in which risks associated with aviation are at an acceptable level

Aviation safety means the state of an aviation system or organization in which risks associated with aviation activities, related to, or in direct support of the operation of aircraft, are reduced and controlled to an acceptable level. It encompasses the theory, practice, investigation, and categorization of flight failures, and the prevention of such failures through regulation, education, and training. It can also be applied in the context of campaigns that inform the public as to the safety of air travel.

Northwest Airlines Flight 255 1987 plane crash of an MD-82 in Detroit, Michigan, USA

Northwest Airlines Flight 255, a McDonnell Douglas MD-82, crashed shortly after takeoff from Detroit Metropolitan Airport on August 16, 1987, at about 8:46 p.m. EDT, killing all six crew members and 148 of its 149 passengers, along with two people on the ground. The sole survivor was a 4-year-old girl who sustained serious injuries. It was the second-deadliest aviation accident at the time in the United States. It is also the deadliest aviation accident to have a sole survivor.

Bouraq Indonesia Airlines airline

Bouraq Indonesia Airlines, often shortened to Bouraq Airlines or just Bouraq, was an airline headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia, which operated mostly domestic passenger flights out of its bases at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and Sultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman Airport.

Pilot error Decision, action or inaction by a pilot of an aircraft

Historically, the term pilot error has been used to describe an accident in which an action or decision made by the pilot was the cause or a contributing factor that led to the accident, but also includes the pilot's failure to make a correct decision or take proper action. Errors are intentional actions that fail to achieve their intended outcomes. Chicago Convention defines accident as "An occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft [...] in which [...] a person is fatally or seriously injured [...] except when the injuries are [...] inflicted by other persons." Hence the definition of the "pilot error" does not include deliberate crash.

Several aviation incidents and accidents have occurred in which the control surfaces of the aircraft became disabled, often due to failure of hydraulic systems or the flight control system. Other incidents have occurred where controls were not functioning correctly prior to take-off, either due to maintenance or pilot error, and controls can become inoperative from extreme weather conditions. Aircraft are not designed to be flown in such circumstances, however a small number of pilots have had some success in flying and landing aircraft with disabled controls.

Airlines PNG Flight 1600

On 13 October 2011, Airlines PNG Flight 1600, a Dash 8 regional aircraft on a domestic flight from Lae to Madang, Papua New Guinea, crash-landed in a forested area near the mouth of the Gogol River, after losing all engine power. Only four of the 32 people on board survived. It was the deadliest plane crash in the history of Papua New Guinea.

In aeronautics, loss of control (LOC) is the unintended departure of an aircraft from controlled flight, and is a significant factor in several aviation accidents worldwide and the leading cause of jet fatalities worldwide. Loss of control may be the result of mechanical failure, external disturbances, aircraft upset conditions, or inappropriate crew actions or responses.

Tatarstan Airlines Flight 363 November 2013 aircraft accident in Kazan, Russia

Tatarstan Airlines Flight 363 was a scheduled domestic passenger flight, operated by Tatarstan Airlines on behalf of Ak Bars Aero, from Moscow to Kazan, Russia. On 17 November 2013, at 19:24 local time (UTC+4), the Boeing 737-500 crashed during an aborted landing at Kazan International Airport, killing all 44 passengers and 6 crew members on board.

LAM Mozambique Airlines Flight 470 Deliberate crash of an Embraer 190 in Namibia on November 29, 2013

LAM Mozambique Airlines Flight 470 was a scheduled international passenger flight from Maputo, Mozambique, to Luanda, Angola. On 29 November 2013, the Embraer E190 twinjet operating the service crashed into the Bwabwata National Park, Namibia halfway through its flight, killing all 27 passengers and 6 crew on board.


  1. 1 2 "Charlie Victor Romeo (2013)". Internet Movie Database.
  2. Kosnik, Linda K. (2002). "The New Paradigm of Crew Resource Management: Just What Is Needed to Reengage the Stalled Collaborative Movement?". The Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement. Elsevier BV. 28 (5): 235–241. doi:10.1016/s1070-3241(02)28023-2. ISSN   1070-3241. PMID   12053457.
  3. "Medical Mistakes". PBS NewsHour. Mar 26, 2001. Archived from the original on July 13, 2012.
  4. Elyse Sommer (2004). "Charlie Victor Romeo Lands Safely at PS 122". Archived from the original on 2017-07-28.
  5. Pressley, Nelson (Jun 9, 2006). "Black Box Theater of a Different Kind". The Washington Post.
  6. Nielsen, Lara D. (2005). "Charlie Victor Romeo (review)". Theatre Journal. Project Muse. 57 (1): 125–127. doi:10.1353/tj.2005.0027. ISSN   1086-332X. S2CID   191305606.
  7. Arader, Meg (2001). "Reality Show: The Diverging Paths of Documentary Theater". Archived from the original on May 12, 2008.
  8. Peter Marks (June 13, 2006). "Studio's First-Class Ticket to Disaster". The Washington Post .
  9. "Previous Performances(2000~)". Rinkogun Theater. Archived from the original on 2004-11-13.
  10. "Chapter 1: Accident and Incident Investigation and Reporting". Manual of Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation. Volume 7: Investigation. US Federal Aviation Administration.
  11. "Families mark 20 years since tragic loss of AWACS crew". U.S. Air Force. Jan 9, 2014.
  12. "Charlie Victor Romeo". Helsinki Documentary Film Festival. 2014. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014.
  13. "Charlie Victor Romeo". AFI Fest. Archived from the original on 2015-09-16.
  14. "Charlie Victor Romeo". CPH:DOX. Archived from the original on 2013-10-30.
  15. "CHARLIE VICTOR ROMEO". Hamptons International Film Festival. Archived from the original on 2013-10-06. Retrieved 2013-10-05.
  16. "Charlie Victor Romeo". Film at Lincoln Center. Sep 28, 2013.
  17. "Charlie Victor Romeo". Sundance Festival Program. 2013. Archived from the original on October 7, 2013.