A system and method provides a retrievable record of the flight performance of the aircraft and includes a ground data link unit that obtains flight performance data representative of aircraft flight performance during flight of the aircraft. A spread spectrum transceiver is coupled to a data store and operative to download flight performance data that has been accumulated and stored by the data store over a spread spectrum communication signal. A ground base spread spectrum transceiver receives the spread spectrum communication signal from the aircraft and demodulates the signal to obtain flight performance data. A wireless unit is operative with the ground data link unit. This wireless unit could be for inventory control of products during in-flight servicing of passengers.