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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-09-006
Details
Synopsis: On July 27, 2007, about 1246 mountain standard time, two electronic news gathering (ENG) helicopters, N613TV and N215TV, collided in midair while maneuvering in Phoenix, Arizona. The Eurocopter AS350B2 helicopters, from local channels 3 and 15, had been covering a police pursuit. N613TV, the channel 3 helicopter, was operated by KTVK-TV, and N215TV, the channel 15 helicopter, was operated by U.S. Helicopters, Inc., under contract to KNXV-TV. Each helicopter had a pilot-reporter and a photographer on board. The occupants on board both helicopters were killed, and the helicopters were destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire. The helicopters were operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. No flight plans had been filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Host annual electronic news gathering (ENG) helicopter conferences by major metropolitan region to discuss operational and safety issues affecting all ENG operations as well as those issues that pertain to the specific region.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: Phoenix, AZ, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: LAX07MA231AB
Accident Reports: Midair Collision of Electronic News Gathering Helicopters KTVK-TV, Eurocopter AS350B2, N613TV, and U.S. Helicopters, Inc., Eurocopter AS350B2, N215TV
Report #: AAR-09-02
Accident Date: 7/27/2007
Issue Date: 2/9/2009
Date Closed: 3/6/2012
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (Public Operators)

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 3/6/2012
Response: We believe that the efforts of the FAA, in cooperation with the Helicopter Association International and the National ENG Helicopter Association, to host annual ENG safety conferences in regions with high operational risk, satisfy this recommendation. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation A-09-6 is classified CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 12/14/2011
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Acting Administrator: In our initial response, dated April 17, 2009, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) stated that we would coordinate with Helicopter Association International (HAI) and the National ENG Helicopter Association (NEHA) to develop a schedule of helicopter safety conferences for major metropolitan regions. We also stated that the guidelines for ENG operators outlined in an advisory circular (AC) for helicopter operators and in HAI's ENG Aviation Safety Manual will be used to direct discussion of operational and safely issues affecting all regional conferences. Lastly, we stated that we would have a schedule of regional helicopter safety conferences established by December 2009. The Board responded in its August 27, 2009, letter that "pending receipt of the FAA's schedule of regional helicopter safety conferences, Safety Recommendation A-09-6 is classified Open--Acceptable Response." In letters dated June 7, 20 I0, and November 21, 2010, the FAA provided the Board with this schedule. In a letter dated, December 23, 2010, the Board additionally requested the list of metropolitan regions the FAA plans to visit in 2011, the list of participants for each conference, and the ways in which the FAA will incorporate ENG AC guidelines in these conferences. Pending the Board's receipt and review of this information, including agendas for the conferences, Safety Recommendation A-09-6 remains classified Open-Acceptable Response. As stated in our original response, we plan to use the guidelines for ENG operators that will be outlined in an AC for helicopter operators to direct discussions for these events in the future. This AC is still being finalized. Although this is our plan, it is not specific to this original recommendation. However, the Board is tracking the development of this AC under Safety Recommendation A-09-8. We tasked our FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) to provide eight regional safety forums on issues related to ENG. Although we indicated in our previous letter that "The dates and locations of future conferences may vary based on an assessment of operational risk in each region," we have collected the information from the various regions to provide you the dates and locations of these conferences. As of this time, the FAASTeam conducted 29 helicopter safety events which incorporated issues related to ENG. As requested in the Board's most recent letter, the dates for these events are enclosed. The Board and its staff are welcome to participate in future forums or seminars and provide feedback to the FAA separate from this recommendation. We have hosted the requested ENG helicopter conferences since February 2010 through September 2011 and believe we have effectively addressed this recommendation, and I consider our actions complete.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 12/23/2010
Response: keep In its November 21, 2010, letter, the FAA confirmed that, in cooperation with the Helicopter Association International and the National ENG Helicopter Association, it had hosted the following ENG safety conferences in 2010: Houston, Texas -February 20 Burbank, California -April 20 Chicago, Illinois -June 26 The NTSB is encouraged by the FAA's progress, and we look forward to reviewing the list of metropolitan regions it plans to visit in 2011, the list of participants for each conference, and the ways in which the FAA will incorporate ENG Advisory Circular guidelines in these conferences. Pending our receipt and review of this information, including agendas for the conferences, Safety Recommendation A-09-6 remains classified OPEN -- ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 11/22/2010
Response: MC# 201000424: - From J. Ranolph Babbitt, Administrator: The Federal Aviation Administration, in coordination with the Helicopter Association International and the National ENG Helicopter Association, hosted three ENG helicopter conferences in 2010. The originally planned conference dates, as stated in our June 7, 20 I0 letter, were modified slightly to accommodate stakeholder availability. The conference locations and dates included: 1) Houston, TX-February20, 2010; 2) Burbank, CA - April 20, 2010; and 3) Chicago, IL - June 26, 2010. In 2011 and thereafter, the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) will continue to host additional annual conferences in metropolitan regions with ENG operators. The dates and locations of future conferences may vary based on an assessment of operational risk in each region. Because many of the safety issues related to ENG are relevant to other types of operations, the FAA may invite other operators to these conferences when appropriate. The FAASTeam will use the upcoming ENG advisory circular guidelines to ensure that all operational and safety issues affecting ENG are discussed during each conference. I believe that the FAA has effectively addressed this safety recommendation, and I consider our actions complete.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 6/7/2010
Response: keep Letter Mail Controlled 6/22/2010 3:02:41 PM MC# 2100213 - From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: The Federal Aviation Administration, in coordination with Helicopter Association International and the National ENG Helicopter Association, hosted the first ENG helicopter conference in Houston, Texas on February 20, 2010. The FAA will conduct two additional regional helicopter conferences in 2010. The schedule includes the following metropolitan regions and dates: Los Angeles, CA -June 2010 Chicago, IL -August 2010 The FAA will provide the Board with an update by December 2010 describing future regional conferences.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 8/27/2009
Response: The FAA indicated that it is working with HAI and the National ENG Helicopter Association to develop a schedule, prioritized by operational risk, of helicopter safety conferences for the major metropolitan regions. The NTSB notes that all helicopter operators within a metropolitan region, not only ENG operators, will be invited to attend the safety conferences. The NTSB is encouraged that the FAA plans to direct discussion of operational and safety issues using the guidelines in HAI’s ENG Aviation Safety Manual and that guidelines will be outlined in the proposed AC for helicopter operators. The NTSB also notes that the FAA intends to tailor each conference to the safety issues pertaining to the specific region. Pending receipt of the FAA’s schedule of regional helicopter safety conferences, Safety Recommendation A-09-6 is classified OPEN -- ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/17/2009
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 4/27/2009 2:52:43 PM MC# 2090266: - From Lynne A. Osmus, Acting Administrator: 4/17/09 The FAA is coordinating with HAI and the National ENG Helicopter Association (NEHA) to develop a schedule of helicopter safety conferences for major metropolitan regions, prioritized by operational risk. ENG operators often interface with other helicopter operators (e.g. law enforcement, search and rescue, emergency medical services); therefore, we intend to invite all helicopter operators within a metropolitan region to these conferences. Guidelines for ENG operators outlined in an AC for helicopter operators and in HAI’s ENG Aviation Safety Manual will be used to direct discussion of operational and safety issues affecting all regional conferences. Local FAA and industry representatives will also research safety issues specific to each region at these conferences in order to develop minimum operational safety standards pertaining to each region. We intend to have a schedule of regional helicopter safety conferences established by December 2009.