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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-09-008
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: Incorporate pertinent information from Helicopter Association International’s ENG [electronic news gathering] Aviation Safety Manual into an advisory circular detailing best practices for ENG operations.
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: 10/5/2016
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: 10/5/2016
Response: We note that AC 91-88, “Electronic News Gathering Operations,” includes best practices for ENG operations that address safety, communication, and collision avoidance and is consistent with the information in HAI’s ENG Aviation Safety Manual. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation A-09-008 is classified CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 7/6/2016
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is developing the new Electronic News Gathering Operations Advisory Circular (AC) which will address these four recommendations when it is likely published in 2016. The AC will include best practices and guidelines for ENG pilots and aircraft operators and sample risk assessment tools for use in enhancing overall safety during operations. The AC will also promote the use of electronic traffic advisory systems and provide information regarding the equipage of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipment both voluntarily (ADS-B IN) and required (ADS-BOUT). The AC will also address pilot-reporter responsibilities and provide recommendations related to task management and delegation of assignments to ensure duties and responsibilities are safely accomplished during ENG operations. For ENG operators, the AC will highlight the advantages of utilizing high-visibility rotor blade paint schemes and high-visibility anti-collision lighting on their aircraft to aid in collision avoidance. Finally, this AC will incorporate pertinent information from the Helicopter Association International's ENG Aviation Safety Manual detailing best practices for ENG operations and other helicopter operations. The manual is available at the following Web site: https://www.rotor.org/portals/I/ENG_Safety_Manual.pdf The FAA will provide an immediate notification once the referenced AC has been published.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 4/8/2016
Response: In your November 22, 2010, letter, you told us that you had delayed publishing the AC for ENG operations so that additional input from participants attending the FAA’s ENG Safety Conferences in 2010 could be included. Pending our receipt and review of the AC, Safety Recommendation A-09-8 remained classified “Open—Acceptable Response.” We are concerned because, although this recommendation is more than 7 years old, we have received no additional information regarding the status of the AC since your 2010 letter. Please inform us about any progress that you may have made to address this safety issue. In the meantime, Safety Recommendation A-09-8 remains classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 2/24/2011
Response: The NTSB notes that the publishing of an AC for ENG operations was delayed so that additional input from participants attending the FAA’s ENG Safety Conferences in 2010, which are now complete, could be included. Pending the NTSB’s receipt and review of the AC, Safety Recommendation A-09-8 remains classified OPEN – ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 11/22/2010
Response: CC# 201000421: - From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: The Federal Aviation Administration delayed publishing an Advisory Circular (AC) for ENG operations until we reviewed the Helicopter Association International's (HAI) ENG Aviation Safety Manual and we could collect additional input from participants attending the FAA ENG Safety Conferences in 2010. These conferences are now complete. We will incorporate pertinent information from the HAI manual and these conferences into an AC detailing best practices for ENG operations, which we plan to publish by December 2010. This AC will include a risk matrix for determining conditions under which a pilot's workload will remain manageable during ENG operations. Some ENG operators may wish to incorporate more stringent requirements than those recommended by the FAA for assessing risk. For this reason, the FAA does not believe that creating a rule to require the use of this matrix would be appropriate.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 8/27/2009
Response: The FAA replied that HAI’s ENG Committee approved its ENG Aviation Safety Manual on February 21, 2009, which details best safety practices for ENG operations. The NTSB notes that the FAA is reviewing the manual; upon completion of its review, the FAA will work with industry to incorporate ENG-specific information into an AC for helicopter operators. Pending the NTSB’s review of the AC, Safety Recommendation A-09-8 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 J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: HAI's ENG Committee approved their ENG Aviation Safety Manual on February 21, 2009, which details best safety practices for ENG operations. The FAA is currently reviewing the manual. After completion of the review, the FAA will coordinate with industry to incorporate ENG-specific information and information applicable to all helicopter operators into an AC for helicopter operators. We plan to publish an AC for helicopter operators incorporating this information by January 2010.