Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-09-083
Details
Synopsis: On August 8, 2009, about 1153 eastern daylight time, a Eurocopter AS350 BA helicopter, N401LH, operated by Liberty Helicopters, and a Piper PA-32R-300 airplane, N71MC, operated by a private pilot, were substantially damaged following a midair collision over the Hudson River near Hoboken, New Jersey. The certificated commercial pilot and five passengers aboard the helicopter and the certificated private pilot and two passengers aboard the airplane were killed. The helicopter flight was a local sightseeing flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 135 and 136. The airplane flight was a personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The helicopter departed West 30th Street Heliport, New York, New York, about 1152. The airplane departed Teterboro Airport (TEB), Teterboro, New Jersey, about 1149, destined for Ocean City Municipal Airport, Ocean City, New Jersey. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plans were required or filed for either flight. However, the pilot of the airplane requested flight-following services from TEB air traffic control (ATC).
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Brief all air traffic controllers and supervisors on the air traffic control (ATC) performance deficiencies evident in the circumstances of this accident and emphasize the requirement to be attentive and conscientious when performing ATC duties.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: Hoboken, NJ, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: ERA09MA447AB
Accident Reports: Midair Collision Over Hudson River, Piper PA-32R-300, N71MC, and Eurocopter AS350BA, N401LH
Report #: AAR-10-05
Accident Date: 8/8/2009
Issue Date: 8/27/2009
Date Closed: 2/14/2011
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Air Traffic Control, Professionalism

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 2/14/2011
Response: During August and September 2009, the FAA briefed all tower and radar controllers on the importance of being diligent on position. The FAA’s September 22, 2010, letter indicates that the remaining controller workforce (all operational personnel in the En Route and Oceanic Services Unit and in the Systems Operations Service Unit) completed the recommended briefing by viewing the video “Heads up Safety Depends on You.” All air traffic controllers have now been briefed on the importance of attentiveness and diligence while performing ATC duties; accordingly, Safety Recommendation A-09-83 is classified CLOSED -- ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 9/22/2010
Response: CC# 201000369 - From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: In the Federal Aviation Administration's letter dated November 30, 2009, we stated that we took immediate action to brief the tower and radar controllers of the importance of being diligent on position via a memorandum issued by the Vice President, Terminal Operations, dated August 14, 2009 (copy previously provided). A mandatory briefing item was completed on September 15, 2009, and we issued a Quality Assurance Alert Bulletin (copy previously provided) covering the analysis of the events that occurred during the Hudson River accident. This is included in all controller and supervisor monthly training. We have now completed training via a video, called "Heads up Safety Depends on You," to all operational personnel assigned to the En Route and Oceanic Service Unit and to the Systems Operations Service Unit. Therefore, all air traffic controllers have now been briefed on performance deficiencies evident in the circumstances of the Hudson River accident. I believe that the FAA has effectively addressed this safety recommendation, and I consider our actions complete.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 6/23/2010
Response: In August and September 2009, the FAA briefed all tower and radar controllers on the importance of being diligent in position. Similar briefings were provided to all relevant systems operations personnel by March 2, 2010. The FAA’s November 30, 2009, letter stated that similar briefings were to be provided to all en route personnel by December 31, 2009; since then, the FAA has revised the briefing completion date to March 31, 2010, and then early May 2010, but as of the date of this letter, the briefing has not been completed. Accordingly, pending the briefing of all en route personnel, Safety Recommendation A-09-83 is classified OPEN -- ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 11/30/2009
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 12/23/2009 2:21:43 PM MC# 2090717: - From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: As this accident occurred in the terminal environment, we took immediate action to brief the tower and radar controllers of the importance of being diligent on position via a memorandum issued by the Vice President, Terminal Operations, dated August 14,2009 (enclosure 1). The mandatory briefing item was completed on September 15, 2009. Also, we issued a Quality Assurance Alert Bulletin (enclosure 2) covering the analysis of the events that occurred during the Hudson River accident. This is included in all controller and supervisor monthly training. Actions are underway to provide a similar briefing to enroute and system operations controllers. We expect to complete these briefings by December 2009. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on this safety recommendation.