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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-10-072
Details
Synopsis: On January 15, 2009, about 1527 eastern standard time,1 US Airways flight 1549, an Airbus Industrie A320-214, N106US, experienced an almost total loss of thrust in both engines after encountering a flock of birds and was subsequently ditched on the Hudson River about 8.5 miles from LaGuardia Airport (LGA), New York City, New York. The flight was en route to Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), Charlotte, North Carolina, and had departed LGA about 2 minutes before the in-flight event occurred. The 150 passengers, including a lap-held child, and 5 crewmembers evacuated the airplane via the forward and overwing exits. One flight attendant and four passengers received serious injuries, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The scheduled, domestic passenger flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121 on an instrument flight rules flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Require applicants for aircraft certification to demonstrate that their ditching parameters can be attained without engine power by pilots without the use of exceptional skill or strength.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Acceptable Response
Mode: Aviation
Location: Weehawken, NJ, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA09MA026
Accident Reports: Loss of Thrust in Both Engines, US Airways Flight 1549 Airbus Industrie A320-214, N106US
Report #: AAR-10-03
Accident Date: 1/15/2009
Issue Date: 5/21/2010
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Open - Acceptable Response)
Keyword(s): Engine Out

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/9/2018
Response: We note that you tasked your aviation rulemaking advisory committee (ARAC) with providing recommendations to incorporate airframe-level crashworthiness and ditching standards into Part 25 and to develop associated advisory material, and that you now expect to receive the report from the ARAC by July 2018. We further note that, as we requested, you emphasized to the ARAC the need to address ditching parameters related to situations in which the pilot does not have engine power. The ARAC working group acknowledged this part of the tasking and plans to address Safety Recommendation A-10-72 in its recommendation report. Pending completion of the ARAC’s work and appropriate revisions that satisfy Safety Recommendation A 10 72, it remains classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 5/18/2018
Response: -From Daniel K. Elwell, Acting Administrator: In our previous letter to the Board, dated June 30. 2016. the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) notified the Board that the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) accepted the task to provide recommendations regarding the incorporation of airframe-level crashworthiness and ditching standards into 14 CFR part 25 and the development of associated advisory material. To accomplish this, the ARAC established the Transport Airplane Crashworthiness and Ditching Working Group (working group). Although we initially anticipated the working group would submit the recommendation report by June 4, 2017. we now expect to receive the report by July 2018. due to delays in assembling the working group and the refining of the tasking’s scope. The FAA also emphasized the need for the working group to address ditching parameters related to situations in which the pilot does not have any engine power. as discussed by the subject safety recommendation. The working group acknowledged this part of the tasking and plans to address Safety Recommendation A- I 0-72 in its recommendation report. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA ·s progress on this safety recommendation and provide an update by March 2019.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 8/11/2016
Response: Earlier this year, we noted that, in May 2015, you published an FAA report titled Review and Assessment of Transport Category Airplane Ditching Standards and Requirements, DOT/FAA/TC-14/8. This report contained the results of a study that you initiated in collaboration with Transport Canada and the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority. Among the results of your study was a recommendation “that consideration be given to amending the regulatory/advisory/guidance material for the certification of new aeroplanes, to require consideration of ditching with no engine power.” We note that you have now tasked your aviation rulemaking advisory committee (ARAC) with providing recommendations to incorporate airframe-level crashworthiness and ditching standards into Part 25 and to develop associated advisory material. We point out that action to satisfy this recommendation must address ditching parameters related to situations in which the pilot does not have any engine power, and we ask that you emphasize the importance of this issue to the ARAC. Pending completion of the ARAC’s work and appropriate revisions that satisfy Safety Recommendation A-10-72, it remains classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 6/30/2016
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: ln our last response, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) notified the Board we planned to task an Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) to provide recommendations regarding the incorporation of airframe-level crashworthiness and ditching standards into 14 CFR part 25 and the development of associated advisory material. This tasking can be found in Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee: Transport Airplane and Engine Issues; New Task (80 FR 31946). The ARAC accepted this task and established the Transport Airplane Crashworthiness and Ditching Working Group. Transport Airplane and Engine Issues. The subsequent recommendation report must be submitted to the FAA by June 4, 2017. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA ·s progress on this safety recommendation and provide an update by August 2018.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 3/11/2016
Response: We note that, when you published a draft of Advisory Circular (AC) 25-7C, “Flight Test Guide for Transport Category Airplanes,” you proposed a change to include procedures for demonstration of ditching parameters with all engines inoperative. You then received comments from industry that this change represented a shift in the intent of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, section 25.801, “Ditching,” that might be cost prohibitive. On October 16, 2012, you issued AC 25-7C without the recommended requirements; however, based on these comments, you initiated research in collaboration with Transport Canada and the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority that reviewed water-related accidents of transport category airplanes to better support the proposed change. We also note that the results of this study were published in May 2015 in an FAA report titled Review and Assessment of Transport Category Airplane Ditching Standards and Requirements, DOT/FAA/TC-14/8, which recommends “that consideration be given to amending the regulatory/advisory/guidance material for the certification of new aeroplanes, to require consideration of Ditching with no engine power.” We further note that you now plan to task your Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) to review the results of this study and other FAA ditching related research, to evaluate whether rulemaking or further guidance beyond that contained in AC 25-7C is needed. We are encouraged that the research that you initiated supports our recommendation. Pending timely completion of the ARAC’s work and appropriate revisions that satisfy Safety Recommendation A-10-72, the recommendation remains classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 1/13/2016
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: In 2013, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) informed the Board that additional research was needed to support proposed changes. In 2014, we completed a study of transport category airplane water-related accidents in cooperation with Transport Canada Civil Aviation and the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority. An electronic copy of the study report was previously provided to the Board. Recommendation three of the study report (copied below) is closely aligned with the Board 's recommendation: "It is recommended that consideration be given to amending the regulatory/advisory/guidance material for the certification of new aeroplanes, to require consideration of Ditching with no engine power." We intend to task the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) to review the results of this study and other FAA ditching related research, to evaluate whether rulemaking or further guidance beyond that contained in AC 25-7C described above is needed. We anticipate the ARAC will provide its recommendations by early 2018. l will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on this safety recommendation and provide an update by August 2016.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 11/7/2013
Response: We are encouraged that the FAA’s proposed revisions to Advisory Circular (AC) 25-7C include procedures for the demonstration of ditching parameters with all engines inoperative, as recommended, and we look forward to reviewing the findings of the joint FAA, Transport Canada, and United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority study, once it is completed. Pending our receipt and review of this information, Safety Recommendation A-10-72 remains classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/8/2013
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: As part of a recent revision to Advisory Circular (AC) 25-7C, Flight Test Guide for Transport Category Airplanes, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposed a change to include procedures for demonstration of ditching parameters with all engines inoperative, as requested by this safety recommendation. However, during the comment period, industry expressed concern that this change represented a shift in the intent of section 25.801 , Ditching, which could prove cost prohibitive to meet. A copy of AC 25-7C, which was issued on October 16, 2012, can be found at the following Web site: http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory and_ Guidance_Library/rgAdvisoryCircular. nsf/O/bd267 5e777 4b4c4786257ac200546ace/$FILE/ AC%2025-7C.pdf. Based on industry's comments to this revised AC, we determined additional research is needed to better support the proposed changes. Toward this goal, the FAA is participating with Transport Canada and the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority in a study of water-related accidents of transport category airplanes to determine whether changes to the relevant regulatory standards and advisory material are needed. We completed Phase 1 of this study (collection of accident data and initial analysis) in August 2012. We completed Phase 2 (detailed analysis of selected accidents) in Summer 2013. We expect Phase 3 (recommendations) to be completed by early Fall 2013. Based on the results of this study, we intend to review and update our current regulations and guidance related to ditching parameters, if necessary. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on this safety recommendation and provide an update by August 2014.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 10/12/2011
Response: The NTSB notes that the FAA is currently revising Advisory Circular (AC) 25-7B, “Flight Test Guide for Transport Category Airplanes,” to include procedures for the demonstration of ditching parameters, as recommended. Pending our receipt and review of the revisions, Safety Recommendation A-10-72 remains classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 7/8/2011
Response: CC# 201100276: - From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: In our previous response to the Board, we identified the regulatory and guidance material related to showing airplane controllability with all engines failed. We have determined that this material could more clearly call for applicants to demonstrate that their ditching parameters can be attained without engine power by pilots without the use of exceptional skill or strength. We recently replaced Advisory Circular (AC) 25-7A, Flight Test Guide for Certification of Transport Category Airplanes, with a revised version, AC 25-7B (issued March 29, 2011). However, we are currently further revising this AC to include procedures for demonstration of ditching parameters as requested in this safety recommendation. We believe the planned revision to this AC will effectively address the safety issue identified in this recommendation. We expect to n1ake AC 25-7C available for public con1ment by December 2011. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on this safety recommendation and provide an update by July 31, 2012.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 3/17/2011
Response: This recommendation was issued as a result of the NTSB's findings during our investigation of the US Air 1549 accident. Postaccident flight simulations indicated (1) that attaining the Airbus ditching parameters without engine power was possible but highly unlikely without training and (2) that attaining the parameters might not prevent a significant fuselage breach for a number of plausible conditions. We concluded that the review and validation of the Airbus operational procedures conducted during the ditching certification process for the A320 airplane did not evaluate whether pilots could attain all of the Airbus ditching parameters, nor was Airbus required to conduct such an evaluation. We also concluded that, during an actual ditching, it is possible but unlikely that pilots will be able to attain all of the Airbus ditching parameters because it is exceptionally difficult for pilots to meet such precise criteria when no engine power is available; this difficulty contributed to the fuselage damage in the accident. The FAA replied that 14 CFR Part 25.671 contains current transport airplane certification regulations that require airplanes to be capable of safe flight and landing following failures within the normal flight envelope without requiring exceptional pilot skill or strength, including situations in which all engines fail. In addition, AC 25-7A, "Flight Test Guide for Transport Category Airplanes," requires the evaluation of an aircraft to determine that it is controllable following the failure of all engines. The NTSB notes that Part 25.671 and AC 25-7A do not specifically address a pilot's attaining ditching parameters. In its letter, the FAA indicated that it is reviewing these requirements to determine whether additional guidance specific to the demonstration of ditching parameters is needed. Accordingly, pending the FAA's taking the recommended action, Safety Recommendation A-10-72 is classified OPEN – ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 9/23/2010
Response: CC# 201000368: - From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: Current transport airplane certification regulations, specifically § 25.671, require applicants to show their design to be capable of safe flight and landing following failures within the normal flight envelope without requiring exceptional pilot skill or strength. Additionally, this section requires airplane design such that it is controllable if all engines fail. Advisory Circular (AC) 25-7A, Flight Test Guide for Transport Category Airplanes, requires that the aircraft be evaluated to determine that it is controllable following the failure of all engines in the climb, cruise, descent, approach, and holding configurations, and can be flared to a landing attitude from a reasonable approach speed. We are reviewing these requirements to determine if additional guidance specific to the demonstration of ditching parameters is needed.