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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-10-077
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 Airbus to redesign the frame 65 vertical beam on A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes to lessen the likelihood that it will intrude into the cabin during a ditching or gear-up landing and Airbus operators to incorporate these changes on their airplanes.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
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: 5/29/2019
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Aircraft Design

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 5/29/2019
Response: We note that, on October 25, 2016, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2016-0212, which requires a modification to the fuselage structure at frame 65 on Airbus A318, A319, A320, and A321 model airplanes in accordance with the applicable Airbus service bulletins. We also note that, on December 11, 2017, you issued corresponding AD 2017-25-06, which requires US operators of these airplanes to make the same modification within 72 months of the January 16, 2018, effective date. We believe that the modification required in the AD addresses the unsafe condition that we identified on these airplanes. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation A-10-77 is classified CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/5/2019
Response: -From Daniel K. Elwell, Acting Administrator: As noted in our June 30, 2016, letter to the Board, Airbus redesigned the frame 65 vertical beam on Airbus A3 18, A319, A320, and A321 model airplanes. The European Aviation Safety Agency {EASA), the primary certification authority, issued Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2016-0212 on October 25, 2016, requiring modification of the fuselage structure at frame 65 in accordance with the applicable Airbus service bulletins. The FAA issued a corresponding AD 2017-25-06, Airbus Airplanes, on December 11, 2017. This AD requires affected U.S. registered airplanes to make the same modification within 72 months of the effective date, January 16, 2018. This will prevent the central vertical strut at frame 65 from penetrating through the cabin floor in certain conditions, which could lead to injury of occupants and delays during an emergency evacuation. This AD is available at the following website: http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory and_ Guidance_ Library/rgad.nsf/ AOCADSearch/74EF468823 73 89D 1862581F3005303A7?0pen0ocument.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 8/23/2016
Response: We note that Airbus redesigned the frame 65 vertical beam and that, on December 18, 2015, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the primary certification authority for Airbus, issued Proposed Airworthiness Directive (PAD) 15-156. The PAD proposes requiring modifications to the fuselage structure at frame 65 in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1262. The PAD closed for public comment on January 15, 2016. We also note that you plan to issue a similar airworthiness directive (AD) for the affected airplanes operated in the United States after EASA has completed its actions. Pending issuance of that AD, Safety Recommendation A-10-77 remains classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 6/30/2016
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: As previously noted, Airbus redesigned the frame 65 vertical beam for the Airbus A318, A319, A320, and A321 model airplanes. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the primary certification authority for Airbus, issued Proposed Airworthiness Directive (PAD) 15-156, dated December 18, 2015, for public comment. This PAD proposes within 72 hours after the airworthiness directive (AD) effective date, modification of the fuselage structure at frame 65 in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1262. The PAD closed for public comment on January 15, 2016. EASA expects to issue its final AD by the end of Calendar Year 2016, after which the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) intends to issue its corresponding notice of proposed rulemaking. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on this recommendation and provide an update by July 31, 2017.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 4/8/2015
Response: We note that Airbus redesigned the frame 65 vertical beam and that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) expected to complete certification of this modification and issue an airworthiness directive (AD) soon. We further note that you plan to issue a similar AD for the affected airplanes operated in the United States once EASA has completed its actions. Pending completion of all these actions, Safety Recommendation A 10-77 remains classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 1/30/2015
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: Airbus redesigned the frame 65 vertical beam for installation on the Airbus A318, A319, A320, and A321 fleet. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the primary certification authority, expects to complete certification of this modification and issue an airworthiness directive (AD) by March 2015. A separate AD issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will follow EASA's AD. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on this recommendation and provide an update by December 31, 2015.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/16/2013
Response: Thank you for informing us that Airbus has redesigned the frame 65 vertical beam as recommended and that testing and certification of the new design are underway, in cooperation with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Airbus’s primary certification authority. We support the FAA’s plan to issue an airworthiness directive (AD) after EASA issues an AD requiring the revised design. Pending the issuance of the FAA’s AD, Safety Recommendation A 10-77 remains classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 5/21/2013
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: FAA Comment. Airbus has redesigned the frame 65 vertical beam on the Airbus A318, A319, A320, and A321 fleet. Airbus is conducting testing and certification of the new design with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), its primary certification authority. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) anticipates the release of Airbus service information and an EASA proposed airworthiness directive by December 31, 2013. We plan to issue an airworthiness directive (AD) after EASA issues its AD. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on this safety recommendation and provide an update by January 31, 2014.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/5/2011
Response: Thank you for informing us that Airbus has initiated development of the recommended design change and that the FAA estimates approval of the design change in the third quarter of Fiscal Year 2011. Pending completion of the design change and implementation of a requirement for Airbus operators to adopt the change, Safety Recommendation A-10-77 remains classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 3/17/2011
Response: Pending the completion of the FAA's work with EASA (the certifying authority for the state of design for these airplanes) and Airbus to redesign the frame 65 vertical beam and the establishment of a requirement for Airbus operators to incorporate these changes on their airplanes, Safety Recommendation A-10-77 is classified OPEN – ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/15/2011
Response: CC# 201100130: - From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: Airbus initiated development of design changes to the frame 65 vertical beam on the Airbus A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes to reduce the likelihood that it will intrude into the cabin during a ditching or gear-up landing. The Federal Aviation Administration estimates approval of the design changes will be in the third quarter of Fiscal Year 2011. After the design changes are developed, we will determine whether to require Airbus operators to incorporate these changes on their airplanes. I will keep the board informed of our progress on this safety recommendation and provide an update by April 2012.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 9/23/2010
Response: CC# 201000368: - From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: We are working with EASA and Airbus to determine what design changes to the Frame 65 vertical beam would be necessary. We will then determine whether we should require Airbus operators to incorporate these changes on their airplanes.