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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-10-082
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 that aircraft operated by 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121, Part 135, and Part 91 Subpart K operators be equipped with flotation seat cushions and life vests for each occupant on all flights, regardless of the route.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable 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: 9/3/2015
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Water Survival

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 9/3/2015
Response: We are aware that existing regulations and guidance do not prohibit an operator from voluntarily supplying both life vests and flotation seat cushions for some or all occupants. Although some operators have voluntarily equipped their aircraft with life vests and flotation seat cushions for some occupants on certain routes, we remain concerned that this safety equipment is not available to each occupant on all over-water flights, regardless of route. In your September 23, 2010, letter, you told us that you were going to review available regulations, guidance, and research that relate to flotation seat cushions and life vests to determine the feasibility of this recommendation. Although we continue to believe that the recommended action is needed, your recent update indicated you will take no further action in response to this recommendation. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation A-10-82 is classified CLOSED—UNACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 6/2/2015
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: As the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) stated in our letter dated September 23, 2010, the regulations, guidance, and related materials do not prohibit an operator from voluntarily supplying both life vests and flotation seat cushions for some or all occupants. Many operators that fly internationally already carry both life vests and seat cushions that can be used as flotation devices in at least one cabin. Current regulations only require operators to carry life vests for extended overwater operations. However, discussions with two major carriers indicate plans to transition to the carriage of life vests on all their aircraft regardless of the route of flight, over the next few years. I believe that the FAA has effectively addressed this safety recommendation and consider our actions con1plete.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/8/2013
Response: Our last update from the FAA regarding these recommendations was its September 23, 2010, letter. We are concerned that, although more than 2 years have passed since then, we have received no additional information regarding the agency’s efforts to address Safety Recommendations A-10-71, -76, or -82. Pending our timely receipt of such an update and completion of the recommended actions, they remain classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 3/17/2011
Response: The FAA is performing a review to determine the feasibility of taking the recommended action. Pending completion of the review, and the FAA's taking the action recommended, Safety Recommendation A-10-82 is classified OPEN – ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 9/23/2010
Response: CC# 201000368: - From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: To address this recommendation, we will need to determine the feasibility of making such a requirement. To accomplish this, we will consider all available information including: • Advisory Circular 120-47, Survival Equipment for Use in Overwater Operations; • Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) research related to flotation seat cushions and life vests; • Technical standard order requirements for seats and berths, flotation seat cushions, and life vests; and • The extensive scope of aircraft, which includes helicopters and reciprocating and turbine powered part 23 and part 25 airplanes.