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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-10-089
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 EUROPEAN AVIATION SAFETY AGENCY: During the bird-ingestion rulemaking database (BRDB) working group‘s reevaluation of the current engine bird-ingestion certification regulations, specifically reevaluate the Joint Aviation Regulations Engines (JAR-E) large flocking bird certification test standards to determine whether they should 1) apply to engines with an inlet area of less than 3,875 square inches and 2) include a requirement for engine core ingestion. If the BRDB working group‘s reevaluation determines that such requirements are needed, incorporate them into JAR-E and require that newly certificated engines be designed and tested to these requirements.
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: 1/25/2018
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: European Aviation Safety Agency (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Oversight,Rulemaking,Wildlife

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: European Aviation Safety Agency
Date: 1/25/2018
Response: We issued Safety Recommendation A-10-65 to the FAA recommending that it take similar action for Title 14 CFR section 33.76(d), the FAA standard addressing the same issue as the JAR-E addressed in Safety Recommendation A-10-89. On November 10, 2015, the FAA told us that an Aviation Industries Association (AIA) working group updated the BRDB and reevaluated the large flocking bird certification requirements of section 33.76(d). The final report of the AIA working group found that class-D¬–sized engines (those with an inlet area less than 3,875 square inches) are currently operating near the safety objective of the current rule, even though only 22 percent of engines represented in the updated database are designed to the latest regulations. The AIA found the same for core ingestion events. However, this class of engine is the most statistically significant bird risk category because it accrues the highest number of total flights within the transport category world fleet. As a result, the EHWG considered large flocking bird species and specifically whether a new core ingestion requirement was necessary as part of its work to satisfy Safety Recommendations A-10-64 and -88. The EHWG found that the existing medium flocking bird test, including the new proposed integrity requirement, is at least as stringent for this engine size as the large flocking bird test is for larger engines. In addition, the new climb condition medium flocking bird test proposed to satisfy Safety Recommendations A-10-64 and -88 will assure the robustness of the engine core. For these reasons, the EHWG determined that no new large flocking bird requirement was needed. On March 1, 2016, we replied and said that the AIA working group’s BRDB update, reevaluation of the large flocking bird certification requirements of section 33.76(d), and the finding that engines with an inlet area of less than 3,875 square inches are currently operating near the safety objective of the current rule, along with the group’s determination that no further revisions were needed, satisfied the first part of Safety Recommendation A 10 65. Further, we wrote that, because the EHWG considered whether a large flocking bird requirement for engine core ingestion was needed, the final part of Safety Recommendation A 10 65 was classified “Closed—Acceptable Action.” Because the review of the large flocking bird certification test provisions found that, due to the shorter fan blade length in this size class, the potential benefit of adding a large flocking bird requirement to class-D–sized engines would not provide any significant safety benefit for either the fan bypass threat or the core ingestion element, NPA 2017-16 does not propose amending the large flocking bird provisions in the CS E. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation A-10-89 is classified CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: European Aviation Safety Agency
To: NTSB
Date: 11/17/2017
Response: -From Rachel Daeschler, Deputy Strategy and Safety Management Director and Head of Safety Intelligence and Performance Department: Rulemaking task RMT.0671 started on 30 May 2017 with the publication of its terms of reference. The Agency published the Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) NPA 2017-16 for consultation on 2 October 2017. The NPA proposal has taken into account this accident and the related safety recommendations, as well as the Engine Harmonization Working Group (EHWG) report 'Turbofan Bird Ingestion Regulation' of 19 February 2015. The EHWG was formed after the FAA tasked the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) to address the NTSB safety recommendations from this accident. EASA actively participated in this working group. In the NPA, the Agency proposes no amendment to the large flocking bird provisions in Certification Specifications for Engines CS-E 800 for the reasons described below. The large flocking bird certification test provisions were reviewed to determine whether they should apply to engines in the class D size (inlet throat areas of 1.35 to 2.5 m2/2092 to 3875 in2) and include additional provisions for engine core ingestion. The potential benefit of adding a large flocking bird requirement to this engine size class was considered and it was found that, due to the shorter fan blade length in this size class, the large flocking bird test condition would not clearly provide any significant safety benefit for either the fan bypass threat or the core ingestion element. Simulations provided by an engine manufacturer revealed that the current additional integrity test requirement provides an equivalent structural challenge to the fan blade up to the 1.58 kg bird size. Manufacturer simulations also showed that the current medium flocking bird requirements provide similar energy at the core intake (within 2%) despite the larger amount of bird material associated with the large flocking bird.

From: NTSB
To: European Aviation Safety Agency
Date: 7/9/2013
Response: We are encouraged by EASA’s planned participation in the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee that the Aerospace Industries Association recommended be created to revise and strengthen the core bird ingestion requirements of EASA and the Federal Aviation Administration. Pending completion of the recommended actions, Safety Recommendations A 10-88 and -89 are classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: European Aviation Safety Agency
To: NTSB
Date: 4/11/2013
Response: -From John Vincent, Deputy Director for Strategic Safety: The large Flocking Birds (LFB) test requirement was introduced to ensure that large engines fan blades have sufficient capability against birds with weight above 1.15Kg or 2.5lbs; it was not the Intent to address the risk of power loss due to core ingestion. Point 1): The fan blades of the engines Involved in this accident were not severely damaged and retained the capability to potentially provide a substantial amount of continued thrust after the birds ingestion, had the damages to the engine cores not occurred. Therefore the lessons learnt from this event do not show a deficiency on fan robustness against large birds Ingestion and this does not justify creating a new large flocking birds ingestion requirement for this category of engine. The current Medium Flocking Bird test provides sufficient margin for protection against larger birds. Furthermore, as confirmed in the conclusions of the AlA committee in their final report, field service data on this category of engines (less than 2.5 m2 or 3875 in2 inlet area) show that they are operating near the safety objective of the current rule although only 22% of engines represented in the updated database are designed to the latest bird ingestion requirements; therefore the level of safety is expected to increase in the coming years when older engines will be less represented. In spite of that, note that the AlA committee recommended that any future rulemaking activity identify means to introduce a requirement which assures capability of future fan designs in this engine category against the Large Flocking Bird (LFB) threat. This item should also be part of the tasks allocated to the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) group In which EASA would participate. Point 2): The Agency agrees with the AlA committee recommendation to investigate rulemaking solutions to upgrade the core ingestion elements of the small and medium bird test requirements. The AlA recommended to create an ARAC group to follow on this recommendation and the Agency will seek participation to it and consider rulemaking activity if applicable.