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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-10-092
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: 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: 3/1/2017
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: European Aviation Safety Agency (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Aircraft Design

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: European Aviation Safety Agency
Date: 3/1/2017
Response: We note that Airbus completed a structural change that prevents the central vertical strut at frame 65 from passing through the cabin floor, and issued Service Bulletins (SBs) A320 53 1262, A320 53 1333, and A320 53 1334 to provide installation instructions for this modification on in service airplanes. We further note that on October 25, 2016, you issued Airworthiness Directive 2016-0212, which requires compliance with these SBs. These actions satisfy Safety Recommendation A-10-92, which is classified CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: European Aviation Safety Agency
To: NTSB
Date: 11/24/2016
Response: -From Rachel Daeschler, Deputy Strategy and Safety Management Director and Head of Safety Intelligence and Performance Department: To address the potential unsafe condition highlighted by this safety recommendation, the manufacturer developed mod 153724, a structural change which prevents the central vertical strut at FR65 to pass through the cabin floor, and issued Service Bulletin (SB) A320-53-1262 to provide instructions for installation of this modification on aeroplanes in service. To ensure correct manufacturer serial number (MSN) allocations and configuration definitions, this was further revised and two more SBs (A320-53-1333 and A320-53-1334) were issued. The Agency mandated the modification in compliance with the above mentioned SBs by Airworthiness Directive (AD) No. 2016-0212 issued on 25-10-2016.

From: NTSB
To: European Aviation Safety Agency
Date: 2/10/2015
Response: We understand that you approved Airbus’s modification of the design of the frame 65 vertical beam (MOD 153724) and that the revised design was incorporated in aircraft that were in production before the end of 2014. Regarding aircraft that are already in service, some additional modifications must be made to the design approved by MOD 153724; we note that you plan to approve these variations beginning this year. We further note that Airbus will develop modification service bulletins (MSBs) for in-service aircraft and that, once the MSBs have been developed and approved, you will initiate action to mandate the changes. Pending your issuance of the recommended mandate, Safety Recommendation A-10-92 remains classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: European Aviation Safety Agency
To: NTSB
Date: 12/12/2014
Response: -From Rachel Daeschler, Head of Safety Intelligence and Performance Department, Strategy and Safety Management Directorate: EASA has approved the Airbus modification (MOD 153724) regarding redesign of frame 65 vertical beam on A318, A319, A320, and A321 series aeroplanes, that will be applied in production. First implementation was done on aircraft MSN 6408 according to plan (before end of 2014). Some specific configurations exist for which the design approved by MOD 153724 needs to be supplemented by variations that will be approved beginning 2015. Modification service bulletins (MSBs) for the existing fleet will follow. EASA will initiate mandatory action on the existing fleet when those MSBs have been issued. Target date for the EASA airworthiness directive based upon MOD approval and MSB availability is the second half of 2015.

From: NTSB
To: European Aviation Safety Agency
Date: 9/26/2014
Response: We note that you intend to mandate, by the end of 2014, the design modification that Airbus completed in response to this recommendation. Pending your issuance of an airworthiness directive requiring this modification, Safety Recommendation A-10-92 remains classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: European Aviation Safety Agency
To: NTSB
Date: 8/1/2014
Response: -From John Vincent, Deputy Director for Strategic Safety: The EASA, as the primary certification authority, intends to mandate the related modification (MOD 153724), which is currently under certification process. Embodiment in production is expected by the end of year 2014.

From: NTSB
To: European Aviation Safety Agency
Date: 12/10/2013
Response: We are encouraged to learn that, upon completion of the redesigned vertical beam, EASA intends to require Airbus operators to incorporate the design change as requested in the second part of the recommendation. Pending completion of the redesign and implementation of a requirement for Airbus operators to incorporate the design change on their airplanes, Safety Recommendation A-10-92 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: European Aviation Safety Agency
To: NTSB
Date: 8/13/2013
Response: J. Vincent, Deputy Director for Strategic Safety, Executive Directorate: The EASA, as the primary certification authority, agrees to the Safety Recommendation and intends to mandate the related modification (MOD 153724) when available. The modification approval is expected in first quarter of 2014. The Service Bulletin for retrofit will be developed by the Design Organisation and the EASA Airworthiness Directive will follow.

From: NTSB
To: European Aviation Safety Agency
Date: 12/21/2011
Response: We are encouraged to learn that Airbus is redesigning the vertical beam such that it will break instead of penetrating the floor of the aft cabin during a ditching or gear-up landing. This redesign is responsive to the first part of this recommendation. However, the NTSB disagrees with EASA’s determination that the current design is not unsafe, and with EASA’s subsequent decision not to mandate the design change as requested in the second part of the recommendation. We ask EASA to reconsider this decision and to require the change as recommended. Pending completion of the redesign and a requirement for Airbus operators to incorporate the design change on their airplanes, Safety Recommendation A-10-92 is classified OPEN—UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: European Aviation Safety Agency
To: NTSB
Date: 9/27/2011
Response: From John Vincent, Deputy Director for Strategic Safety, Executive Directorate: Airbus is redesigning the vertical beam such that it would break instead of penetrating the floor of the aft cabin. The modification is proposed as product improvement by Airbus. In consideration of the event and the related impact that was outside the assumptions required by the applicable regulations, EASA agreed that there is no established unsafe condition under the criteria of Part 21A.3B for the current design. Therefore, the incorporation of this design change will not be mandated by EASA; however, it will be made available for retrofit. This reply will be updated once the design change is approved and a retrofit service bulletin available.