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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-10-126
Synopsis: This report addresses the accident involving the August 8, 2009, accident involving a Piper PA-32R-300 airplane, N71MC, and a Eurocopter AS350BA helicopter, N401LH, operated by Liberty Helicopters, which collided over the Hudson River near Hoboken, New Jersey. The pilot and two passengers aboard the airplane and the pilot and five passengers aboard the helicopter were killed, and both aircraft received substantial damage from the impact. The airplane flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, and the helicopter flight was operating under the provisions of 14 CFR Parts 135 and 136. No flight plans were filed or were required for either flight, and visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The safety issues discussed in this report address changes within the recently designated special flight rules area (SFRA) surrounding the Hudson River corridor, vertical separation among aircraft operating in the Hudson River SFRA, the see-and-avoid concept, and helicopter electronic traffic advisory systems.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Update Advisory Circular 90-48C to reflect current-day operations, including (1) a description of the current National Airspace System and airspace classifications, (2) references to air tour operational areas as high-volume traffic environments, and (3) guidance on the use of electronic traffic advisory systems for pilots operating under the see-and-avoid concept.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: Hoboken, NJ, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Accident #: ERA09MA447AB
Accident Reports: Midair Collision Over Hudson River, Piper PA-32R-300, N71MC, and Eurocopter AS350BA, N401LH
Report #: AAR-10-05
Accident Date: 8/8/2009
Issue Date: 10/18/2010
Date Closed: 11/18/2016
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Air Tours

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
Date: 11/18/2016
Response: We have reviewed change 1 to AC 90-48D, Pilots’ Role in Collision Avoidance, which was published on June 28, 2016, and includes updated guidance and information regarding (1) current NAS and airspace classifications; (2) special operational environments, including areas of high volume generated by scenic areas of interest to air tour operations; and (3) recommended aircraft systems and technologies to aid in collision avoidance, including TAS. We believe that the published AC satisfies the intent of Safety Recommendation A-10-126, which is classified CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: FAA
Date: 9/1/2016
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: On June 28, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published Change I to Advisory Circular (AC) 90-48D. Pilots' Role in Collision Avoidance. This revised AC includes enhancements such as: • Best practices and guidelines for pilots to follow to help mitigate the chance of midair collisions with other aircraft or structures; • An updated discussion regarding the National Airspace System and airspace classification with reference to high-volume traffic environments such as air tour operational areas and news media events; • Promotion of the use of electronic traffic advisory systems and additional information regarding mandatory installation and use of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipment. The use of ADS-8 equipment. described in the final rule, published May 28. 2010, requires that for operations in most controlled airspace. aircraft must be AOS-B Out-equipped with equipment upgrades completed by January I. 2020 (75 FR 30 160). The AC can be found at the following Web site: 90-480 CHG_l.pdf I believe that the FAA has effectively addressed this safety recommendation and consider our actions complete.

From: NTSB
Date: 4/16/2015
Response: We are concerned because this recommendation is more than 4 years old, and the last update we received from you was dated January 3, 2011. On September 6, 2013, we wrote to you requesting information regarding any efforts you may have taken to address Safety Recommendation A-10-126; however, we received no response. Accordingly, pending our timely receipt of an update and completion of the recommended action, this recommendation is classified OPEN—UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: NTSB
Date: 9/6/2013
Response: Our last update from the FAA regarding this recommendation was its January 3, 2011, 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 Recommendation A-10-126. Pending our timely receipt of an update and completion of the recommended action, this recommendation remains classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: NTSB
Date: 6/7/2011
Response: CC#201100040: The FAA indicated that it plans to update both the description of the current NAS and guidance on the use of electronic traffic advisory systems in AC 90-48C. We point out that references to air tour operational areas should also be included in the update but are not mentioned in the FAA’s response. Pending completion of the recommended revisions to AC 90-48C, Safety Recommendation A-10-126 is classified OPEN – ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
Date: 1/3/2011
Response: CC# 201100040: - From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: The FAA reviewed AC 90-48C and concluded that updating the document to reflect the current organization of the National Airspace System (NAS) is necessary. Information on the recommended use of electronic traffic advisory systems may also be included in these changes to AC 90-48C. I will keep the Board informed of FAA's progress and provide an updated response to this safety recommendation by December 2011.