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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-12-071
Details
Synopsis: On April 2, 2011, about 0934 mountain daylight time, an experimental Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation GVI (G650), N652GD, crashed during takeoff from runway 21 at Roswell International Air Center, Roswell, New Mexico. The two pilots and the two flight test engineers were fatally injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged by impact forces and a postcrash fire. The airplane was registered to and operated by Gulfstream as part of its G650 flight test program. The flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Determine whether 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 139 airports have sufficient and qualified operations personnel on duty at the airport during all scheduled air carrier operations, and direct airports without such staffing to implement actions to meet the personnel requirements of section 139.303.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Acceptable Response
Mode: Aviation
Location: Roswell, NM, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA11MA076
Accident Reports: Crash During Experimental Test Flight, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation GVI (G650), N652GD
Report #: AAR-12-02
Accident Date: 4/2/2011
Issue Date: 11/15/2012
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Open - Acceptable Response)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 8/4/2015
Response: We read with great interest the August 2014 legal interpretation, prepared by your Office of Chief Counsel, of section 139.303(a) and the definition of the term “sufficient” that you enclosed in your letter. We note that, in the last major revision to Part 139 (made in August 2004), the FAA intentionally did not define the term “sufficient,” because variations in airport size and layout, type of operations served, and the local governing body would make it impractical to define the number of personnel each certificate holder would need to comply with the regulation. We were pleased to read that the FAA does not consider “no personnel,” however, to be sufficient to meet the requirements of Part 139 and that, in order to perform some duties applicable to air carrier operations specified in the regulation and in an airport’s certification manual, some airport personnel must be present on site. We note that you are still reviewing the interpretation to determine how it will affect your plans to issue a CertAlert to all Part 139 airports, and a Program Guidance Letter to all of your Airport Certification Safety Inspectors, explaining the personnel requirements of section 139.303. Pending your issuance of these documents, Safety Recommendation A-12-71 remains classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 6/24/2015
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: In the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) February 12, 2013, letter, we stated that we planned to issue guidance to all part 139 airports and Airport Certification and Safety Inspectors in our interpretation of§ 139.303, regarding sufficient and qualified personnel. However, upon further review, we found that although§ 139.303 requires airports to provide "sufficient and qualified personnel" during air carrier operations and it defines the term "qualified" in § 139.303(c), it does not adequately define the term "sufficient" in § 139.303(a). The FAA Office of Chief Counsel provided a legal interpretation in August 2014 on § 139.303(a) and the specific definition of the term "sufficient." The interpretation we received in late August 2014 is enclosed. The FAA is currently reviewing that interpretation and what its effect might be on staffing and training requirements for certificated airports. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on this safety recommendation and provide an update by November 2015.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 5/13/2013
Response: We are encouraged that the FAA agrees with the intent of this recommendation and intends to issue a CertAlert to all Part 139 airports and a Program Guidance Letter (PGL) to all Airport Certification Safety Inspectors explaining the personnel requirements of section 139.303. Pending our review of these published documents, Safety Recommendation A-12-71 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/12/2013
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) agrees with the Board that all part I 39-certificated airports must have sufficient and qualified personnel on duty during all scheduled air carrier operations. Furthermore, the FAA interprets an adequate number of sufficient and qualified personnel as more than zero. The FAA plans to: 1. Publish a CertAlert to all part 139 airports explaining our interpretation; and 2. Issue a Program Guidance Letter (PGL) to all Airport Certification Safety Inspectors on our interpretation of section 139.303 regarding sufficient and qualified personnel. We plan to issue both the CertAlert and the PGL by the end of March 2013. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on this safety recommendation and provide an update by December 2013.