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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-70-047
Details
Synopsis: OVERSEAS NATIONAL AIRWAYS OPERATING AS ANTILLIAANSE LUCHTVAART MAATSCHAPPIJ, FLIGHT 980 (ALM), WAS DITCHED NEAR ST. CROIX. FORTY PERSONS, INCLUDING 35 PASSENGERS AND FIVE CREWMEMBERS SURVIVED. TWENTY-THREE PERSONS, INCLUDING TWO INFANTS AND THE STEWARDESS, DID NOT SURVIVE. THE AIRCRAFT SANK IN 5,000 FEET OF WATER AND WAS NOT RECOVERED. THE FLIGHT DEPARTED KENNEDY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, N.Y., NONSTOP FOR ST. MAARTEN, NETHERLANDS ANTILLES. AFTER AND ADF AND THREE CIRCLING APPROACHES IN POOR WEATHER, DURING WHICH A LANDING COULD NOT BE MADE, THE FLIGHT DEPARTED FOR ST. CROIX. ENROUTE TO ST. CROIX IN A LOW-FUEL STATE, THE AIRCRAFT WAS DESCENDED TO THE WATER IN ANTICIPATION OF A DITCHING. WHEN FUEL EXHAUSTION WAS REACHED, THE ENGINES FLAMED OUT AND THE AIRCRAFT WAS DITCHED.
Recommendation: TAKE NECESSARY STEPS TO ELIMINATE, WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME, THE USE OF FABRIC-TO-METAL TYPE SEATBELTS AND REQUIRE THE METAL-TO-METAL TYPE OF SEATBELT WITH A STANDARDIZED ACTIVATING DEVICE. (SEE APPENDIX G.)
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: St. Croix, Virgin Islands
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA70AZ007
Accident Reports: Overseas National Airways, Inc., Douglas DC-9. Operating as Antilliaanse Lucht- vaart Moatschappij Flight 980
Report #: AAR-71-08
Accident Date: 5/2/1970
Issue Date: 9/2/1970
Date Closed: 3/12/1979
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 3/12/1979
Response: Closed--acceptable action.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 1/31/1979
Response: Operations review program amendment no. 6 was issued on september 28, 1978, with an effective date of december 4, 1978. Sections 23.1413(c), 25.1413(d), 27.1413(c), and 29.1413(b) of the far's were amended to require that each safety belt must be equipped with metal-to- metal latching device. Section 91.33(b)(12) was amended to require, after december 4, 1980, seatbelts with metal-to-metal latching devices for all occupants.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 6/29/1971
Response: They have a study underway regarding seatbelts, with particular emphasis on the problems of buckle fastening. Their objective is a revision of the technical standard order for seat belts as appropriate in light of service difficulties and advances in technology. 9/1-77 - fr, vol. 42, no. 170, page 44204: the faa issued nrpm 70-20 (ops. Review program no. 6) to amend parts 23, 25, 27, 29 and 91 of far's to require each safety belt to be equipped with a metal-to-metal buckle or latching device. Comments with a metal-to-metal buckle or latching device. Comments are due to the faa on or before 12/1/77.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 12/2/1970
Response: Manufacturer issued a service letter in 2/68 recommending use of metal-to-metal belt locking means. Faa also amended aircraft specifications to provide the same information. Faa now proposing mandatory replacement of fabric-to-metal belt assemblies with metal-to metal units on aerobatic model 7 service airplanes. Faa also considering revising operating rules in far part 91 to provide for the improved locking means as a general requirement.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 10/21/1970
Response: FAA LTR: IN 1969 FAA INITIATED A PROJECT TO REVIEW AND UPDATE TECHICAL STANDARD ORDER C-22E. 12/2/70 - FAA LTR: MANUFACTURER ISSUED A SERVICE LETTER IN FEBRUARY 1968 RECOMMENDING USE OF METAL-TO-METAL BELT LOCKING MEANS. FAA ALSO AMENDED AIRCRAFT SPECIFICATIONS TO PROVIDE THE SAME INFORMATION. FAA NOW PROPOSING MANDATORY REPLACEMENT OF FABRIC-TO-METAL BELT ASSEMBLIES WITH METAL-TO-METAL UNITS ON AEROBATIC MODEL 7 SERVICE AIRPLANES. FAA ALSO CONSIDERING REVISING OPERATING RULES IN FAR PART 91 TO PROVIDE FOR THE IMPROVED LOCKING MEANS AS A GENERAL REQUIREMENT. 6/29/71 - FAA LTR:THEY HAVE A STUDY UNDERWAY REGARDING SEATBELTS, WITH PARTICULAR EMPHASIS ON THE PROBLEMS OF BUCKLE FASTENING. THEIR OBJECTIVE IS A REVISION OF THE TECHNICAL STANDARD ORDER FOR SEAT BELTS AS APPROPRIATE IN LIGHT OF SERVICE DIFFICULTIES AND ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY. 9/1/77 - FR, VOL. 42, NO. 170, PAGE 44204: THE FAA ISSUED NPRM 70-20 (OPS. REVIEW PROGRAM NO. 6) TO AMEND PARTS 23, 25, 27, 29 AND 91 OF FAR'S TO REQUIRE EACH SAFETY BELT TO BE EQUIPPED WITH A METAL-TO-METAL BUCKLE OR LATCHING DEVICE. COMMENTS ARE DUE TO THE FAA ON OR BEFORE 12/1/77. 1/31/79 - FAA LTR: OPERATIONS REVIEW PROGRAM AMENDMENT NO. 6 WAS ISSUED ON SEPTEMBER 28, 1978, WITH AN EFFECTIVE DATE OF DECEMBER 4, 1978. SECTIONS 23.1413(C), 25.1413(D), 27.1413(C), AND 29.1413(B) OF THE FAR'S WERE AMENDED TO REQUIRE THAT EACH SAFETY BELT MUST BE EQUIPPED WITH METAL-TO-METAL LATCHING DEVICE. SECTION 91.33(B)(12) WAS AMENDED TO REQUIRE, AFTER DECEMBER 4, 1980, SEATBELTS WITH METAL-TO-METAL LATCHING DEVICES FOR ALL OCCUPANTS.