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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-70-055
Details
Synopsis: A PUBLIC HEARING WAS HELD IN SAN JUAN, P. R., ON JULY 7, 1970, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE OVERSEAS NATIONAL AIRWAYS DC-9, (ALM FLIGHT 980), DITCHING NEAR ST. CROIX ON MAY 2, 1970. AT THE HEARING, THE FLIGHT CAPTAIN TESTIFIED THAT HIS PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEM MICROPHONE WAS INOPERATIVE AND THEREFORE HE COULD NOT USE THE SYSTEM TO GIVE THE PASSENGERS A "BRACE FOR IMPACT" WARNING PRIOR TO STRIKING THE WATER. INSTEAD, HE SAID, HE TURNED THE SEATBELT SIGN ON AND OFF AS AN ALTERNATE MEANS OF ALERTING THE PASSENGERS AND CABIN CREW FOR IMPACT. THIS PROVED TO BE INEFFECTIVE AS THIS ALTERNATE SIGNAL WAS NOT KNOWN TO BE A "BRACE FOR IMPACT SIGNAL" BY EITHER THE CABIN CREW OR PASSENGERS. THE SURVIVING PASSENGERS REPORT RECEIVING NO WARNING OF IMPACT. TWENTY-THREE PERSONS LOST THEIR LIVES IN THIS ACCIDENT, INCLUDING A STEWARDESS WHO WAS REPORTED TO BE STANDING IN THE AISLE ASSISTING PASSENGERS AT THE TIME OF IMPACT. THE BOARD BELIEVES THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN FEWER LIVES LOST IF THE PASSENGERS AND CABIN ATTENDANTS HAD RECEIVED ADEQUATE WARNING IN TIME TO STRAP THEMSELVES INTO THEIR SEATS AND PREPARE FOR THE IMPACT.
Recommendation: THE FAA INSURE THAT NO FLIGHT REQUIRING THE BRIEFING OF PASSENGERS REGARDING EMERGENCY PROCEDURES BE DISPATCHED WITHOUT AN OPERABLE PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEM. THE SYSTEM SHOULD BE FUNCTIONING SO THAT THE FLIGHT DECK CREW CAN SPEAK TO THE PASSENGERS AND A CABIN ATTENDANT CAN SPEAK TO THE PASSENGERS FROM AT LEAST ONE CABIN STATION.
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: 10/16/1970
Date Closed: 9/25/1973
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 9/5/1973
Response: Closed--acceptable action.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 5/24/1972
Response: Notation 844: This is in reference to the notice of Proposed Rule Making 72-6, Public Address and Interphone Communications System, which would amend Part 121 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. The National Transportation Safety Board is aware of the problem areas addressed by these proposed changes and the efforts of the Federal Aviation Administration to implement corrective regulations. It is gratifying to note that this NPRM not only reflects a consideration of the Board’s earlier recommendation on this subject, but it includes additional provisions which offer excellent potential for improvements in air safety. The Safety Board therefore strongly endorses the regulatory changes proposed in this Notice 72-6.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 11/9/1970
Response: 11/9/70 THE FAA RESPONDED STATING THEY WILL CONSIDER THE BOARD'S RECOMMENDATION AS A PETITION FOR RULE MAKING AND WILL ACCORDINGLY ISSUE A NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULE MAKING. 6/29/71 FURTHER RESPONSE FROM THE FAA TO SAY THAT A REGULATORY PROJECT REGARDING PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEMS FOR AIRPLANES OPERATED UNDER FAR'S PART 121 HAS BEENESTABLISHED. 5/17/73 IN KEEPING WITH THE BOARDS RECOMMENDATION THE FAA ISSUED NPRM 72-6 "PUBLIC ADDRESS AND INTERPHONE COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS" PROPOSING TO AMEND 14 CFR 121.318 AND 319. THE BOARD SUPPORTED THE PROPOSAL. NOTATION 844 REFERS. 9/25/73 NTSB EVALUATION. THE PROVISIONS OF NPRM 72-6 BECAME EFFECTIVE AS A RULE ON 9/8/73. OPERATORS HAVE 2 YEARS TO COMPLY. CLOSED