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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-72-070
Details
Synopsis: THIS STUDY EXAMINES THE CONDITION AND CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH DETERMINED THE OUTCOME OF THE DITCHING OF A DC-9 AIRCRAFT IN REGARD TO THE SURVIVAL AND NONSURVIVAL OF THE OCCUPANTS. IT WAS FOUND THAT THE PASSENGERS WERE PREPARED INADEQUATELY FOR THE DITCHING DUE TO A COMBINATION OF FACTORS INCLUDING INSUFFICIENT PREPARATION TIME, INADEQUATE BRIEFINGS, INSUFFICIENT TRAINING AND THE LACK OF PROPER CREW COORDINATION. IT WAS ESTIMATED THAT DECELERATIVE FORCES WERE INTHE ORDER OF 8 TO 12 G'S, CAUSING UNRESTRAINED OCCUPANTS TO BE THROWN FORWARD, INDUCING SEAT FAILURES AND SPINAL INJURIES. THE CAUSE OF SEATS, SEATBELT, AND GALLEY EQUIPMENT FAILURES WERE ANALYZED. IT WAS ESTIMATED THAT THE AIRCRAFT REMAINED AFLOAT FOR 5 TO 6 MINUTES. THE FACT THAT A LIFERAFT INFLATED INSIDE THE AIRCRAFT WAS ATTRIBUTED TO IMPINGEMENT OF THE RAFT PACKAGE BY THE GALLEY STRUCTURE, FORCING THE CREWMEMBERS OUT OF THE AIRCRAFT. LEADERSHIP OF THE CREW WHILE AWAITING RESCUE AND AN INFLATED EMERGENCY ESCAPE SLIDE MINIMIZED FURTHER LOSS OF LIFE. RECOMMENDATIONS WERE ADVANCED DEALING WITH INCREASED TRAINING FOR CREWMEMBERS, BETTER PASSENGER COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUES, INCREASED STRENGTH REQUIREMENTS FOR SEATS,SEATBELTS, AND GALLEY EQUIPMENT AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF SLIDE RAFT COMBINATIONS AND LIFEVEST DESIGN. TWENTY REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED.
Recommendation: THE FAA EXPEDITE ITS REEVALUATION OF FAR PART 25.561 REGARDING DESIGN STRENGTH REQUIREMENTS FOR AIRCRAFT SEATS AND OTHER CABIN EQUIPMENT. THE BOARD REGRETS THAT THE FAA DID NOT INCORPORATE THE INCREASED STRENGTH REQUIREMENTS PROPOSED IN NPRM 69-33 INTO THE FEDERAL AVIATION REGULATIONS. THE BOARD IS OF THE OPINION THAT NEW MATERIALS AND DESIGN TECHNIQUES IN THE AEROSPACE INDUSTRY, COMBINED WITH THE KNOWN TOLERANCE LIMITS OF THE HUMAN BODY TO DECELERATIVE FORCES AND THE RECURRING FAILURE OF FURNISHINGS IN AIRCRAFT ACCIDENTS JUSTIFIES AN INCREASE IN THESE STRENGTH VALUES.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable 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 #: AAS-72-02
Accident Date: 5/2/1970
Issue Date: 4/5/1972
Date Closed: 7/26/1973
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 7/20/1972
Response: ALTHOUGH FAA'S RESPONSE REJECTS THE INTENT OF OUR RECOMMENDATION, ALTERNATE ACTION IS IN PROGRESS IN THE FORM OF RESEARCH TO SUBSTITUTE DYNAMIC LOAD CRITERIA FOR THE PRESENT STANDARDS.