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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-80-137
Details
Synopsis: ON JUNE 12, 1980, AN AIR WISCONSIN, INC., SWEARINGEN SA-226 METRO CRASHED NEAR VALLEY, NEBRASKA, KILLING 13 PERSONS AND SERIOUSLY INJURING 2 OTHERS. THE AIRCRAFT ENCOUNTERED AN AREA OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WHILE AT AN ALTITUDE OF LESS THAN 6,000 FT AND EXPERIENCED A SIMULTANEOUS LOSS OF POWER TO BOTH ENGINES BECAUSE OF MASSIVE WATER INGESTION. DURING ITS INVESTIGATION OF THE ACCIDENT, THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD FOUND NUMEROUS DEFICIENCIES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL PROCEDURES WHICH AFFECTED THE ACQUISITION OF WEATHER DATA AND THE DISSEMINATION OF THAT INFORMATION TO SECTOR AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS AND PILOTS. THE SAFETY BOARD ALSO DISCOVERED THAT THE CAPABILITIES OF AIRBORNE WEATHER RADAR ON THE AIRCRAFT TO DETECT SEVERE WEATHER ECHOES WERE LIMITED SIGNIFICANTLY BY RAIN-INDUCED TWO-WAY ATTENUATION, BUT THAT THE PILOTS WERE PROBABLY NOT AWARE OF THE REDUCED CAPABILITY OF THE RADAR.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: AMEND 14 CFR 23.807, EMERGENCY EXISTS, TO REQUIRE ALL EMERGENCY EXITS ON PART 23 AIR TAXI AND COMMUTER AIRCRAFT WITH A CAPACITY OF 10 OR MORE PASSENGER SEATS MANUFACTURED AFTER A SPECIFIED DATE TO BE INSTALLED SO THAT EACH COULD BE OPENED FROM OUTSIDE THE AIRCRAFT.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: Valley, NE, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA80AA019
Accident Reports: Air Wisconsin, Inc., Swearingen A-226 Metro, N650S
Report #: AAR-80-15
Accident Date: 6/12/1980
Issue Date: 1/5/1981
Date Closed: 2/8/1984
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 2/8/1984
Response: We note that the FAA is opposed to the adoption of this recommendation because of inadequate supporting data from accident history and because of the costs involved. Although we do not have additional supporting documentation at this time, we believe the recommendation has merit. While we are now classifying this recommendation in a closed-- unacceptable action status, we maintain our interest in this safety issue.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 7/8/1982
Response: FAA LETTER: THE FAA HAS AGAIN REVIEWED THE NEED AND JUSTI FICATION FOR THE BOARD'S SUGGESTION THAT AT SOME POINT IN THE FUTURE ALL AIRPLANES OPERATING UNDER PART 135 WITH MORE THAN NINE PASSENGER SEATS HAVE ALL EMERGENCY EXITS OPERABLE FROM OUTSIDE THE AIRPLANE. AS POINTED OUT IN OUR REPLY OF APRIL 7, 1981, WE STILL ARE UNAWARE "OF ANY ACCIDENTS WHERE IN THE INABILITY TO OPEN EMERGENCY EXITS FROM THE OUTSIDE HAS COST LIVES THAT OTHERWISE MIGHT HAVE BEEN SAVED." THE BOARD'S RESPONSE THAT THE ACCIDENT HISTORY JUSTIFIES THE RECOMMENDATION IS NOT SUFFICIENT, WITHOUT SPECIFICS, TO RESULT IN A CHANGE TO OUR PREVIOUSLY STATED FINDING. WE AGAIN FIND THAT THE APPLICATION OF THE BOARD'S INTENDED RECOMMENDATION TO NEW PRODUCTION AIRPLANES WOULD RESULT IN SIGNIFI CANT, COSTLY AIRPLANE REDESIGN AND A THOROUGH SAFETY BENEFITS VS. COST ANALYSIS WOULD BE REQUIRED. UNLESS A SIGNIFICANT SAFETY BENEFIT CAN BE DOCUMENTED TO JUSTIFY THE COST, AND WE SEE NO EVIDENCE THAT IT CAN OTHER THAN THE BOARD'S SUBJECTIVE JUDGEMENT, RULEMAKING AS SUGGESTED BY THE BOARD CAN NOT BE JUSTIFIED.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 5/24/1982
Response: This recommendation is relevant to aircraft addressed in specialfederal aviation regulation (sfar) -23 which applies to aircraft certified to carry more than 10 occupants and intended for use in operations under part 135. The safety board believes that passengers of aircraft operating under the rules to part 135 should be provided with the same degree of protection as passengers of aircraft operating under the rules of part 121. This was also a major goal of the faa when part 135 was rewritten. We also believe there is enough evidence available from accident history to justify this recommendation. The board has considered the feasibility of this recommendation, and we see no excessive cost involved in making emergency exits so that they can also be opened from the outside. The purpose of an emergency exit is partially defeated if it can be opened only from the inside. We do not seek anymodification to existing aircraft. In making a-80-137 we had in mind that after a specified date, all aircraft intended for use in part 135 opera- tions would roll off the assembly line with emergency exits that can be opened both from the inside and outside. WE, REQUEST THAT FAA RECONSIDER

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/7/1981
Response: FAA LTR: SINCE PART 23 PRESENTLY APPLIES TO AIRPLANES WITH A PASSENGER SEATING CAPACITY OF 9 PASSENGERS OR LESS, A CHANGE TO FAR 23.807, AS SUGGESTED WOULD NOT ACCOMPLISH THE INTENT OF THE BOARD'S RECOMMENDATION. PART 25, WHICH APPLIES TO AIRPLANES WITH 10 OR MORE PASSENGER SEATS, ALREADY REQUIRES THAT EACH EMERGENCY EXIT BE DESIGNED SO AS TO BE OPENED FROM THE OUTSIDE. THE RECOMMENDATION TO REQUIRE THAT ALL EMERGENCY EXITS BE CONFIGURED SO AS TO BE OPENED FROM THE OUTSIDE ON AIR TAXI AND COMMUTER AIRPLANES WITH A CAPACITY OF 10 OR MORE PASSENGER SEATS, PLACED IN SERVICE AFTER A SPECIFIED DATE, COULD BE ACCOMPLISHED BY A REVISION TO PART 135. THE FAA IS UNAWARE, THOUGH, OF ANY ACCIDENTS WHEREIN THE INABILITY TO OPEN EMERGENCY EXITS FROM THE OUTSIDE HAS COST LIVES THAT OTHERWISE MIGHT HAVE BEEN SAVED.